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 response to Fernanda Espinosa’s November 29 talk, “Words Transmitted; Worlds Apart,” current OHMA student Anne Cardenas discusses the Andean Oral History Workshop and the collaboration process between oral historians and our narrators.
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.
Current 2018 Oral History student Kim-Hee Wong explores the world of archives in reflection of a talk presented by Maria Cotera in the OHMA workshop series, Oral History and the Future: Archives and Embodied Memory.
In the first workshop of this year’s series, Maria Cotera spoke about her work with students within the academy to create an interactive archive decidedly outside of the bounds of the academy. In this piece Valerie Fendt wonders aloud what the future relationship might be between institutions of learning and a pedagogy built up from outside them.
In this piece, current OHMA student Rebecca Kiil reflects on her role as oral historian in relationship to her narrators, after attending Maria Cotera’s recent talk, “Pan Dulce”— the first in Columbia University Oral History Master of Arts (OHMA’s) Fall 2018 workshop series: Oral History and the Future: Archives and Embodied Memory.
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 post, Desmond Austin-Miller, a graduate of Columbia University’s Oral History MA Program describes lessons learned through his time interning at the Tenement Museum during the Fall of 2017 and Spring of 2018.
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.