Director, Oral History Master of Arts Program
Amy Starecheski is a cultural anthropologist and oral historian whose research focuses on the use of oral history in social movements and the politics of history, value and property in cities. She is the Director of the Oral History MA Program at Columbia University. She consults and lectures widely on oral history education and methods, and is co-author of the Telling Lives Oral History Curriculum Guide. She was a lead interviewer on Columbia’s September 11, 2001 Narrative and Memory Project, for which she interviewed Afghans, Muslims, Sikhs, activists, low-income people, and people who lost work.
Starecheski was a member of the Core Working Group for Groundswell: Oral History for Social Change from 2011-2018, where she facilitated the Practitioner Support Network. In 2015 she won the Oral History Association’s article award for “Squatting History: The Power of Oral History as a History-Making Practice” and in 2016 she was awarded the Sapiens-Allegra “Will the Next Margaret Mead Please Stand Up?” prize for public anthropological writing. She received a PhD in cultural anthropology from the CUNY Graduate Center, where she was a Public Humanities Fellow.
Her book, Ours to Lose: When Squatters Became Homeowners in New York City, was published in 2016 by the University of Chicago Press. She is the founder of the Mott Haven Oral History Project, which collaboratively documents, activates, and amplifies the stories of her longtime neighborhood, as told by the people who live there.