Jan. 19: Property, History, Peoplehood and Collective Claims on the City

  • 509 Knox Hall 606 West 122nd Street New York, NY, 10027 United States

WHEN: Thursday, January 19, 2017, 6 - 8 PM

WHERE: Knox Hall, 606 W. 122nd Street, Room 509

Using the experiences of Lower East Side squatters navigating the legalization of their buildings as a case study, this talk asks: What can anthropologists learn by studying oral history as a social practice?

By both using oral history as a research method and taking historical production as an object of analysis, Starecheski’s research illuminates the key roles that history-making and public storytelling play in making and legitimating collective claims to the city. Shared history is one key way that a group of individuals becomes a community. But how is shared experience transformed into history? And how do people deal with the inevitable conflicts that arise when complicated intersecting lives become public narratives about the past?

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 urban property. She is the Co-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."

Starecheski 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 the unemployed. She is a member of the Core Working Group for Groundswell: Oral History for Social Change, where she facilitates 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 won the Sapiens-Allegra “Will the Next Margaret Mead Please Stand Up?” prize for public anthropological writing.

Starecheski 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.

INFORMATION: For more information, please email Amy Starecheski at aas39@columbia.edu.

THIS EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. REFRESHMENTS WILL BE SERVED.

NO REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED, BUT RSVPS ON THE EVENT FACEBOOK PAGE ARE APPRECIATED TO GAUGE ATTENDANCE.