Rozanne Gooding Silverwood (2017)

Rozanne Gooding Silverwood, ethnographer, photographer and life-long learner comes to the OHMA 2017 cohort from the Columbia University School of General Studies. Graduating summa cum laude with an undergraduate degree in cultural anthropology, her research of her family’s archive of 19th century documents and genealogy records, literature and photographs culminated in an auto-ethnographic thesis on indigenous identity and belonging entitled “The Indigenous Uncanny: An Ethnography of Erasure and the Resurgence of Chickasaw Identity.” She has presented her work to both native and non-native audiences, at gatherings of her fellow citizens in Chickasaw Nation and at academic conferences concerned with public history.

Ms. Gooding Silverwood seeks to apply the skills and ethical perspectives from the OHMA program to a prospective project “What Makes Us Chickasaw?” By posing questions about indigenous identity to Chickasaw citizens and persons of African ancestry who are the descendents of Chickasaw Freedpeople she hopes to further dialogues about non-juridical forms of belonging and reparative pathways that might address the historic harms of her Chickasaw Nation’s slaveholding history.

Along with her continued research of indigenous issues, Ms. Gooding Silverwood academic focus also extends to more personal projects. At the 2017 Summer Intensive on Oral History and Aging[1] sponsored by the Columbia Center for Oral History Research (CCOHR)[2] Ms. Gooding Silverwood had the opportunity to present and receive feedback on a proposed project that draws from her experiences as caregiver during the final year of her mother’s life. She is excited to join the OHMA program and looks forward to learning more about how to incorporate photography and other visual material with end-of-life narratives and intergenerational storytelling for the co-construction of family life histories.