Oct. 2: A Radical Archive of Be(long)ing

Thursday, October 2, 2014

6-8 PM

Knox Hall, 606 W 122nd St., Room 509

Read current OHMA students' reflections on this talk:
Liz Hibbard Strong
and Benji de la Piedra

In this workshop, experienced public health professional Tei Okamoto will present two collaborative projects exploring the intersections of oral history and public health. Each project presents a radical archive of feelings, queerness, alternative kinships and long-term effects of and responses to public health safety nets and messaging. The AIDS Epidemic and House Music: Twenty Years of Children of Color at Church, explores how the house music scene provided an alternative space of community and healing for queers of color in the midst of the devastation of the AIDS epidemic from 1990-2000. Love and Affection: Growing Up in a Life and Time of HIV, documents the life histories of those who have lost a parent or primary caregiver to AIDS.

Tei Okamoto has reframed decades of training and learned experience working with populations that go underserved or rarely invisible in our social service “safety nets” into work that seeks to understand the interconnections between health disparities and class, race, gender, and sexuality via oral histories and film. Tei attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio and graduate school in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Human Sexuality. Tei is currently contemplating an A.A. degree in Mortuary Science and a Ph.D program in Medical Anthropology.

SPONSORS: This talk is part of the “Paul F. Lazarsfeld Lecture Series,” co-sponsored by the Columbia Center for Oral History Research (CCOHR) and the Oral History Master of Arts Program (OHMA). Support from the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE) is provided for programming that embodies late Professor Paul Lazarsfeld’s commitment to improving methodological approaches that address concerns of vital cultural and social significance.

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

THIS EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

NO REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED

Sept. 18: Seeking Witness: Voice of Witness and Building an Oral History Network

Thursday, September 18, 2014

6-8 PM

Knox Hall, 606 W 122nd St., Room 509

Check out OHMA students' reflections on this talk: Leonard Cox and Helen Gibb.

Voice of Witness is a non-profit that includes an oral history book series that explores contemporary human rights crises both in the United States and abroad. Voice of Witness titles take up to five years to complete and rely on broad networks of experts, activists, volunteers, and the dozens of individuals we interview for every book. In this talk, managing editor Luke Gerwe describes some of the strategies Voice of Witness staff and editors have used to build and maintain the network necessary to sustain oral history projects that require many years to assemble. Focus will be on the book series’ two most recent titles, Invisible Hands: Voices from the Global Economy (May 2014) and Palestine Speaks: Narratives of Life Under Occupation (November 2014). Both books presented special challenges as we navigated distances of space, communications technology, language, armed conflict, and expectations of the role and purpose of storytelling.

Luke Gerwe is an editor of fiction and non-fiction that has worked on staff or as a freelancer for small presses such as Soft Skull, Counterpoint, Milkweed, Tin House, and others. He is currently the managing editor of the Voice of Witness book series, a non-profit oral history imprint of McSweeney’s Books. In his role as managing editor, he helps title editors shape narratives, conceptualize book structure, research background material, manage contacts and resources, and generally be the one that panics most about deadlines.Voice of Witness started life in 2004 as a book imprint of McSweeney’s, founded by author Dave Eggers and physician/human rights scholar Lola Vollen. In 2008 Mimi Lok came on board as executive director & editor, and transitioned the imprint to a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit, with the mission of using oral history to illuminate contemporary human rights crises. The Voice of Witness Book Series depicts human rights injustices through the stories of the men and women who experience them. The Voice of Witness Education Program connects thousands of students and educators each year with these stories and issues through common core-aligned, oral history-based curricula and holistic educator support. To date there are thirteen titles in the Voice of Witness book series, including domestic titles that address issues such as undocumented workers in the U.S., public housing, and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, as well as international titles that address worker exploitation in the global marketplace; conflicts in Colombia, Burma, and Zimbabwe; and other human rights crises.

SPONSORS: This talk is part of the “Paul F. Lazarsfeld Lecture Series,” co-sponsored by the Columbia Center for Oral History Research (CCOHR), the Oral History Master of Arts Program (OHMA), and the University Seminar on Narrative, Health and Social Justice. Support from the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE) is provided for programming that embodies late Professor Paul Lazarsfeld’s commitment to improving methodological approaches that address concerns of vital cultural and social significance.

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

THIS EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

NO REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED

Sept. 11: Oral History Meets Dementia: A Staged Reading of the Play Timothy and Mary

Sam Robson  is a freelance oral historian and writer based in New York City. For his thesis in Columbia University’s oral history master’s program, Sam interviewed people with dementia and their family members. He used these interviews, as well as his experience with his father’s memory loss, as the basis for a collection of short stories and plays titled The Banishment of Carrots. Sam earned his BA at Carleton College, where he wrote an undergraduate thesis based on interviews with Afro-Nicaraguan Contra War veterans. Recently, Sam contributed to Frances Negrón-Muntaner’s The Latino Media Gap: A Report on the State of Latinos in U.S. Media, available  here .

Sam Robson is a freelance oral historian and writer based in New York City. For his thesis in Columbia University’s oral history master’s program, Sam interviewed people with dementia and their family members. He used these interviews, as well as his experience with his father’s memory loss, as the basis for a collection of short stories and plays titled The Banishment of Carrots. Sam earned his BA at Carleton College, where he wrote an undergraduate thesis based on interviews with Afro-Nicaraguan Contra War veterans. Recently, Sam contributed to Frances Negrón-Muntaner’s The Latino Media Gap: A Report on the State of Latinos in U.S. Media, available here.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

6-8 PM

The Faculty House at Columbia University (Seminar Room One)

Read Kate Brenner's reflection on this talk
and watch the workshop on YouTube.

This oral history workshop features a staged reading of Sam Robson’s one-act play Timothy and Mary. The play follows two New Yorkers as they review their intersecting lives in the company of an enigmatic third party. It is based on the oral histories of two people Sam interviewed for his Columbia master’s thesis, which comprises a series of short pieces that explore dementia using oral history. After the reading, Sam will discuss the process of creating the play and the ethics and dynamics of interviewing people with dementia.

Commentator: Marsha Hurst, Columbia Program in Narrative Medicine

SPONSORS: This talk is part of the “Paul F. Lazarsfeld Lecture Series,” co-sponsored by the Columbia Center for Oral History Research (CCOHR), the Oral History Master of Arts Program (OHMA), and the University Seminar on Narrative, Health and Social Justice. Support from the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE) is provided for programming that embodies late Professor Paul Lazarsfeld’s commitment to improving methodological approaches that address concerns of vital cultural and social significance.

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

THIS EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

NO REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED

Sept. 12: Personal Memories of War and Detention in Croatia from 1941 until Today: Making Private Experiences Public as a Means of Mobilizing Support and Developing Understanding

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Thursday, Sept. 12

509 Knox Hall, 606 W. 122nd St.

6:30-8:30 PM

This workshop will focus on the “Unveiling Personal Memories of War and Detention in Croatia from 1941 until the Present” project. The aim of the project is to affirm the personal memories of witnesses and protagonists of historical events and preserve them from permanent loss. Marić proposes that strengthening personal and social processes of dealing with the past is a necessary precondition for building sustainable peace and stability in Croatian society and developing a tradition of democratic values, especially human rights. In this talk she uses the work of Documenta, a human rights organization focused on dealing with the past, to ask if and how oral history can be used as a means of social change.

The project is based in a hope that revealing the suffering of one's neighbour or people from other parts of the country, especially those of different ethnic backgrounds, might stimulate debate within local communities and contribute to establishing dialogue between different social groups. The project aims to use innovative information and communication technologies in order to make these personal narratives accessible and searchable via the internet for a wide range of audiences, as well as to serve as a basis for different artistic, educational, documentary and research projects. In this talk, Marić will discuss the challenges and possibilities of presenting video testimonies to both the public and the scientific communities.

Co-sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Human Rights

Darija Marić is a sociologist who has been working at Documenta – Center for Dealing with the Past since 2009. Currently she is coordinating field research for the project “Unveiling Personal Memories on War and Detention from 1941 until today.” The project includes the creation of a collection of 400 video-recorded testimonies on a wide range of war experiences in Croatia with the use of oral history as a method to collect and open up individual memories on past traumatic events from a wide range of perspectives, including those of minorities, victims, women, war veterans, etc.  Prior to this, Ms. Marić worked in Documenta as a coordinator of consultative process in Croatia of Initiative for RECOM, the Regional Commission Tasked with Establishing the Facts about All Victims of War Crimes and Other Serious Human Rights Violations Committed on the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia from 1991-2001. She is currently a fellow in the Columbia University Institute for the Study of Human Rights Historical Dialogue and Accountability Fellowship Program.

 

 

September 26: Listening to New Orleans

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Thursday, Sept. 26

509 Knox Hall, 606 W. 122nd St.

6:30-8:30 PM

Five months after Katrina’s flood waters devastated New Orleans, director Jonathan Demme and writer Daniel Wolff arrived in the city with a camera, a notebook, and lots of advice that the big story was over. Eight years later, they continue documenting the lives of the city’s residents and volunteers. In that time, the project has resulted in two nationally screened full-length films (“New Home Movies from the Lower 9th Ward,” “I’m Carolyn Parker”), a series of TV shows that Tavis Smiley aired on PBS, and a book, “The Fight for Home: How (Parts of) New Orleans Came Back.” Mr. Wolff will discuss why they were stubborn enough to do such a thing, what the issues were and are, and how they learned to listen.

Daniel Wolff is the award-winning author of a number of non-fiction books, including “You Send Me: the Life and Times of Sam Cooke,” “How Lincoln Learned to Read,” and “The Fight for Home.” His journalism has appeared in the New York Times and the Washington Post, his poetry in the Paris Review and American Poetry Review, and he’s helped produce documentary movies including “The Agronomist” and “I’m Carolyn Parker.”

 

 

Monday, Oct. 7: Our Harsh Logic: Israeli Soldiers’ Testimonies from the Occupied Territories 2000-2010

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Monday, Oct. 7

6:30-8:30 PM

523 Butler Library

Israeli soldiers, the young men and women in the army, know the truth of the occupation better than anyone—they are the people who carry it out. Now, in a monumental book of collective testimony, OUR HARSH LOGIC: Israeli Soldiers’ Testimonies from the Occupied Territories, 2000-2010 the soldiers speak out and demand to be heard. The Israel Defense Force (IDF) is still held by many to be “the most moral army in the world,” and its actions in the Occupied Territories are—it claims—first and foremost aimed at protecting the country from terror. But the soldiers themselves tell a different story. Talking frankly about what they did, what they were told to do, and what they saw, these young Israelis draw a broad and powerful portrait of an ostensibly defensive military program that in fact serves an offensive agenda. As the soldiers show in vivid and immediate detail, even the key terms of IDF policy—“preventing terror,” “separating populations,” “preserving normal Palestinian life,” and “law enforcement”— in fact mean precisely the opposite on the ground, spreading fear and subjugation, accelerating Jewish settlement and the acquisition of Palestinian land, crippling all political and social life, and ultimately thwarting any possibility of independence.

Co-sponsored by the Middle East Institute

Avner Gvaryahu was born and raised in a religious Zionist family in central Israel. He joined the IDF as a paratrooper in 2004 and served as a sniper team sergeant in a special operations unit, mainly around Nablus and Jenin. After his discharge, Avner became involved with Breaking the Silence firstly as a researcher but later as Diaspora Activities Coordinator. Avner holds a Master of Social Work from Tel Aviv University and lives in Tel Aviv with his wife.   BREAKING THE SILENCE was established in Jerusalem in 2004 by Israel Defense Forces veterans who have served since the beginning of the Second Intifada and have taken it on themselves to expose the public to the realities of everyday life in the occupied territories. They have collected over 800 testimonies to date.

 

 

October 24: From Storytelling to Storyweaving: Muriel Miguel, A Retrospective

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Thursday, Oct. 24

6:30-8:30 PM

509 Knox Hall, 

606 W. 122nd St.

Muriel Miguel, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of New York's Spiderwoman Theater, talks about her fascinating journey from the Indigenous community of 1940's Brooklyn to her pioneering contributions to the current feminist and Indigenous theater movements in the United States, Canada and around the world. Experience her extraordinary life and work through photos and video from the last 50 years. Miguel will discuss the development of her Storyweaving methodology, which combines storytelling and performance to bridge the gaps between the epic, the personal, the everyday and the ritual.

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Muriel Miguel (Kuna/Rappahannock) is a director, choreographer and actor. She has created one woman shows-Hot 'N' Soft, Trail of the Otter and most recently Red Mother which premiered at La MaMa in 2010. Muriel was an Assistant Professor of Drama at Bard College. She is an instructor of Indigenous Performance at the Centre for Indigenous Theatre (CIT) in Toronto and Program Director for CIT’s Summer Intensive and is a pioneer in the development of an Indigenous performance methodology

 

November 7: High Rise Stories from Voice of Witness

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Thursday, November 7

6:30-8:30 PM

509 Knox Hall, 606 W. 122nd St.

In the gripping first-person accounts of High Rise Stories, former residents of Chicago’s iconic public housing projects describe life in the now-demolished high rises. These stories of community, displacement, and poverty in the wake of gentrification give voice to those who have long been ignored, but whose hopes and struggles exist firmly at the heart of our national identity. In this workshop, Petty will discuss the process of collecting, curating, and editing this collection of narratives, as well as challenging the conventional narrative of public housing residents to create a people's history of public housing in Chicago.

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Audrey Petty is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A Ford Foundation grantee, her work has been featured in Colorlines, StoryQuarterly, and Saveur, among many others.

 

Nov. 14: OHMA Open House

Please join us for an open house for the Oral History MA Program at Columbia University

RSVP http://ohmaopenhouse.eventbrite.com/ 

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When: Thursday, November 14, 6-7:30 PM

Where: 509 Knox Hall, 606 W. 122nd Street

What:

  • Information session

  • Meet OHMA students and alums

  • Mini-interviewing workshop, taught by Columbia Center for Oral History Director Mary Marshall Clark.

    Refreshments will be served.

    OHMA is the first program of its kind: a one-year interdisciplinary Master of Arts degree training students in oral history method and theory. Our graduates work in museums, historical societies, advocacy organizations, media, the arts, education, human rights and development. OHMA is also excellent preparation for doctoral work in fields like anthropology, history, journalism, and American studies or professional degrees in law, education, or social work.  

    Join us to find out more!  

     

     

 

 

 

Jan 30: OHMA Open House

RSVP here.

When: January 30, 6:00-7:30 PM 

Where: 509 Knox Hall, 606 W. 122nd Street

What:

  • Information session

  • Meet OHMA students and alums

  • Mini-interviewing workshop, taught by Columbia Center for Oral History Director Mary Marshall Clark and Associate Director Amy Starecheski

    Refreshments will be served.

    OHMA is the first program of its kind: a one-year interdisciplinary Master of Arts degree training students in oral history method and theory. Our graduates work in museums, historical societies, advocacy organizations, media, the arts, education, human rights and development. OHMA is also excellent preparation for doctoral work in fields like anthropology, history, journalism, and American studies or professional degrees in law, education, or social work.  

    Join us to find out more!  RSVP here.

     

     

 

 

November 21: The Eros of Oral History

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Thursday, November 21

509 Knox Hall, 606 W. 122nd St.

6:30-8:30 PM

Co-sponsored by the Columbia School of the Arts and the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Lecture Series.

Praxis requires integration of theory with practice; even better, the erasure of theory bracketed as “theory” and practice bracketed separately as “practice.” Rather, each is intertwined with the other like a moebius strip upon which one slides precariously but joyously ‘round and ‘round. Embodied practices, not limited to virtuoso artistic expression such as dance, but play, prayer, grating carrots; birthing, caring for the sick, dying; fixing an engine, riding a bicycle, and juggling can enter into the historical record as valid expressions of living and as another form of historical agency.  I suggest that movement quickens theory; theory is carried, balanced and enacted by bodies throughout our lifetimes. Movement is the erotics of life, enacted through theory.  How does recording a dialog, in the form of oral history interviews, reflect, refract and enact these erotics? Where can one find movement in the core of interviewing practice?  Can this exploration of movement emerge into a philosophy, a poetics, an aesthetic of oral history?

Jeff Friedman (Ph.D., University of California-Riverside) is Associate Professor of Dance Studies at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.  Jeff is also the founder and senior editor for Legacy Oral History Program at the San Francisco Museum of Performance & Design, now celebrating its 25th year of service to the Bay Area performing arts communities. He has recorded, edited, and mentored the production of over 100 oral histories of artists, educators, and administrators in dance, music and theater. His publications include book chapters in Sounds and Gestures of Recollection (Routledge); Bodies of Evidence: The Practice of Queer Oral History (Oxford), The Oral History Handbook (Altamira), Are A Hundred Objects Enough to Document the Dance? (University of Leipzig), and History, Memory, Performance (forthcoming, Palgrave). Jeff has been a working dancer and choreographer since 1977, touring nationally and internationally with the Oberlin Dance Collective and as LOCUS Solo Dance, with a particular interest in oral history-based performance works.

 

 

 

Feb. 6: Listening to Central Park North, Making Oral History Tangible

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Thursday, Feb. 6

6-8PM 

509 Knox Hall, 606 W. 122nd St.

Co-sponsored by the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation

The workshop “Listening to Central Park North” will present the outcome of an interactive oral history project on New York City's Central Park North, a neighborhood central to understanding Manhattan’s cultural geography yet often placed in the periphery of its history. To convey the visuality of memories captured in the audio interviews, Chung combined traditional oral history methods with new media technology to produce an interactive web-exhibit and a pop-up installation. In this workshop, Chung will discuss both the potentials and challenges of using new media technologies in conducting and sharing oral history projects. Mabel O. Wilson, Chung's project advisor and Columbia University Associate Professor of Architecture, Planning and Preservation will provide additional commentary on the intersection of oral history and visual cultural studies.

Sewon Christina Chung is a new media artist and oral historian based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her audiovisual works investigate themes of transnational identity and migration, as well as urban environments and visual memory. Chung received her B.A. in Sociology and Literary & Cultural Studies from the College of William and Mary in 2009. She is a recent graduate of the Oral History Master of Arts Program at Columbia University.

This event is free and open to the public and is part of the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Lecture Series.

 

Feb 20: Monastic Silence and a Visual Dialogue

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6-8 PM

509 Knox Hall, 606 W. 122nd St.

Co-sponsors: 
Institute for Art, Religion, and Social

Poor Clare Colettine nuns follow an ancient order. As members of one of the strictest religious communities in existence, they make vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, and enclosure. For more than eight years, Abbie Reese has been granted rare and continued access to conduct oral history interviews and make photographs with a community of Poor Clare Colettine nuns at the Corpus Christi Monastery in Rockford, Illinois.

A metal grille separates the enclosure from the outside world. This symbolic and literal separation enables the nuns to focus on their mission – to pray for humanity. Following an 800-year-old religious rule, the Poor Clare nuns observe the Liturgy of the Hours; they pray seven times a day, including at midnight. Each day oscillates between manual labor, prayer, meals, and sleep. Family members of the Poor Clare nuns are allowed up to four visits each year. One nun’s great-niece, when she was four years old, described her trips to the monastery as trips to “the Jesus cage.” The nuns, who find this description amusing, make a distinction: The enclosure, rather than restricting them, offers freedom; the grille keeps the world out. 

During this book talk about Dedicated to God: An Oral History of Cloistered NunsAbbie will talk about the process – the negotiations and the exchanges – entailed in this long-term oral history and photography project with an enclosed community that values anonymity and whose members observe monastic silence. Abbie will also show some footage of a collaborative ethnographic and documentary film that will form a portrait of a young woman – Heather/Sister Amata, the newest member of the community; this film-in-progress will focus on the liminal phase that is the process of becoming

Abbie Reese is an independent scholar and interdisciplinary artist who utilizes oral history and ethnographic methodologies to explore individual and cultural identity. She is the author of Dedicated to God: An Oral History of Cloistered Nuns (Oxford University Press, 2013), and she is working on a collaborative documentary, Chosen: Suspension of Belief in the Jesus Cage. Abbie received an MFA in visual arts from the University of Chicago and was a fellow at the Columbia University Oral History Research Office Summer Institute. Her multimedia exhibit, Erased from the Landscape: The Hidden Lives of Cloistered Nuns, has been shown in galleries and museums and she has presented her work at academic conferences internationally.

This event is free and open to the public and is part of the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Lecture Series.

March 6: Oral History at the Crossroads: Sharing Authority in Practice in Project-Based Research

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

509 Knox Hall, 606 W. 122nd St.

6-8PM

Co-sponsor: Institute for the Study of Human Rights 

For the past seven years, Steven High has been principal investigator of the Montreal Life Stories project (www.lifestoriesmontreal.ca ), a major community-university research alliance recording the life stories of Montrealers displaced by war, genocide and other human rights violations. These stories were then integrated into online digital stories, radio programming, audio walks, art and museum exhibitions, animated film, pedagogical materials, and so on. This talk will reflect on the ways in which the project sought to extend the notion of “sharing authority” from the interview outward to subsequent stages of the research process. As we all know, who is in the conversation matters.

 

Steven High is Canada Research Chair in Oral History and serves as co-director of Concordia University’s Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling. He is the author of a number of books and articles that reflect on oral history methodology and ethics in an era of multi-media authorship and collaborative practice. Most recently, he has co-edited with Ted Little and Ry Duong, Remembering Mass Violence: Oral History, New Media and Performance (to be released in December 2013) and a monograph entitled Oral History at the Crossroads: Working with Survivors of War and Genocide (to be released in March or April 2014).

This event is free and open to the public and is part of the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Lecture Series.

 

March 27: Decentering Authority: Building a Collaborative Oral History of Mixed-Heritage Families in Brooklyn (and getting comfortable talking about race)

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6-8 PM

509 Knox Hall, 606 W. 122nd St.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Study of Race and Ethnicity 

Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations (cbbg.brooklynhistory.org) is an oral history project exploring the history and experiences of mixed-heritage people and families. Through sharing stories, we open up intergenerational conversations about preserving cultural heritage in a multicultural democracy. These conversations historicize our understanding of concepts like race, ethnicity, and nationality.  Inspired by feminist methodology and participatory action research, CBBG is designed to be responsive to the concentric conversations happening among narrators, interviewers, archivists, and the public programming audience, as well as resonating scholarship, activism, and media.  Sady Sullivan will share the strengths and challenges of CBBG's experimental project design and the pleasures of hosting forums where people practice talking about race/ethnicity (and intersecting identities) together.

Sady Sullivan is Director of Oral History at Brooklyn Historical Society where she manages new oral history projects as well as preservation of BHS's oral history collections dating back to 1973.  In addition, Sady works with curators and educators at BHS to produce audio for exhibitions, walking tours, and K-12 curricula.  Her work is influenced by the Buddhist practice of deep listening, and formative experiences at two feminist institutions: The Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies and Babeland.  Sady has radio experience, both pre- and post- podcast era, and Chuck D once said she did a good job on the 1s and 2s.  Sady received an MA in Cultural Reporting & Criticism from NYU and a BA in Psychology and Women's Studies from Wellesley College. 

This event is free and open to the public and is part of the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Lecture Series.

April 1: Living Archives. Continuity and Innovation in the Art of Memory

6-8 PM

509 Knox Hall, 606 W. 122nd St.

The term “living archives” was at the center of a debate on the purpose and method of oral history in the 1970s, concerning particularly the nature of the interview and the relationship between the past and the present. The first part of the talk will deal with the implications of this debate and with the changes in the meaning of “living archives” that took place in the following decades until the present, especially in the light of the history of the senses. A second part of the talk will focus on the complementary nature of oral and visual memory, including notes from the fieldwork of the ongoing research project directed by the speaker, “Bodies Across Borders. Oral and Visual Memory in Europe and Beyond” (sponsored by the European Research Council). Examples of forms of visual memory will be shown and commented, within the framework of the concept of intersubjectivity understood as intercorporeality.

Luisa Passerini is Part-time Professor at the European University Institute, Florence, Italy; Visiting Professor at Columbia University, NY, NY; former Professor of Cultural History from the University of Turin, Italy; and Principal Investigator of the European Research Council Project "Bodies Across Borders. Oral and Visual Memory in Europe and Beyond.” Among her recent books: Women and Men in Love. European Identities in the Twentieth Century (2012); Sogno di Europa (2009); Memory and Utopia. The primacy of Intersubjectivity (2007); Europe in Love, Love in Europe (1999); Autobiography of a Generation. Italy 1968, (1996); Fascism in Popular Memory (1987).

 

April 24: Lost Neighborhood: Making Oral History Central in a Museum Exhibition

Ville de Montréal Archives, VM94,SY,SS1,SSS15,U124-002

Ville de Montréal Archives, VM94,SY,SS1,SSS15,U124-002

6-8 PM

509 Knox Hall, 606 W. 122nd Street

Co-sponsored by the Department of Museum Anthropology 

Like other North American cities during the 1950s up to the 1970s, Montreal was transformed by major urban renewal projects. A modern city emerged, but only through the expropriation and displacement of more than 25,000 people from older inner-city neighbourhoods. In June 2011, the Centre d’histoire de Montréal (CHM) launched its new temporary exhibition: Lost Neighbourhoods. The idea: bring back to life three working-class neighbourhoods and explain their disappearance. The objective: have the individuals who went through the events tell the story. The result: A new museum approach where oral histories are the primary sources and videotaped interviews, the main artifacts. For the first time, former residents who were uprooted had a public voice and told their stories, while planners active during the events and present-day experts explained the issues of the period and evaluated their legacy. The presentation will explore how the CHM has responded to the curatorial challenges of creating a museum exhibition based mainly on testimonies and how it has worked with documentary specialists to create a unique and engaging way to present the human story behind a critical moment in a city’s history.

 

Catherine Charlebois has been the curator of exhibition and collection at the Centre d’histoire de Montréal (Montreal’s History Center) since 2009. There she coordinated two award winning exhibitions: The Habitations Jeanne-Mance, 50 years of Histories which, using personal testimonies, retraced the history of one the most important public housing project in Montreal and Lost Neighbourhoods. Prior to this, Ms. Charlebois worked at the McCord Museum of Canadian History as an educational coordinator and at the Museum Village (Monroe, NY) as a curator. She is an alumna of the Cooperstown Graduate Program from which she received her MA in History Museum Studies in 2000.

This event is free and open to the public and is part of the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Lecture Series.

MAY 1&2: OHMA 5th Anniversary Conference: Oral History and Our Times

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Please join us for a two-day conference exploring the role of oral history in documenting, disseminating and educating students and the public about the central events and concerns of our times — such as the rule of law in America and impact of U.S. detention and rendition policies over the last decade. 

The second day of the conference will focus on the impact of Columbia’s path-breaking Oral History Master of Arts program [OHMA], the first program of its kind in the US, now in its fifth year. The programming will open with lunchtime interactive oral history workshops taught by OHMA students and alumni, free to the public. In the afternoon we will host a series of dialogues between OHMA alumni and faculty, engaging the ways in which oral history research is bridging disciplinary divides and intervening in the intellectual questions of our times.  The day will close with a wine and cheese reception and a multimedia oral history showcase of current thesis work.

Click here to download the full conference program.

OHMA Event Schedule:

12:15-1:45 Free, public lunchtime workshops: Oral History and Psychotherapy, Designing Oral History Projects, and Stories Beyond Digital Tools. Register here to reserve a spot! 

Buell Hall, where the conference will be held

Buell Hall, where the conference will be held

2-4PM Plenary: Oral History Dialogues, with introductory remarks on oral history and interdisciplinarity by Peter Bearman

  • Intersubjectivity in Oral History, Social Work, and Psychology    

OHMA alum Lauren Taylor’s work on her thesis, “Older Women Look Back on Romantic Love: Nostalgia, Idealization, and Imagination,” grew from a complicated intersubjective process in which her own experiences of aging and romantic love fed and shaped her research. In this conversation Taylor, a psychiatric social worker and adjunct professor at the Columbia School of Social work, will discuss how intersubjectivity is conceptualized in oral history, social work, and psychology with Columbia Center for Oral History Director Mary Marshall Clark.

  • Oral History, Environmental Studies, and Community    

Shanna Farrell's OHMA thesis work, "At the Bend: Voices from the Hudson River," focused on how water pollution has, or has not, affected people living along the Hudson. This work was presented as an interactive exhibition at Ossining Public Library in Westchester, New York. In conversation with anthropologist Robin Nagle, Farrell will discuss how oral history is able to add layers of depth and understanding to environmental studies and provide new or alternative perspectives on the intersection of community and environmental degradation. 

  • Oral History, Art Criticism, and Contested Memory

In conversation with Art Historian and Director of Programs at the Judd Foundation Michele Saliola, OHMA alum Jeanmarie Theobalds will discuss what role oral history played in the restoration of 101 Spring Street, a historic 1870 cast-iron building and the former home and studio of artist Donald Judd (1928-1994) and how they are using oral history in the public programing when 101 Spring Street opens. Using this case, they will discuss how oral history and art criticism deal with the complexities of contested memory and make meaning around art.

4:30-6PM Multimedia Oral History Showcase and Reception

Please join us for this multimedia showcase of current Oral History MA student thesis work in video, audio, online and edible forms. Celebrate OHMA's 5th Anniversary and our graduating students with us at a wine and cheese reception while exploring our students' work via interactive stations.

Reem Aboukhater, Pursuing Happiness in Urban Society

Nicki Pombier-Berger, About Us.

Ellen Brooks, Stories of the Skin

Sewon Chung, Listening to Central Park North: An Interactive Oral History Mapping Project

Ellen Coon, Mha Puja

Hana Crawford, How I Learned to Act: An Oral History of Social Performance

Erica Fugger, Sangha Stories: Tales of Engaged Buddhism from the Upper West Side

Miriam Laytner, Brooklyn Storytellers

Kyana Moghadam, A Country Between

Sam Robson, Conversations with Very Forgetful People

Maye Saephanh, A Guerilla's Journey

Elisabeth Sydor, I. Love. America.

Sara Wolcott, Apagie Musha Oral History Project

Support generously provided by the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Endowment.