In this post, OHMA student Holly Werner-Thomas (2017) considers the similarities and differences between the oral history biography and the traditional authored biography, and how Robert Rauschenberg's own spirit of collaboration is reflected in the Robert Rauschenberg Oral History Project.
Current OHMA student Carlin Zia shares gems from a warm-up conversation with Nyssa Chow ahead of her public presentation, “Writing and Listening for the Intersubjective Encounter,” the second event in our spring Oral History & the Arts lineup.
Nyssa Chow, alum and OHMA teaching fellow, presents on her latest work, Still.Life., an oral history project documenting the lives of the women in her family. She spoke on her experience in the U.S. as an immigrant of color and the different perceptions of skin tone here and in Trinidad.
In this post, OHMA student Yameng Xia (2017) considers Jennifer Egan’s work Manhattan Beach and the interviews Egan conducted for the book. Jennifer Egan is a Pulitzer Prize-winning fiction writer and she came to Columbia University to give a public interview on how she used an oral history approach to get raw material for her new novel, Manhattan Beach.
Julia Wolfe came to Columbia University to speak on December 7, 2017, and was interviewed live by Bud Kliment as part of the Workshop Series: Oral History and the Arts. Among other things, she spoke about her 2009 musical composition Steel Hammer that was based on the tale of John Henry and her 2014 musical composition Anthracite Fields that was a tribute to the Pennsylvania anthracite coal miners and their families.
OHMA student Desmond Austin-Miller reflects on Michael Roberson’s contribution to the Fall Workshop Series, A History of Echoes, Pt. 2: Sound of Trans Freedom and the influence Roberson left on him as a Black academic.
OHMA student Samantha Lombard (2018) reflects on E. Patrick Johnson’s theatrical representation of his narrators from oral history interviews he conducted as part of research for his book, Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South – An Oral History.
In this post, Oral History Masters Student Alissa Funderburk discusses the methodology of self-interrogation mentioned by E. Patrick Johnson, oral historian and Carlos Montezuma Professor of Performance Studies at Northwestern University, in his recent talk for the OHMA Oral History and the Arts Workshop series.
In this post, OHMA student Elyse Blennerhassett (2017) reflects on Robert Sember’s approach to sound. Born under apartheid South Africa, Sember moved to the United States in the 80s to become a prominent activist in social movements relating to health, sexual, gender, racial, and class inequalities.
In this post, OHMA student Holly Werner-Thomas (2017) considers the theme of struggle in the life and work of Robert Sember, who is an Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts at The New School’s Eugene Lang College, and a member of the international sound-art collective, Ultra-red.
Current OHMA student Carlin Zia reflects on her experience of the penultimate workshop in our fall series—Michael Roberson’s A History of Echoes, Pt. 2: Sound of Trans Freedom—and shares how the event influences her own approach to oral history.
In this post, OHMA student Lynn Lewis (2017) describes a recent workshop with Ultra-Red member Michael Roberson. Roberson is a public health practitioner, advocate, activist and leader within the LGBTQ community who created the Federation of Ballroom Houses, and co-created the National Black Gay Men's Advocacy Group.
In this post, OHMA student Yameng Xia (2017) considers Robert Sember’s work in public health and his work as an artist based on his work and an interview she conducted. Robert Sember is an Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts at the New School’s Eugene Lang College, and a member of the international sound-art collective, Ultra-red.
In this post, Rachel Unkovic, member of the 2016 cohort, talks about why oral historians have a unique role to play in amplifying and signal boosting marginalized voices to enable "history" and communal memory to be appropriately critiqued.
In this post, OHMA student Tomoko Kubota (2017) explores how we can make meaning of oral history in an era of Post-Truth. This article is the first in a three-part series exploring Dr. Luisa Passerini’s recent OHMA Workshop Series lecture, “Interviewing Artists: Intersubjectivity and Visuality.”
In this post, Robin Weinberg, member of the 2016 cohort, talks about how we, as story collectors, oral historians and engaged listeners, need to make sure we have an toolbox of techniques to take care of ourselves.
In this post OHMA student Elly Kalfus (2017-2018) discusses how Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz’s approach to designing and facilitating oral history storytelling events led her to a deeper understanding of the value of collaboration and humility.
Oral history is an art. The practice of oral history is creative -- in interviews we make narratives together with our interviewees, imagining worlds, telling stories, creating characters. Oral history can also be used to document the arts, to tell the stories of painters and dancers and actors and writers and the worlds they live in. And the arts are a powerful means to amplify and interpret oral histories, transforming them into literary narratives, building theater or music or dance performances from them, using them to create documentaries. This year, we will explore all of these many intersections of oral history and the arts, asking what unique contributions an oral history approach can make to artistic practice, and how oral history can help us to think about art and its role in the world.
In this post, current OHMA student Monica Liuting (2016) reflects how Terrell Frazier uses oral history interviews to frame personal experiences in political expressions. This article is the last in a four-part series exploring Terrell’s recent OHMA Workshop Series lecture, “Becoming an Organizer: Narrative, Identity and Social Action.”
In this piece, Nialah Edari discusses how Terrell Frazier’s work contrasts the ways in which we contextualize sociology and oral history by looking at how he applies both approaches in his assessment of the participants within his research. This article is the last in a three-part series exploring Terrell’s recent OHMA Workshop Series lecture, “Becoming an Organizer: Narrative, Identity and Social Action.”
In this post, Brian Sarfo explores how Terrell Frazier's work situates the importance of relationships and humanizing the organizer through sociology and oral history. This article is the first in a three-part series exploring Terrell Frazier’s recent OHMA Workshop Series lecture, “Becoming an Organizer: Narrative, Identity and Social Action.”