Apr. 2: Stories I Skipped: Narratives of Care, Narratives of War

It was precisely because Portelli skipped these stories in transcribing that he began to wonder whether there was a relationship between the stories men tell about being in the service and the stories women tell about taking care of relatives in the hospital. In this workshop, Portelli will analyze these war and hospital stories, finding new meaning in what had seemed to be the leftovers of the oral history process.

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Apr. 16: Listening With the Whole Body in Mind Feminist Oral History Project

“Listening With the Whole Body in Mind” uses oral history to document the experiences of women living with disabilities to significantly broaden the historical record, particularly in the context of two full decades of presumed progress under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In this workshop, we will look at portions of interviews and discuss questions and issues that arise ethically, practically and politically in engaging in a practice of deeply embodied interviewing.

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Apr. 30: Digital Storytelling as Narrative Shock: New Views on Young Parenting Latinas, Migration, and Family

This presentation draws on “Hear Our Stories,” a collaboration with the Center for Digital Storytelling that uses new media to reveal how diasporic youth experience and negotiate sexual health disparities. We prioritize uprooted young parenting Latinas, whose material conditions and cultural worlds have placed them in tenuous positions, both socially constructed and experientially embodied.

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May 13: Forging Collaboration and Continuity: A Conversation between Oral History and Narrative Medicine

Please join us on Wednesday, May 13, for an end-of-the-year roundtable discussion between the Narrative Medicine and Oral History departments. The session will be held in Lewisohn Hall 212A from 6 PM - 8 PM. Please RSVP to jcc2268@columbia.edu if you plan to attend.

Forging Collaboration and Continuity: A Conversation between Oral History and Narrative Medicine

Sharing themes of storytelling and listening, the disciplines of Narrative Medicine and Oral History have a long history of collaboration. As more students cross-register and interdisciplinary ties continue to be strengthened, this roundtable discussion hopes to delve deeper into the intersectionality and collaborative potential of these fields. Jonathan Chou (Narrative Medicine ’15) and Cameron Vanderscoff (Oral History ’15) will co-facilitate, beginning with a review of the disciplines’ theoretical links as well as past moments of collaboration. Erica Fugger (Oral History '14) will discuss the ways in which the Oral History program has structurally enhanced support systems and networks for its graduates. All students, alumni, and faculty are invited to discuss how collaboration can be continued into the next year.

What can narrative medicine learn from the practice of oral history? How can oral history interviewing be enhanced through a study of narrative medicine? How can the two graduate programs work together on an institutional level? What kinds of projects are possible together?

 

This event is co-sponsored by the Critical Narrative Medicine Alliance and the Columbia Oral History Alumni Association. 

Nov. 13: Oral History and Intellectual Disability: Navigating Authority, Authorship and Advocacy

Thursday, November 13, 2014

6-8 PM

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

Read current OHMA students Nicole JeanBaptiste's 
and Dong Kue Lee's reflections on this talk.

“Nothing About Us Without Us,” a slogan of the disability rights movement, echoes the ethos of oral history, when we strive to “know with” rather than “know about” the communities whose narratives we record, preserve, interpret and share. In this session, Nicki Pombier Berger will discuss the work she did for her OHMA thesis, a multimedia collection of stories from self-advocates with Down syndrome. She will highlight how the principles and practice of oral history were affirmed, challenged and enriched along the way: from working to share authority in the project design and beyond, attending to power dynamics within the interview, and endeavoring to establish ethical partnerships in the editorial process. Nicki conceived of this application of oral history as a kind of advocacy, and continues to do so in ongoing collaborations with some of her interviewees. Individuals with intellectual disabilities have not only been historically marginalized in broader society but have been largely overlooked by oral history. What can we learn by doing the work of truly listening to people with intellectual disabilities? By sharing where she has struggled and what she has learned so far, Nicki hopes to demonstrate that individuals with Down syndrome are the expert authors of their own perspectives and experiences, and that by paying attention to how we listen, we might expand our capacity to hear people who have long gone un- or misheard.  

Nicki Pombier Berger is an oral historian whose work focuses on intellectual disability. A 2013 graduate of the Oral History Master of Arts program at Columbia University, the centerpiece of her thesis is an online collection of stories from self-advocates with Down syndrome entitledNothing About Us Without Us. She is currently a community partner on Visionary Voices/A Fierce Kind of Love, an oral history-based civic dialogue project on the intellectual disability movement in Pennsylvania. She is also the project lead on the Toward Independent Living and Learning (TILL) Living Legacy Project, which preserves and shares the family histories of individuals with intellectual disabilities supported by TILL. In 2012-2013, she was a graduate fellow in the Future of Disability Studies Group at the Center for the Study of Social Difference at Columbia University. She received her MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College in 2009, and her Bachelor of Science in the Foreign Service from Georgetown University in 2001.

Commentator: Rachel Adams, Professor of English and American Studies, Columbia University

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

Nov. 6: Can the Oral Historian Speak?

Brian Purnell   is Associate Professor of Africana Studies and History at Bowdoin College. He is the author of Fighting Jim Crow in the County of Kings: The Congress of Racial Equality in Brooklyn (Kentucky, 2013), which won the New York State Historical Association Manuscript Prize in 2012. He has worked on several public history projects with the Brooklyn Historical Society, the Bronx County Historical Society, the Brooklyn Public Library and the University of South Carolina. Before joining the faculty at Bowdoin, he worked for six years at Fordham University as Research Director of the Bronx African American History Project and as an Assistant Professor of African American Studies (2006-2010). He lives in Brunswick, Maine, with his wife Leana and their four children and is currently working on two books: an oral history autobiography of Jitu Weusi (Leslie Campbell) and a history of community development corporations since the mid-1960s.

Brian Purnell is Associate Professor of Africana Studies and History at Bowdoin College. He is the author of Fighting Jim Crow in the County of Kings: The Congress of Racial Equality in Brooklyn (Kentucky, 2013), which won the New York State Historical Association Manuscript Prize in 2012. He has worked on several public history projects with the Brooklyn Historical Society, the Bronx County Historical Society, the Brooklyn Public Library and the University of South Carolina. Before joining the faculty at Bowdoin, he worked for six years at Fordham University as Research Director of the Bronx African American History Project and as an Assistant Professor of African American Studies (2006-2010). He lives in Brunswick, Maine, with his wife Leana and their four children and is currently working on two books: an oral history autobiography of Jitu Weusi (Leslie Campbell) and a history of community development corporations since the mid-1960s.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

6-8 PM

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

OHMA students reflect on this talk: 
Read Steven Palmer's reflection and
Bill Smith's reflection.

As oral historians, we spend a great deal of time listening, recording, writing, editing and - - speaking. We actually speak a lot. But rarely do our words become part of the final products – the books, the articles, the digital videos, the websites, the exhibits – that our dialogues with subjects help create. This presentation’s title references Gayatri Spivak’s classic essay, “Can the Subaltern Speak?” because the tendency to silence oral historians’ voices, and to some degree, to dismiss oral history methodology itself, stems from power-infused understandings of what makes authentic knowledge, historical objectivity, and narrative authority. This presentation explores questions about when and where oral historians should enter products of oral history. Is the best use of oral history one in which an oral historian seems to disappear from the dialogue? If so, why? If not, when, should, or can, the oral historian speak?

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

Oct. 16: Narrative Humility: Medical Listening and Oral History

Originally trained in pediatrics and public health,    Sayantani DasGupta   , MD MPH is faculty in the Master's Program in Narrative Medicine and co-chair of the University Seminar in Narrative, Health and Social Justice, both at Columbia University. She also teaches in the Graduate Program in Health Advocacy at Sarah Lawrence College and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society's Medicine, Literature and Society track at Columbia. She is the co-author of The Demon Slayers and Other Stories: Bengali Folktales (Interlink, 1995), the author of a memoir about medical school, and co-editor of Stories of Illness and Healing: Women Write their Bodies (Kent State, 2007) andGlobalization and Transnational Surrogacy in India: Outsourcing Life (Lexington Books, 2014). Her creative and academic work has been published in diverse places including Ms., Z. Magazine, JAMA, The Hasting’s Center Report, The Lancet and Literary Mama, and included in such collections as Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire (South End Press, 1999), Fifty Shades of Feminism (Virago, 2013), Health Humanities Reader (Rutgers U Press, 2014), and the forthcoming Keywords in Disability Studies (NYU Press, forth). She also writes online in such venues as Salon, The Weeklings, Feministing, Racialicous, Adios, Barbie, The Feminist Wire, Sociological Images, and Everyday Feminism.

Originally trained in pediatrics and public health, Sayantani DasGupta, MD MPH is faculty in the Master's Program in Narrative Medicine and co-chair of the University Seminar in Narrative, Health and Social Justice, both at Columbia University. She also teaches in the Graduate Program in Health Advocacy at Sarah Lawrence College and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society's Medicine, Literature and Society track at Columbia. She is the co-author of The Demon Slayers and Other Stories: Bengali Folktales (Interlink, 1995), the author of a memoir about medical school, and co-editor of Stories of Illness and Healing: Women Write their Bodies (Kent State, 2007) andGlobalization and Transnational Surrogacy in India: Outsourcing Life (Lexington Books, 2014). Her creative and academic work has been published in diverse places including Ms., Z. Magazine, JAMA, The Hasting’s Center Report, The Lancet and Literary Mama, and included in such collections as Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire (South End Press, 1999), Fifty Shades of Feminism (Virago, 2013), Health Humanities Reader (Rutgers U Press, 2014), and the forthcoming Keywords in Disability Studies (NYU Press, forth). She also writes online in such venues as Salon, The Weeklings, Feministing, Racialicous, Adios, Barbie, The Feminist Wire, Sociological Images, and Everyday Feminism.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

6-8 PM

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

Check out OHMA students' reflections on this talk: Leyla VuralErica Wrightson, and Steven Puente.

Watch the workshop on YouTube!

Healing, teaching, learning, and listening are all fundamentally political acts. While oral historians including Alessandro Portelli have concluded that “an inter/view is …. an experiment in equality” this formulation regarding power in the listening act is no less important to the medical inter/view and the intersubjective space of the health care relationship. Narrative medicine and other health humanities practices train future clinicians to listen to individual clinical stories in ways that deepen practice, increase successful diagnosis and treatment, promote strong health care relationships, and decrease clinician burnout. However, without both a sense of narrative humility (an inward looking to our own prejudices and frames of listening) and structural competency (attention to sociopolitical structures of power) narrative medicine training risks re-creating the self-same hierarchical health care relationships that it seemingly intends to address. Oral history practices and oral history theory can help guide narrative medicine practitioners in not only listening to embodied stories, but paying attention to (and challenging) the sounds of our own power.

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