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Oct 18 | Confessions of an Accidental Oral Historian, Archivist, and Podcaster

  • Pupin Hall Room 420, Columbia University 538 West 120th Street New York, NY, 10027 United States (map)
Photo Credit: Sara Burningham

Photo Credit: Sara Burningham

When: Thursday, October 18, 2018, 6:10-7:30 pm

Where:  Pupin Hall, Room 420

Three decades ago, an editor at Harper & Row (now HarperCollins) commissioned twenty-nine-year old journalist Eric Marcus to write an oral history of the “gay and lesbian civil rights movement.”  The book that resulted was published in 1992 under the title Making History (the subsequent 2002 edition was published as Making Gay History).  Nearly thirty years later, Eric found himself in a position to mine his book's archive of interviews with champions, heroes, and witnesses to LGBTQ history for the Making Gay History podcast   In a presentation that draws on his audio archive, Eric shares what he’s learned about the power of personal testimony and the value of harnessing a mild case of obsessive-compulsive disorder in the service of creating an accessible and versatile oral history archive that has stood the test of time. Now that we are living in a future for which these oral histories were archived, how do they continue to live on in the world?

Eric Marcus is the creator and host of the award-winning Making Gay History podcast, which mines his decades-old audio archive of rare interviews — conducted for his oral history book of the same name about the LGBTQ civil rights movement — to create intimate, personal portraits of both known and long-forgotten champions, heroes, and witnesses to history. 

His other books include Is It A Choice?, Why Suicide?, and Breaking the Surface, the #1 New York Times bestselling autobiography of Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis. HarperCollins recently republished the 1992 edition of Making Gay History in an e-book under the original title, Making History: The Struggle for Gay & Lesbian Equal Rights, 1945 to 1990.

Watch here

Blog posts by current OHMA students about this event:

Friendly Reminders: Archive Your Interviews! Take Fieldnotes! Archive Those Too!

Naming and the Gay Archive: Eric Marcus’ Making Gay History and Queering History-Building

“Transformative Oral History: Past, Present, and Future”

A New Dawn: Eric Marcus’s Why Suicide & Oral History’s Healing Process