In this post, OHMA student Dian Zi (2018) reflects on how oral history collects details of the organic truth of a public figure’s life through Mary Marshall Clark and Sara Sinclair’s presentation on the Robert Rauschenberg Oral History Project.
In this piece Alissa Funderburk discusses a challenge faced by writers of color as proposed by author and radio journalist Daniel Alarcón in his March 8th talk How to Listen, part of the OHMA workshop series, Oral History and the Arts.
On April 5th, Nicki Pombier Berger and Liza Zapol delighted us with an interactive, participatory workshop on creativity and the interview. In this blog post, Shira Hudson reflects on the relationship between the interviewer, narrator, and audience and how oral history can be viewed as performative.
Current OHMA student Kyna Patel (cohort of 2017) reflects upon the challenges and collaborative nature of oral history highlighted by Sara Sinclair and Mary Marshall Clark in the Robert Rauschenberg Oral History Project.
Daniel Alarcon is a guide, leading us into rich, intimate places that remain in our memory long after he shares them. It isn’t only the beautifully written stories that he tells, or his truth that is to be found within them. It is his ability to listen to and to convey the humanity of the people in his stories that inspired my own connection to them
In this post, current OHMA student Yiyi Zhang reflects on the power of listening through Luis Sotelo’s talk on Performing Listening in the Context of Memorial Audio Walks.
Luis C. Sotelo Castro is Canada Research Chair in Oral History Performance and Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre at Concordia University, Montreal (Quebec, Canada). In his current creation-research, he investigates modes of listening in the context of oral history performance and, more broadly, in the context of performances of memory.
In this post, OHMA student Samantha Lombard (2018) reflects on Jennifer Egan’s Workshop, Jennifer Egan: The Novelist As Oral Historian, in which she discussed, among other topics, the challenges of writing about feminism from a historical perspective using oral history interviews.
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.”