As students in Columbia University’s OHMA program we are often urged to consider Oral History projects that not only serve to archive interviews for future use, but that “do something.”
The #OHMATakeover of the OHR blog continues as Sara Loose explains her origins in oral history and how the skills and perspectives she gained at Columbia have influenced her career so far.
Moustafa Bayoumi presented his book This Muslim American Life as part of the Oral History Workshops at the Columbia University Oral History MA Program.
This year, we have focused on people and institutions using oral history in innovative ways, discussing the challenges they face and their motivations for using oral history to make positive changes in the world.
In their substantial essay from OHR 43.1 on the peculiarities of queer oral history, authors Kevin Murphy, Jennifer Pierce, and Jason Ruiz suggest some of the ways that queer methodologies are useful and important for oral history projects.
With the summer issue of the Oral History Review just around the corner, we are bringing you a sneak peak of what’s to come. Issue 43.1 is our LGBTQ special issue, featuring oral history projects and stories from around the country.
When I joined UC Berkeley’s Oral History Center (OHC) in late 2013, I quickly began work designing, planning, and running the Advanced Oral History Summer Institute (SI), which is organized around the life cycle of the interview. Because leading the SI is one of my most important roles at the OHC, it’s hard for me to be objective about its value (I think our week is a robust resource and provides excellent formal training).
I was introduced to oral history while completing my Master’s in Library Science at the University of North Texas. I needed to fulfill my practicum requirement, and I took a chance on an advertisement to intern at NASA-Johnson Space Center. (I grew up wanting to be an astronaut, but in high school I met AP Calculus and that dream was indefinitely deferred.)
Oral history has always been concerned with preserving the voices of the voiceless, and new technologies are enabling oral historians to preserve and present these memories in new and exciting ways. Audio projects can now turn to mapping software to connect oral histories with physical locations, bringing together voices and places.
I am a curator at a mid-sized museum in Texas. My job includes overseeing the oral history program, which was founded in 1970, two years after the museum opened. Today, the collection is home to over 1,000 oral histories on topics ranging from the ethnic groups of Texas, Texas military history, local history, traditional folk arts, immigration, and farming and ranching.
During my second semester at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I took an oral history seminar with Dr. Jacquelyn Dowd Hall. It was an eye-opening experience, not only because of what I learned, but how I learned.
The military is a total institution and army chaplains are embedded deeply within it. They wear the uniforms and the rank, they salute and are saluted. I was reminded how deeply embedded we are, when I arrived at the US Army Chaplain Center and School at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina about two weeks ago.
All of those presidential candidates who promise to change the world on “my first day in office” have a lot to learn about the federal government’s glacial pace. The government does tend to do the right thing, so long as you have the patience to wait a few years (or decades).
We recently asked you to tell us to send us your reflections, stories, and the difficulties you’ve faced while doing oral history. This week, we bring you another post in this series, focusing on an oral history project from Carmen Doncel and Henry Eric Hernández. We encourage you to to chime into the discussion, comment below or on our Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and G+ pages.
There are less than two months left before we converge on Tampa for the Oral History Association’s annual meeting! This week, we asked Jessica Taylor of the University of Florida’s Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, who authored “We’re on Fire: Oral History and the Preservation, Commemoration, and Rebirth of Mississippi’s Civil Rights Sites” in the most recent Oral History Review.
Over the last few months, we’ve had the pleasure of publishing thoughtful reflections, compelling narratives, and deep engagements with what it means to do oral history. Each post was written by a member of the oral history community who was willing to share their thoughts and experiences with all of us. We received an incredible response from our last call for submissions, so we’re coming back again to ask for more.