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Intersections of sister fields

By Sarah Milligan
In March 2012, there was a discussion on the public folklorists’ listserv Publore about the evolution of oral history as a defined discipline and folklorists’ contribution to its development. As an observer and participant in both fields, I see overlap today. The leaderships of both national associations — the Oral History Association (OHA) and the American Folklore Society (AFS) — frequently collaborate on large-scale projects, like the current IMLS-funded project looking at oral history in the digital age.

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Building community and ecoliteracy through oral history

For our second blog post of 2015, we’re looking back at a great article from Katie Kuszmar in OHR 41.2, “From Boat to Throat: How Oral Histories Immerse Students in Ecoliteracy and Community Building.” In the article, Katie discussed a research trip she and her students used to record the oral histories of local fishing practices and to learn about sustainable fishing and consumption. We followed up with her over email to see what we could learn from high school oral historians, and what she has been up to since the article came out.

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Oral history online: blogging to reach new audiences

I am a child of the internet age. I have never not had a computer in my house. Being in Columbia’s Oral History Master’s Program (OHMA), I’ve read articles for class that describe how oral historians recorded and edited audio in the past. Every time I read one of those articles, I call my mom, who used to work editing tape in the 70s and 80s. “How did you do it?” I ask. “How did you edit with a razor, with no undo button? If it was still like that, I would never have entered this field.”

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Oral history and hearing loss

By Caitlin Tyler-Richards
When perusing the internet for innovations in the oral history discipline, I generally seek out new voices, intuitive platforms and streamless presentations. Embarrassingly, I rarely consider the basics of oral history collection and production, the act of sharing someone’s story with a wider audience. That is one of several reasons I so enjoyed Brad Rakerd’s contribution to Oral History Review issue on Oral History in the Digital Age, “On Making Oral Histories More Accessible to Persons with Hearing Loss.”

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‘Storytelling’ in oral history: an exchange

Silence, interrogation, confession, chronology, and stories. The Oral History Review (OHR) Volume 41, Issue 1 is now online and coming to mailboxes soon, and along with it Alexander Freund’s article, “Confessing Animals”: Toward a Longue Durée History of the Oral History Interview.”OHR Editorial Board Member Erin Jessee spoke with the University of Winnipeg professor over his novel approach to the oral history interview.

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‘Storytelling’ in oral history: an exchange, part 2

On 25 April, we shared an excerpt from the conversation between OHR 41.1 contributor Alexander Freund and OHR board member Erin Jessee regarding Freund’s article, “Confessing Animals: Towards a Longue Durée History of the Oral History Interview”. Below, Freund and Jessee continue their exchange, tackling storytelling in non-Western arenas.

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Oral history in disaster zones

By Caitlin Tyler-Richards
When Superstorm Sandy hit the United States’ east coast in late October, I was struck by the way in which oral historians and other like-minded academics responded to the ensuing chaos. This was not the first time I had seen oral history interact with natural disaster; one of the first articles I prepped for our Twitter feed was KUT News’ “Forged in Flames: An Oral History of the Labor Day Wildfires,” a multi-media documentation of the wildfires that overtook Texas in September 2011.

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Reflections on the ‘urge to collect’

In the most recent issue of the Oral History Review, Linda Shopes started an important discussion about changes she has seen in the field of oral history in “‘Insights and Oversights’: Reflections on the Documentary Tradition and the Theoretical Turn in Oral History”. Linda’s article sparked many interesting arguments on curation versus collection, critical analysis versus volume, and framing individual experiences in wider contexts. Below, we bring to you a continuation of this conversation through an email interview.

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Oral history students as narrators

For this week’s contribution to OUPblog, we’ve gone audio — we are the Oral History Review, after all. In our first podcast, our guest Stephen Sloan elaborates on “On the Other Foot: Oral History Students as Narrators,” a piece he wrote for the most recent issue of the OHR (volume 39, issue 2). This post represents another first: an effort to give current and future OHR contributors room to discuss their articles further.

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Oral History Review’s Short Form Initiative

By Caitlin Tyler-Richards
On behalf of the Oral History Review editorial staff, I am excited to publicly announce the journal’s latest project: the short form initiative. What is this? (I imagine everyone wondering aloud with feigned nonchalance.) Well, while the typical OHR article tends to fall between 8,000 to 12,000 words, we are now actively seeking substantially shorter submissions — approximately 3,000-4,000 words in length.

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Blogging oral history

It’s been six months since we at Oral History Review (OHR) started blogging regularly at the OUPblog, so we think now is a good time to look back on the last few months. We’ve discussed everything from the historiography of oral history to the challenges of recording interviews on recent history, and we’ve approached these issues with essays, q&as, timelines, quizzes, and podcasts.

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Oral history, research, and technology

A month ago, the Oral History Association (OHA) hosted their 2012 annual conference, “Sing It Out, Shout It Out, Say It Out Loud: Giving Voice through Oral History” in Cleveland, Ohio. Unsurprisingly, one topic that came up in both formal presentations and casual conversation was the field’s use of the latest tech.

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Oral historians and online spaces

By Caitlin Tyler-Richards
In November 2012, a thread appeared on the H-Net Oral history listserv with the enticing subject line “experimental uses of oral history.” Amid assorted student projects and artistic explorations, two projects in particular caught my eye: the VOCES Oral History Project and the Freedom Mosaic. As we work towards our upcoming special issue on Oral History in the Digital Age, I’ve been mulling over oral historians negotiate online spaces.

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Q&A with Claire Payton on Haiti, spirituality, and oral history

By Caitlin Tyler-Richards
About a month ago, when we celebrated the release of the Oral History Review Volume 40.2, we mentioned that one of the goals in putting together the issue was to expand the journal’s geographical scope. Towards that end, we were excited to publish Claire Payton’s “Vodou and Protestantism, Faith and Survival: The Contest over Spiritual Meaning of the 2010 Earthquake in Haiti.”

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Welcome to the OHR, Stephanie Gilmore

By Caitlin Tyler-Richards
This summer, our editor-in-chief Kathy Nasstrom is taking a well-deserved break, and leaving the Oral History Review and related cat-herding in the hands of the extremely capable Stephanie Gilmore. As some may have read in the Oral History Association’s most recent newsletter, Stephanie is a multitalented historian who works to combat sexual assault on university campuses.

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