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OHA’s Response to the Violent Attacks Against Asian Americans

March 22, 2021

In light of the recent violent attacks against the Asian American community, the OHA has done several things to support our friends and neighbors. We have signed onto a statement with fellow professional societies affiliated with the American Council of Learned Societies, decrying the violence. You can find the statement here: https://acls.org/ACLS-News/ACLS-News/March-2021/ACLS-Statement-Condemning-Anti-Asian-Violence. The Council has also gathered together resources that we might rely on as we stand firm against racial injustice pitted toward Asian and Pacific Islander communities. They include:

You can also:

If you have other resources you think we should include, please contact the Executive Office at gro.y1618921509rotsi1618921509hlaro1618921509@aho1618921509. We will continue to post everything we receive on this page.

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Anti-Oppression and Oral History Spring Workshop Series

The Oral History Association is proud to partner with the Columbia Oral History Master of Arts Program to co-sponsor a spring workshop series on Anti-Oppression and Oral History. This series will consist of five virtual workshops and is a continued collaboration from the Summer 2020 Anti-Oppression Workshop Series.

“Oral history has a strong tradition as a progressive practice, focused on amplifying marginalized voices not typically given powerful platforms to speak in public. Oral historians have documented the stories of struggles for justice around the world, and at times have participated in those struggles. At the same time, as a field oral history has excluded Indigenous people and practices from the legitimacy we have so laboriously built. Leadership in our organizations and institutions has been predominantly white, even while people of color have played key roles and invested their time and energy in building these institutions.

In this series, we share visions for oral history in which people of color – their knowledge, skills, practices and voices – are at the center of our practice. This is not a diversity approach, in which our field remains white-led but invites some people of color in. It is an anti-oppression approach, in which we reorient our work to challenge structural oppression actively, expecting that that will change our work and our field in deep ways. We invite you to learn, grow, imagine and be challenged.”

Find more information here: http://oralhistory.columbia.edu/blog-posts/People/anti-oppression-and-oral-history-spring-workshop-series.

The workshops will be free to everyone, with a sliding-scale suggested donation so instructors can be fairly paid.

Series at a Glance

March 20th, 2021, 1:00 – 4:00 PM
Placing the Narrator at the Center: Design Co-Created Oral History Projects
Nairy AbdElShafy

April 23rd, 2021, 3:00 – 5:00 PM
Oral History: A Working Praxis of Critical Care and Relationship-Building Pt. 1
Crystal Mun-Hye Baik 백문혜

April 30th, 2021, 3:00 – 5:00 PM
Oral History: A Working Praxis of Critical Care and Relationship-Building Pt. 2
Crystal Mun-Hye Baik 백문혜

May 13th, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30 PM
A Public Interview with Brent Stonefish
conducted by Francine D. Spang-Willis

May 27th, 2021, 1:00 – 4:00 PM
Equity Budgeting: Budgets for Economic Justice
Sarah Dziedzic and Jess Lamar Reece Holler

*All times are listed in Eastern Standard Time

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OHA’s 2021 Annual Meeting is Virtual!

“Moving Stories”
October 2021 (Exact Dates To Be Determined)

The OHA’s Call for Proposals for the 2021 Annual Meeting is now closed.

We are writing to announce that the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Oral History Association will be virtual. Of course we mourn the opportunity to meet in person as a large group, to eat and drink and explore a new place together, but we are excited by the opportunity to plan a virtual meeting from the ground up.

Changing how we meet forces us to really think about what our meetings are for and how we structure them – we are not going to try to recreate the immersive intensity of an in-person conference, but make the most of the potential of meeting online. For example, while we all know that listening to someone read a paper in person can be less-than-engaging, on Zoom it can be even less so. We are offering a bunch of new interactive formats for sessions, from Birds of a Feather Caucuses where you can convene a conversation among attendees who share an identity or experience, to sessions for workshopping pre-circulated works in progress and satellite gatherings, where we invite you to host a socially-distanced in-person local meet-up to share a meal, take a walk, or watch a session together. We also expect that the conference may be spread over a longer period of time in October, exact dates TBD.

We anticipate that meeting virtually will make the gathering accessible to more people – we are investing in live captioning and interpretation, and hoping to welcome many newcomers who have been excluded from past meetings due to travel costs and other barriers.

We know that there may be people who can only now imagine participating in this gathering, knowing it will be virtual. For that reason we have extended the deadline on the Call for Proposals to April 1. You can find extensive instructions and tips on submitting here.

We want to hear your visions for the conference, and invite you to participate in making it happen. Here is a form to share ideas and concerns, which includes an opportunity to volunteer to join our organizing team.

So, please share this CFP widely – this is the perfect opportunity to invite friends, colleagues and neighbors into the OHA without asking them to buy a plane ticket!

Sincerely,

Amy Starecheski, OHA Vice President
Sara Sinclair and Nikki Yeboah, Program Committee Co-Chairs

PS – And we are now scheduled to meet in Cincinnati in 2024! It will 100% be worth the wait.

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Chinese and Spanish Translations of the OHA’s Principles and Best Practices Now Available!

The Principles and Best Practices Documents are now available in Spanish and Chinese! The documents are linked in the Principle and Best Practices suite of documents: https://www.oralhistory.org/principles-and-best-practices-revised-2018/.

Thank you to Denise Amparan, Administrative Assistant, and Vianey Alejandra Zavala, Manager of the University of Texas at El Paso Institute of Oral History, for completing the Spanish translation of the documents:

http://www.oralhistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/OHA-Best-Practices-Translation-to-Spanish-2020.pdf

Thank you to Lili Wang (North China Electric Power University), Xiaofan Liu and Chenxi Gu ( Communication University of China) for completing the Chinese translation of the documents. And thank you to Bin Liu (North China Electric Power University) and Xiaoyan Li (Cui Yongyuan Center for Oral History, Communication University of China) for editing the translation:

http://www.oralhistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/OHA-Principles-and-Best-Practices-Chinese-revised.pdf 

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OHA Statement on the Killing of George Floyd and Solidarity with Black Lives Matter

June 5, 2020

On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was killed by a member of the Minneapolis Police Department. Following Mr. Floyd’s death, protests and calls for change and an end to police brutality have risen throughout the United States and internationally. The Oral History Association stands in solidarity with the family of Mr. Floyd, Black Lives Matter, protestors, and communities of color, and we echo this call for change. The killing of George Floyd is not an isolated incident, but another event in a long history of state violence and brutality toward people of color in the United States—a history that predates our country itself.

Institutionalized white supremacy is a disturbingly prominent part of American history, placing barriers to economic, social, and educational equality and creating a criminal justice system which is deeply punitive towards Black Americans. Further, militarized police actions that threaten a free press and freedom of assembly have worked to create a terrible legacy of violence and suppression towards those working to change this country.

As oral historians, we understand that through the stories of people—citizens and activists—we can confront oppression and work to create an equitable and just society. In our commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and respect, and to a historical record that documents the experiences of unheard and marginalized voices, we must listen to and amplify the demands of people and communities of color. We must continue to document and expose the injustice so many have suffered for centuries, and develop new projects to expand these efforts.

In this work, it is essential we adopt anti-racist methods and practices. Further, we can and must work to address institutional racism in our institutions and our field, through developing and supporting leaders of color, providing anti-oppression training, and continually working to center the voices and experiences of those most directly impacted by oppression. People of color, whether they be colleagues, narrators, students, or patrons, must be supported and valued. Historical knowledge around police brutality and systemic racism is essential to addressing both, but Black and Brown people must have a clear, equal, and respected role in developing this knowledge.  

Many of our members have dedicated their careers to documenting stories of democratic citizen action and how these efforts can enact change. We have a responsibility to understand and celebrate these successful efforts, and to engage in this work ourselves. There are a number of ways we can support current protests and calls for justice: register to vote, sign petitions, support protestors or participate in protests ourselves, donate to groups and funds working to end police violence and systemic racism, call our legislators, and educate ourselves.

As Black Americans and those acting in allyship in our communities, states, and country engage in difficult and transformative work to end police violence and racism, work that will continue long after the current moment, we are committed to supporting them and participating, now and in the future. Black Lives Matter.

The following organizations have endorsed this statement:

Baylor University Institute for Oral History
Columbia University Oral History Master of Arts Program and
Columbia Center for Oral History Research
Oral History Archives at Columbia
Oral History in the Mid-Atlantic (OHMAR)
Texas Oral History Association (TOHA)
UNT Oral History Program
UW-Madison Oral History Program

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Highlight: OHA 2019 Diversity Scholarship Award Winner- Anahí Naranjo

Anahí Naranjo Jara is an environmental justice advocate and storyteller from Quito, Ecuador. Anahí is using oral history to highlight the resilience of communities on the frontlines of environmental and social injustices historically silenced in dominant discourses.  Her Pachamama Oral History Project “aims to elevate and center agrarian indigenous individuals in the Ecuadorian Andes to highlight the impact of climate change on the physical and cultural landscape of the region.”

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