Margaret Gooding-Silverwood (2015)

Margaret Gooding-Silverwood Rozanne Gooding Silverwood graduated from the Columbia University School of General Studies, receiving her undergraduate degree in cultural anthropology at the age of 63. Her thesis “The Indigenous Uncanny: An Ethnography of Erasure and the Resurgence of Chickasaw Identity” examines genealogical artefacts evidencing her Chickasaw ancestors’ efforts to preserve indigenous identity in the face of territorial and cultural erasure. During her graduate studies at Columbia University’s Oral History Master of Arts program (OHMA), Ms. Gooding Silverwood recorded family members’ narratives about death and bereavement. Putting these deeply personal memories into conversation with archival photographs and mementos, Ms. Gooding Silverwood produced an audio-visual project “I’ll Fly Away: A Genealogy of Maternal Love and Leave-taking” that demonstrates the usefulness of oral history in helping family members make meaning from the loss of loved ones while also serving as a tool for the preservation of traditional knowledge and collective memory for future generations.