Stories never stop being created, even in the most unlikely of places. Drawing on oral history testimonies from Auschwitz prisoners, filmmaker Michal Bukojemski, creator of The Auschwitz Chronicles, uncovers a most unlikely love story.Read More
Newark, New Jersey isn’t just a place for looking back; it’s also for looking forward. Current Columbia College student Kyra Ann Dawkins wrestles with her expanding understanding of Newark beyond her family’s story and into the broken and beautiful narratives of the hyperdiverse city.Read More
In this post, filmmaker and current OHMA student Storm Garner discusses the practice of subtitling accented or non-normative spoken English in documentary filmmaking and video presentations of oral history.Read More
OHMA is pleased to the announce the 2019 Travel Grant Recipient, Carlin Zia (2017) who will consider questions around transcription and creativity at 2019 Oral History Association annual meeting in Salt Lake City.
OHMA is excited to let you know about opportunities available this year to work with Columbia's Oral History MA Program students and invite you to participate in our fieldwork partners and internship programs. Please feel free to share this email with others who may be interested.
There are two different ways to work with our students:
Fieldwork Partner: we are seeking organizations or projects with which students can partner to conduct three interviews as part of their fall fieldwork course.
Fieldwork partners will be required to work with the student to create a brief project design, ensuring that their work will both serve the needs of their partner and fulfill their requirements for the course. The main expectation of partners is that they will connect students with narrators so that they can do three interview sessions in October and November, 2019. Students and fieldwork partners work together to negotiate any other deliverables, such as indexes or edited excerpts. Here is the syllabus from last year's class, so that you can see what we are asking of students and partners.
Internship host: OHMA students are able to undertake internships for credit. They may be involved in any phase of the oral history process, from designing a project to conducting interviews, processing an archive, or creating a public presentation using oral histories. Students will be expected to negotiate a work agreement with their sponsoring organization or project in advance, complete a certain number of hours of work (100-200, depending on how many credits they want), and reflect on their experience.
Internships can be for fall 2019, spring 2020, or summer 2020, and can even stretch over more than one semester. Especially in the summer, internships do not need to be based in NYC. Sponsoring organizations or projects will be expected to create a work plan, supervise, train, and mentor the interning student, and evaluate their work. Internships may be paid or unpaid, although it is preferable if students can be compensated. Here is our internship guide, which has more information on the program. Internships can also be open to alums and students can do an internship on a non-credit basis - in this case OHMA plays less of a role in supervising the internship.
Any given project or organization may elect to participate in one or both of these programs. We will be collecting a list of potential fieldwork partners and internship sponsors over the summer, which will be shared with interested students in August. Please be aware that there is a chance that you may be willing to host a student but we will not be able to place a student with you.
If you are interested in being a fieldwork partner, please fill out this survey by August 18th.
If you are interested in hosting an intern, please fill out this survey by August 18th.
Amy Starecheski, Director at the Oral History Master of Arts Program at Columbia University, will follow up in early August with those of you who are interested in working with our students. Please feel free to contact her if you have any questions.
As we wrap up the 2018-2019 school year, please join us in celebrating the news and accomplishments of our students and alums!Read More
Current OHMA student Anne Cardenas discusses Patrick Raden Keefe’s book, Say Nothing, and issues of security in oral history and journalism, inspired by Dr. Sam Redman’s April 4 workshop “Oral History and Archives: Voice, Storytelling, and Narrative in Historical Research.”Read More
In this post, based on Lorina Barker’s presentation, current Oral History MA student Lizzie Li discusses the diversity of oral history in real practice.Read More
In this reflection on Dr. Lorina Barker’s recent lecture at OHMA, Wikipedia Fellow and Wikimedian-In-Residence Darold Cuba explores how scholars and academics can decolonize and indigenize public spaces through scholarship, exemplified by new wiki initiatives incubated at the Columbia University Libraries, WikiHMCi & WikiHBCU/DIO.Read More
Listen to the audio story below to hear how Times Square “shined like diamonds” to an immigrant seeing it for the first-time in the late 1940’s. OHMA student Christina Barba takes excerpts from oral histories to create an audio vignette about memory, culture and the joy of discovery in New York City.Read More
During the OHMA Workshop , “Say It Forward: Art and Social Justice,” Lauren Taylor LCSW discussed her chapter, “Resilience: Elders in East Harlem,” reflecting on how her experience as a psychiatric social worker has both helped and hindered her practice as an oral historian. In this post, Caroline Offit explores the ways these roles interact: How do we think carefully about our narrator’s needs while being conscious of our own position and influence on an interview, as well as potentially evaluative or diagnostic language? How do we remain sensitive to the possible meanings that a narrator attaches to their words and how we personally interpret their words?Read More
Intro: In this post OHMA alum Benji de la Piedra (2014) recounts his experience of attending the From Segregation to Black Lives Matter: a Symposium in Celebration of the Opening of the Joel Buchanan Archive of African American Oral History at the University of Florida. In this essay he reflects on the University of Florida’s Samuel Proctor Oral History Program that centers Black experiences and heritage.Read More
As oral historians we are taught to value personal truths and “mine for meaning” as Portelli once said. But in the era of “fake news” should we be so quick to dismiss facts? Current OHMA student ventured away from the library for a night at the theatre to watch this play out in “Lifespan of a Fact.”Read More
How many selves are we alloted? In this post, Rebecca Kiil explores the notion of our many selves within the context of the many gods present in the daily lives of the Newar people of Kathmandu, as introduced to us in Ellen Coon’s captivating workshop, “The Mountain with Two Wives: Landscape and Embodied Memory in Kathmandu.”Read More
Oral history and theatre have many natural intersections, performances crafted from interviews and then re-interpreted and embodied by actors. But what about a performance crafted from an unintentionally discovered piece of audio, whose narrators the creator has never met? In this post, OHMA student Caroline Cunfer considers how Alison S.M. Kobayashi implemented oral history-like practices in her groundbreaking performance, “Say Something Bunny!”Read More
OHMA alum Ellen Coon’s thesis on Newari women and divinity uses transcripts from the 1980s of Coon’s interviews with Newar midwife, Dil Maya Aji. Fascinated by the years Coon spent translating these interviews, OHMA student Caroline Cunfer contemplates how the subjective practices of translation and oral history intersect with and complement each other.Read More
What does a giant underground vault near the North Pole have in common with an oral history collection? More than you think, Ellen Coon explains.Read More
In their reaction to possessions Nepal and Egypt are very different. Their religious and cultural interpretations influence Pyakhan; the masked dance-drama performed in Nepal and the Zar exorcism ritual performed in Egypt. Current OHMA student Nairy AbdElShafy reflects on Ellen Coon’s talk on The Mountain with Two Wives: Landscape and Embodied Memory in Kathmandu on March 7th, and our role as oral historians in documenting experiences of possessions.Read More
“Listen to the world around you!” What do you hear? What sounds do you notice? Dr. Nishani Frazier’s presentation reminds us the importance of sounds in oral history. Music theory and philosophy teach us to value sounds that are linked with places, people, cultures, and languages.Read More