Current OHMA student Anne Cardenas discusses Patrick Raden Keefe’s book, Say Nothing, and issues of security in oral history and journalism, inspired by Dr. Sam Redman’s April 4 workshop “Oral History and Archives: Voice, Storytelling, and Narrative in Historical Research.”
In this reflection on Dr. Lorina Barker’s recent lecture at OHMA, Wikipedia Fellow and Wikimedian-In-Residence Darold Cuba explores how scholars and academics can decolonize and indigenize public spaces through scholarship, exemplified by new wiki initiatives incubated at the Columbia University Libraries, WikiHMCi & WikiHBCU/DIO.
Listen to the audio story below to hear how Times Square “shined like diamonds” to an immigrant seeing it for the first-time in the late 1940’s. OHMA student Christina Barba takes excerpts from oral histories to create an audio vignette about memory, culture and the joy of discovery in New York City.
During the OHMA Workshop , “Say It Forward: Art and Social Justice,” Lauren Taylor LCSW discussed her chapter, “Resilience: Elders in East Harlem,” reflecting on how her experience as a psychiatric social worker has both helped and hindered her practice as an oral historian. In this post, Caroline Offit explores the ways these roles interact: How do we think carefully about our narrator’s needs while being conscious of our own position and influence on an interview, as well as potentially evaluative or diagnostic language? How do we remain sensitive to the possible meanings that a narrator attaches to their words and how we personally interpret their words?
Lauren Taylor, Dao X. Tran, and Cliff Mayotte’s talk about Say It Forward: Art and Social Justice posed the question: How can we preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world?
OHMA alum Ellen Coon’s thesis on Newari women and divinity uses transcripts from the 1980s of Coon’s interviews with Newar midwife, Dil Maya Aji. Fascinated by the years Coon spent translating these interviews, OHMA student Caroline Cunfer contemplates how the subjective practices of translation and oral history intersect with and complement each other.
In their reaction to possessions Nepal and Egypt are very different. Their religious and cultural interpretations influence Pyakhan; the masked dance-drama performed in Nepal and the Zar exorcism ritual performed in Egypt. Current OHMA student Nairy AbdElShafy reflects on Ellen Coon’s talk on The Mountain with Two Wives: Landscape and Embodied Memory in Kathmandu on March 7th, and our role as oral historians in documenting experiences of possessions.
“Listen to the world around you!” What do you hear? What sounds do you notice? Dr. Nishani Frazier’s presentation reminds us the importance of sounds in oral history. Music theory and philosophy teach us to value sounds that are linked with places, people, cultures, and languages.
3,636 miles. That’s how far Glasgow, Scotland and Durham, North Carolina are apart from each other. Current OHMA student Rebecca McGilveray reflects on Nishani Frazier’s recent workshop and one of the things that unites these two places – the issues surrounding displacement.
Nishani Frazier, educator, black freedom scholar, and someone unafraid to turn oral history practices on their head, recently returned to Columbia (where she earned her PhD) to discuss "The Sounds of Blackness: Space and Sound Preservation as Oral History Advocacy."
Sean Dorsey, the first acclaimed transgender contemporary dance choreographer in the US, created a trilogy of full-length dance-theater works based on the oral history interviews he conducted. Then, how did Sean turn narratives into dances? What’s his creative process? The answer is in this blog post.
For thousands of years Indigenous Pacific cultures have integrated oral traditions and dance. Kim-Hee Wong shares her experiences of practicing hula, Hawaiian dance, in response to a presentation by Sean Dorsey in the 2018-2019 OHMA workshop series, Oral History and the Future: Archives and Embodied Memory.
Canthe Wikimedia platform, tools and model help solve Oral History’s biggest problem - transcribing and digitizing the overwhelming number of unprocessed oral histories sitting in vaults around the world? Current Oral History MA student & Wikipedia Fellow (and Columbia’s first ever Wikimedian-In-Residence) Darold Cuba explores this possibility in a reflection of a Nov. 1, 2018 talk presented by Doug Boyd in the 2018 - 2019 OHMA workshop series, Oral History and the Future: Archives and Embodied Memory.
In this blog post, OHMA student Caroline Cunfer reflects on colonized ideas of history and record-keeping, and how as oral historians we can reconsider and expand our processes of memory transmission to engage in ways that are natural and meaningful to the communities we are working with.
In this post, current OHMA student Nora Waters explores the inherent creative practice of the encounter, whether it be lithography or an interview, after discovering that she has lived much of her life as a maker without a medium.
On a visit to Columbia University, author and scholar Sujatha Fernandes explored the effects of manipulating storytelling in order to achieve desired results. In this article, OHMA student Renaldo McClinton will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of curating stories through social media and other digital platforms.
In this post, current OHMA student Rebecca McGilveray explores the future of OHMS in the context of Scotland after Doug Boyd’s recent workshop, “Accelerating Change, Oral History, Innovation and Impact.”
Eileen Welsome, a journalist and author, is a first-year OHMA student who in this post examines how a digital innovation at the University of Kentucky’s Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History is making oral histories more accessible.
In response to Doug Boyd’s Nov 1 talk on Accelerating Change: Oral History, Innovation, and Impact, current OHMA student Michael Heesup Kimm reflects on how the multimedia transition has affected not only the process of conducting oral history interviews but also the way we store and disseminate such valuable recordings.
In response to Sujatha Fernandes’ talk on The Uses of Narrative in Organizing for Social Justice on October 4th, current OHMA student Nairy AbdElShafy reflects on how individuals choose to curate their own stories, when given the space and agency to do so and how this serves as a representation of their own culture and history.
What happens when you have countless hours of people’s stories, stories that you know are extremely valuable, but no one else seems to see it in that way? When you have pages and pages of journal entries, field notes, or documents describing the beautiful encounters you’ve had with individuals that are relying on you to pass on their stories, but no one seems to care? Like Eric Marcus, you might store your cassette tapes (or mp3 files) in a dark storage closet only to find that you will later use them to create something beautiful and inspirational to many.