Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.

X
  • Principles and Best Practices

    What we believe More

  • Grants & Awards

    OHA award and grant opportunities More

  • Oral History and Technology

    Information on digital technologies More

  • Jobs and Internships

    Current job postings More

OHA 2020 Annual Meeting- Public Sessions

The OHA will be livestreaming a select number of sessions from the 2020 Annual Conference, along with some of the receptions in SecondLife. See the session and access information below. All public sessions will have ASL interpretation- captions will be added to the recording after it has been made available.

Sessions

  • Black Lives Matter Uprising and Oral History: An Open Forum
    Roundtable
    Monday, October 19, 3:00 to 4:30 pm ET
    Panelists:
    Paul Ortiz, University of Florida
    Nishani Frazier, Miami UniversityTo view via YouTube, see this link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOZOT2i_gjE
  • Telling COVID’s Stories: Implications for the Field
    Roundtable
    Wednesday, October 21, 3:30 to 5:00 pm ET
    Panelists:
    Janneken Smucker, West Chester University
    Abigail Perkiss, Kean University
    Anna F. Kaplan, DC Oral History Collaborative
    Stephen Sloan, Baylor University
    Jason Kelly, Indiana University–Purdue University IndianapolisTo view via YouTube, please visit out YouTube page and subscribe to get a notification.
  • Representing Muslim American Diasporas Through Oral Histories (CANCELLED)
    Panel
    Thursday, October 22, 11:30 to 1:00 pm ET
    CANCELLED
  • Plenary with D. Watkins and Marc Steiner
    Thursday, October 22, 1:30-3:00pm ET
    The plenary will be recorded live at the Reginald Lewis Museum and broadcasted via YouTube. ASL interpretation will be provided via Zoom.To view via YouTube, please visit out YouTube page and subscribe to get a notification.To view via Zoom, with ASL interpretation, see this link: https://zoom.us/j/96563066976?pwd=R1MxdWM0NXhYYzJZMkQwK1BDNngxZz09.
  • Keynote with Joyce Scott, “In This Time of Revelation”
    Friday, October 23, 1:30-3:00pm ET
    The keynote will be recorded live at the Reginald Lewis Museum and broadcasted via YouTube. ASL interpretation will be provided via Zoom.To view via YouTube, please visit out YouTube page and subscribe to get a notification.To view on YouTube, with ASL translation, see this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rj3IMDfzuC4 
  • Plenary with Toni Tipton-Martin
    **Unfortunately this plenary was cancelled.

Receptions

  • Welcome Reception and Dance Party
    Wednesday, October 21, 6:00-8:30PM ETGrab a favorite beverage and join the OHA Diversity Committee and featured musical guest DJ James Nasty for our Welcome Reception – gone virtual in SecondLife! This reception is open to all attendees.To view via YouTube: https://youtu.be/cjCIde5gFAs.
  • Presidential Reception and Awards PresentationThis reception, again in SecondLife, will honor OHA President Allison Tracy-Taylor, and will have a presentation of our 2020 Award winners. Feel free to watch along.To view via YouTube, see this link: https://youtu.be/DwyXRq12KDo.
  • International ReceptionThis reception, hosted by the International Committee in SecondLife, is open to everyone. You will have an opportunity to meet international scholars and listen to news about upcoming events.To view via YouTube, see this link: https://youtu.be/6Z0d_-FFf9A.
View All News Articles.

2020 OHA Award Winners

Article Award

Henry Greenspan’s article, “The Humanities of Contingency: Interviewing and Teaching Beyond “Testimony” with Holocaust Survivors,” [Oral History Review 46:2(Summer/Fall, 2019), 360-379] contributes to socio/historical inquiry goes beyond the collection of testimonies from Holocaust survivors. Greenspan’s call to engage with testimony beyond the collection of experiences takes the practice of oral history into an even more dynamic practice where the actual people become 3D characters. It calls for an engagement with the people with the stories and even the reader’s or interviewer’s own positionality or understanding of the topic.

Book Award

The Oral History Association Book Award committee enthusiastically names Nepia Mahuika’s exceptional book Rethinking Oral History and Tradition: An Indigenous Perspective as the winner of the 2020 prize. We also wish to recognize Jacquelyn Dowd Hall’s, Sisters and Rebels: A Struggle for the Soul of America, with an honorable mention. In addition to embodying the very best in the practice of oral history, both books were inspiring to read in this unsettling time.

Rethinking Oral History and Tradition provokes a thoroughgoing decolonization of our conception of the field of oral history by demonstrating that indigenous oral accounts are oral history. Focusing on a case study of the Maori in Aotearoa, New Zealand, the book confronts a longstanding problem: the condescending and dismissive stance of non-indigenous professional oral historians and other scholars, who have relegated Maori oral accounts to the realm of myth rather than respecting indigenous practices as legitimate forms of oral history. Drawing on sixty interviews he conducted within his tribe (Ngāti Porou), Mahuika recasts oral history as a dynamic, organic, and multi-generational exchange within indigenous cultures that takes place within the context of people’s daily lives. He shows that a lack of attention to the nuance of language partly explains why Maori oral accounts have been relegated to the realm of “oral tradition” and discounted in the reconstruction of Maori history.  Scholars simply did not understand the significant role metaphors play in their language. Ultimately, Mahuika’s elegant and refreshing book makes the case for not shoehorning an indigenous perspective into the existing field, but for totally reimagining and broadening the field of oral history.

Sisters and Rebels is a page-turner about two women’s complicated and noble mission to transform the region of their birth and the United States as a whole. Drawing on oral history interviews Hall conducted over the course of nearly fifty years, the book tells the individual and intertwined stories of three remarkable sisters from a former southern slaveowning family, Elizabeth, Grace, and Katherine Lumpkin. While Elizabeth clings to the Lost Cause ideology she imbibed in their youth, Grace and Katherine rebelled against and transcended the racism and mythology of their southern upbringing to fight for justice and women’s liberation. Sisters and Rebels is the work of a giant of the field that not only demonstrates Hall’s skill and sensitivity as an interviewer, but also restores readers’ faith that individuals can cast off the destructive ideologies of their childhoods to help transform society in meaningful ways.

Mason Multi-Media Awards

Refugee Boulevard: Making Montreal Home After the Holocaust creatively documents narrators’ stories through a survivor-led historical audio tour, and accompanying booklet and website available in French and English. Building on long-standing relationships with survivors, new multi-session interviews were conducted to connect stories of experiences from 1948 within neighborhood sites. The audiowalk features the voices of six War Orphans Project storytellers and the narrator, all of whom were Holocaust refugees. Voices are integrated with music and soundscapes that enhance the listener’s experience. The accompanying booklet is designed well and enriches the audiowalk with the map, historical photographs and text. Notably, the Refugee Boulevard project currently reaches the community through collaborative partnerships with two museums, as well as informs curriculum for teaching Canadian Studies and History at two Montreal universities. This beautifully conceived and executed project provides a great sense of the power of oral history for contributing to the historical record through community engagement.

Authors: Stacey Zembrzycki, Eszter Andor, Nancy Rabelo and Anna Sheftel

Voices of Virginia: An Auditory Primary Source Reader compiles oral histories across five decades and from twenty repositories into an open-access reader for high school and college students. The reader is organized well by topic, time period, and description, and offers easy links for downloading or listening to the seventy interview excerpts. The audio files were licensed through a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 4.0 license. Content in the Reader is aligned with the History and Social Science Standards for Virginia Public Schools. Section I includes transcripts, context, and discussion questions. Section II offers six lesson plans. This replicable project demonstrates the power of oral history, offers new ways to think about the state’s history through diverse voices of narrators, and broadens access to archived interviews.

Author: Jessica Taylor

The Wisconsin Farms Oral History Project: Lands We Share initiative showcased oral histories in a unique way with a traveling exhibition and community conversation tour at twelve venues throughout the state. Oral histories conducted at five farm sites were highlighted in the exhibit and radio series broadcasts. The stories encompassed some of Wisconsin’s rich cultural diversity and history, including the Oneida Indians, Hmong immigrants, agricultural wage laborers from Mexico and Laos, African-American community activists, and multi-generational German immigrants. Notably, the organizers extended the exhibit’s possibilities by including interactive elements for visitors at each community location, including a culmination farm dinner and conversation. The Lands We Share reached almost 3,000 exhibit visitors, 600 guests at community dinners, and over 100,000 radio listeners. Partnerships and collaborations with communities from the initial oral history project were extended from the Lands We Share initiative and have inspired subsequent oral histories and possibilities for curriculum development.

Author: Stephen Kercher

Postsecondary Teaching Award

Professor Ricia Anne Chansky’s Mi María: Puerto Rico after the Hurricane showed the strength of a dual language project that was fully transcribed and translated. The committee was impressed in the interdisciplinary approach to this subject matter at a primarily STEM focused institution. Her integration of oral history with this general education course through the Department of English creativity allowed a group of newly trained students to engage with the practice. The ongoing civic engagement with the community created a place for survivors to reflect and archive their collective memories. Professor Chansky provided the “ethics of care for my students” in these dire circumstances to facilitate this project. Students in turn found solace in their collective experience and rapport beyond the classroom assignment with their narrators. In these dire conditions with limited access to electricity, this project succeeded that marked our scores high in “civic or community component.” The standard of this collection sets a precedence for future collections at this and other institutions.

Emerging Crisis

Ricia Chansky’s “Mi María” project is a large-scale public humanities project that uses oral history and other biographical methodologies—contextualized in critical disaster studies and environmental humanities—to study the impacts of Hurricane María on the people of Puerto Rico while working to resituate the national narrative from stories about the people to those by the people. This new phase of the project, “Sheltered in Place,” works to understand connections between the climate emergency and the public health crisis of Covid-19 in marginalized and underserved communities that are disproportionately impacted by both. A secondary objective of this project is to devise methods for creatively listening to and circulating life stories in a time of necessitated physical distancing.

Sierra Holt’s project is to produce an oral history of the descendants of the community who live in or near Lambert Lands. Lambert Lands became the home of newly emancipated people from Bedford County, Virginia in 1843. After establishing their settlement, this group obtained a deed, built a church, and developed the oldest Emancipation celebration, which continues today. They also were a stopping point for those escaping slavery in the South.  Since its creation, the legacy of Lambert Lands has continued despite threats of violence from the Klu Klux Klan, growing poverty in Appalachia, and numerous drug epidemics.  To fully comprehend the history of this community, Holt will also research and interview distant relatives who hold knowledge of the community’s origins in Bedford County, Virginia. For preservation, the results of these interviews will be donated to a library or archive housed at an academic institution or museum, particularly one that is focused on Southern and/or Appalachian Black history.

View All News Articles.

2020 Annual Meeting Registration is Now Open

Online registration is now available for the 2020 Annual Meeting. You will need to use your Memberclicks account in order to register. If you don’t have an account, you will need to create one. ***Please make sure to select a type of registration on the form (i.e Member with Institutional Support, Member without Institutional Support, Student Member, Non-Member, or Non-Member Student) otherwise you will not actually be registered for the conference.

  • The program schedule is available here.
  • The descriptions of the pre-conference workshops are available here.

For more information, see our Annual Meeting Registration Page.

View All News Articles.

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

View All News Articles.

COVID- 19 Updates for OHA

Conference Update from the OHA President (6-25-2020)

Update from the OHA President (5-15-2020)

Letter from the OHA President (4-10-2020)


The OHA Office is working Remotely (3-20-2020):

Starting Monday, March 20 the OHA’s Executive Office will be working remotely.

Please bear with us during this time as our responses to any inquiries may be slowed down. We will not have access to our office phone, though we will be able to check and return voicemails. We ask that people please contact us through email, oha@oralhistory.org, as that will be our most reliable method of communication.

Thank you!
OHA Staff


OHR Update: Resuming Book Reviews (6-25-2020):

Books are available again for review (http://oralhistoryreview.org/books/), though through summer 2020, the OHR will mail books to reviewers twice a month, so expect some delays in receiving books.

OHR Update: Pause on Book Reviews (3-19-2020):

Update from the Staff at the Oral History Review:

The Oral History Review is not able to mail books out for review at this time because our offices at the Science History Institute are closed during the pandemic. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

View All News Articles.

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.”

View All Blog Articles.