Robin Weinberg (2016)

Robin Weinberg started a nonprofit oral history project and wellness program in 2007 called Just So You Know, which gives people living with serious illness the chance to create, share, and preserve their own life stories through recorded video conversations and interviews with their family, friends, and favorite people. Just So You Know travels to hospitals and health care organizations nationwide, sets up “recording studios” and advises and helps people get their life stories told on video.  

Robin is looking forward to expanding the organization to include other populations of people with compelling stories to tell, and learning to use oral history for advocacy and education. She is particularly interested in personal narratives, but would love to interview on other topics, including civil rights, discrimination, women’s issues, and gun violence prevention.

Robin is a (recovering) attorney, specializing in employment law, with a J.D. from the New York University School of Law and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.  A New Yorker at heart, she lives in Connecticut with her three daughters, two dogs (also girls), two guinea pigs (girls, too!) and husband.

Shira Hudson (2016)

Shira Hudson is the Associate Director of planned giving at UJA-Federation, where she works with individuals to fulfill their financial and philanthropic goals. The most compelling part of her work involves meeting with donors and learning about their lives, values, and hopes for the next generation.

Shira is excited to begin the study of oral history and further develop her skills as a relationship builder and story collector. She graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in Middle Eastern and Asian Languages and Cultures, and from the Jewish Theological Seminary with a B.A. in Jewish History. Shira lives on the Upper West Side and enjoys exploring the City’s playgrounds with her husband and toddler.  

Rozanne Gooding-Silverwood (2015)

alumni.png

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.

Ursula Cedillo-Johnson (2016)

Ursula Cedillo-Johnson is a second-generation storyteller and a Third-Generation-Mexican-Black-American who revels in her intricately hyphenated identity. She hails from Prairie View, Texas, and will graduate from Barnard College in spring 2016. While working towards a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology, she comes to OHMA seeking to expand and challenge her ethnographic background.

When not pondering the intricacies and ethics of the social media era, she spends much of her free time collaborating on film and music projects by alternative artists of color, seeking to problematize and decolonize the audio-visual landscapes of contemporary pop culture. Her research interests encompass this political project. Through OHMA, she hopes to gain the tools to not only empower alternative narratives, but to popularize and project them through digital media.

Emma Li (2016)

Xiaoyan (Emma) Li: Before I began learning about oral history, my interest had always been in literature. While working at the Cui Yongyuan Center for Oral History at Communication University of China—which owns 800,000 minutes video of interviews and relevant documents—for over two years, I gradually realized that I enjoy listening to people tell their life stories.
 
Last year, I took part in the "Oral History in China Project," which involved interviewing well-known oral historians, in addition to organizing academic lectures, workshops, and an international conference. Through this process, I had the chance to exchange perspectives with a great number of oral historians from all over the world, which made me excited to learn more about oral history in OHMA.  

Fanny Garcia (2016)

Fanny_Garcia_Headshots_11.jpg

Fanny Julissa García is an oral historian contributing work to Central American Studies. In her most recent work, Reminiscences on Migration: A Central American Lyric, she intertwines her own migration story using lyric poetry and vignettes with oral history interviews conducted with Central American refugee women who had been released from detention centers at the U.S./Mexico border. She has worked for more than 15 years as a social justice advocate to combat the public health and socioeconomic impact of HIV/AIDS on low income communities, worked closely with organizations fighting for the end of family detention, and supported survivors of sexual violence. She serves as the Communications Coordinator for Groundswell: Oral History for Social Change, a network of oral historians, activists, cultural workers, community organizers and documentary artists that use oral history to further movement building and transformative social change. She also works at the New-York Historical Society, and is co-founder of Social Exchange Institute, a media and education company that uses multi-media tools to produce work that promotes social justice and equity. She’s also on the editorial board for the Oral History Association’s Oral History Review. In 2017, she graduated from the Oral History Master of Arts program from Columbia University where she received the Judge Jack B. Weinstein Scholarship Award for Oral History and the OHMA Oral History Teaching and Social Justice Award.

Emma Courtland (2016)

Emma Courtland has worked as a writer, editor, film programmer, and exhibitions curator for periodicals and nonprofits in her native city, Los Angeles. The bulk of her professional efforts, however, has been on behalf the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, where she spent the last seven years collaborating to devise and execute a full slate of public programs focused on the vast and ever-changing intersections of storytelling and technology. She is especially interested in cultural form and narrative cognition, and how our modes of sharing stories—written or spoken words, still or moving images—shape our understanding of and interactions with the world.

Emma holds a BA in English from UCLA and a MA in oral history from Columbia. She currently serves as the associate producer of content at Wondery, the podcast company behind Dirty John and Doctor Death.

Dina Asfaha (2016)

Dina M. Asfaha joins OHMA from Barnard College, where she was an Africana Studies major and recipient of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship. Her time in the Mellon program was incredibly formative, inspiring her to pursue her passion of using academia as a platform to celebrate and commemorate Eritrean revolutionary history.

In her senior year, Dina conducted an honors thesis entitled, “From Repression to Revolution: Making Space for Eritrea,” wherein she analyzed three documents written by Eritrean pro-liberation groups as creative responses to Ethiopian colonial domination. This year in OHMA, she hopes to expand on her work by examining music and sounds of the Eritrean revolution.

Dina’s research interests include: memory studies, decolonization, post-/colonial studies, music-culture, cultural preservation, nationalism, and identity. In her free time, Dina enjoys attending concerts and practicing her digital and film photography skills.

Wu Chen (2015)

Wu Chen is a Chinese student. She earned her B.A degree in International Politics and History from Nottingham University in China and is a recent graduate of Melbourne University, with a degree in psychology. After graduation, she interned in a historical documentary project, where she interviewed and recorded the stories of survivors from the Great Famine, Cultural Revolution, and Sino-Japanese War. From this experience, she became interested in exploring historical trauma, from the perspective of victims of war, survivors of genocide, refugees, asylum-seekers, and ethnic minorities. She hopes to study trauma from cultural, sociopolitical, and clinical perspectives, alongside the systematic study of oral history, in order to produce written records of historical witnesses and explore the impact of narration and remembrance in measures of resilience and strength.

 

Nyssa Chow (2015)

Nyssa Chow is a graduate of Columbia University’s MFA program, and a recipient of the Hollywood Foreign Press Award, the Women in Film and Television Fellowship, the Toms Fellowship, and the Academy of Motion Pictures Foundation Award. She has worked as a photojournalist and in broadcast journalism. Nyssa has served as the Chief Editor of Generation Lion Magazine with circulation throughout the Caribbean, New York, and Miami. She is the 2012 recipient of the prestigious Sloan Foundation Grant, and in fulfillment of the grant, produced a feature length web-series. In 2014, she won the Zaki Gordon Award for Excellence in Screenwriting. Most recently, Nyssa has been one of five writers nominated for the Blue List, and invited to appear in the Hollywood Black List database. Born in Trinidad, she has a particular interest in social justice, trust, and political participation. 

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.

Mark Campbell II (2015)

Mark Campbell II is originally from Merrillville, Indiana where he spent the first eighteen years of his life. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. While at Calvin College, he studied abroad in México and Guatemala. Additionally, he nationally and internationally toured with the Calvin College Gospel Choir, through which he served two years as Chairman. He has an M.A. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. His research interests include: life histories, religion, social movements, fashion, news, craft beer, history, and building community. He aspires to create a connection between student affairs and oral history. Mark is an avid reader and knows a vast amount of random facts about the world.

Andrew Viñales (2015)

Andrew Viñales, a Bronx born Puerto Rican and Dominican, earned his B.A. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies from Union College in Schenectady, NY. Much of his academic focus was on Queer Latinidad culminating in his thesis entitled, “Visibly Queer: Reclaiming Dominican and Puerto Rican Identities.” After graduating from Union, Andrew was awarded the Minerva Fellowship in which he had the opportunity to live and work in a small, impoverished community on the coast of Ecuador to promote sustainable development. Upon returning, he became involved in community organizing, participating in the #BlackLivesMatter movement in NYC and visibility of Afro-Latinxs. Andrew grew up around storytellers in his family and religious community. These stories highlighted oppression and survival of being Queer, Afro-Latinx, and the maintenance of the Lukumi/Santeria tradition. Andrew would like to focus his work with the OHMA program on these stories. 

Pablo Baeza (2015)

Pablo Baeza Breinbauer, raised between Santiago, Chile, and suburban Maryland, joins OHMA after five years in sunny California, where he majored in Urban Studies at Pitzer College and later worked as a creative writing and literacy educator at 826 Valencia in San Francisco. He has also gotten to know a variety of communities as a community organizer and ethnographer, having participated in an environmental justice bike tour of southern Louisiana and eastern Texas in 2012, and having done ethnographic research on the praxis and politics of arts districts in San Diego and Tijuana. In 2014, Pablo attended the UN Climate Summit in Lima, Peru, where he helped the Sierra Student Coalition begin Climate Stories, a project focusing on individual narratives of environmental justice. He is interested in migration, assimilation, and intergenerational memory, deindustrialization and community resiliency, and restorative justice.

Tauriq Jenkins (2015)

Zimbabwean-born Tauriq Jenkins is the founding artistic director of the Independent Theater Movement of South Africa and Shakespeare in Prison South Africa. He directed eight Shakespeare productions in South African prisons—covered by NPR and the Folger Literary Magazine—and was awarded the Davis Projects for Peace Grant in 2013 for his work.

Tauriq has served as the chair of the Performing Network of South Africa (Western Cape), a task member of Southern African Theater Initiative, director of the Arts, Culture, and Sport portfolio for the Observatory Improvement District, and organizer of the Observatory Documentary Film Festival. As a chess enthusiast, he has played, coached, and directed tournaments at various levels in South Africa, winning junior national team championships and university team championships.

Tauriq holds an MFA in Acting from Columbia University in New York and fellowship in the International Fellows Program at the Columbia’s School for International Public Affairs, focusing on U.S. Foreign Policy. He is a recent alumnus of International House, serving as a member of the Residents’ Council and directing four presentations of Black History Month. Other than recent years in New York studying at Columbia, Tauriq lives in Cape Town.

Fernanda Espinosa (2015)

fernanda.png

Fernanda Espinosa is an oral historian and cultural organizer based in New York and Quito. She has been generating, listening to, and interpreting oral histories to inform creative public interventions that aspire to act as platforms for resistance and dialogue.

Fernanda holds a degree in Oral History from Columbia University, where her thesis was awarded the 2018 Jeffrey H. Brodsky Oral History Award.  She is the co-founder and coordinator of Cooperativa Cultural 19 de enero (CC 1/19), an ongoing art and oral history collaboration with visual artists. She is a former member and co-founder of People’s Collective Arts/Colectivo de Arte Popular and is currently the Associate Manager of Community Partnerships at StoryCorps’ Mobile Tour program.

Eylem Delikanli (2015)

Eylem Delikanlı is an independent researcher and a writer for the daily BİRGün. Her articles focus on American politics and culture. She holds an MA in Sociology specializing in the sociology of communication. She is the co-author of the book Keşke Bir Öpüp Koklasaydım (with Ozlem Delikanli in Turkish, Istanbul: Ayrıntı Yayınları September 2013), a work of oral history about the 1980 Coup D’État in Turkey. Her current research as a sequel focuses on the political refugees living in Europe and North America after the Coup. She is the co-editor and contributing writer for an upcoming book on authoritarianism in Turkey.

Eylem is a founding co-op member of Research Institute on Turkey - a grassroots research cooperative based in NY focusing on communization practices for social change in Turkey with an emphasis on social and economic justice, gender equality, sexual rights, cultural and political recognition, and ecologic sustainability from a critical historical perspective. Her recent archival work as part of the RIT Collective Memory includes the press archive of Devrimci Yol, one of Turkey’s largest political movements in the 70s. Eylem is also a member of Çocuklarız Bir Aradayız initiative – a group working towards building a collective memory of 1980 Coup D’État in Turkey.

Geraldo Jay Scala (2015)

Geraldo Jay Scala is currently a freelance musician, writer, and aspiring oral historian. He has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Philosophy from Columbia University. Geraldo recently finished a master’s degree at New York University’s Draper Program in Humanities and Social Thought in August 2015.

Geraldo’s recent master’s thesis is entitled, “Socially Inclusive Approaches to Addiction: The Stories of Sanitation Workers in Recovery.” In coordination with Dr. Robin Nagle (Director of the Department of Humanities and Social Thought and Resident Anthropologist for the New York City Department of Sanitation), Geraldo’s oral history project juxtaposes the stories of two sanitation workers who have struggled with substance abuse issues with the story of a heroin addict unaffiliated with the Department of Sanitation. Geraldo contends that the aforementioned personal stories reveal how trauma, social ties, usefulness, purpose, and personal responsibility all contribute to the ways individuals experience addiction and recovery. Addicts are only addicts in relation to a whole system of symbolic rules and obligations.

Geraldo’s research interests include continental philosophy, political economy, phenomenology, existentialism, ethnography, urban anthropology, oral history, social exclusion, and substance abuse. His geographic focus is on the continental United States, particularly inner cities and suburbia.

Christina Pae (2015)

Christina Pae joins OHMA after almost twenty years as a corporate lawyer, intermingled with several forays in the food industry. In her prior lives, she worked at some of the largest financial institutions in the world, a Michelin 3-star restaurant, and a cheese cave in Long Island City.

 

Christina received her A.B. in Russian Studies from Brown University and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. She is particularly interested in stories about Koreans of her parents’ generation, who emigrated after the Korean War.

 

Bud Kliment (2015)

A native of Philadelphia and a graduate of Columbia College, Bud Kliment is a Deputy Administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes, helping to organize and oversee the annual awards in journalism, books, drama, and music. He has also worked regularly as a freelance writer, specializing in music and the other performing arts.

Bud has published young adult biographies of Count Basie, Billie Holiday, and Ella Fitzgerald, along with travel guides, cookbooks, and museum labels. He wrote a radio series for BBC World Service that used Motown songs to help teach English. In a younger incarnation, he ran a record store.

Bud is very pleased to be joining the OHMA program and returning to a Columbia classroom. He hopes to learn how to use oral history techniques to record and preserve cultural and artistic activities that are essentially ephemeral and collaborative, and also how to manage oral history projects.