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2015 Workshops

Wednesday Workshops
(full descriptions and workshop leader bios are included below the listing)

Introduction to Oral History
8:00AM-NOON
Workshop Leaders:
Troy Reeves, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Jennifer A. Cramer, Louisiana State University

Share the Wealth: Bringing Oral History to the Public
8:30AM-NOON
Workshop Leaders:
Jaycie Vos, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Malinda Maynor Lowery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Rachel F. Seidman, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Seth Kotch, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Introduction to Digital Video Oral History
8:30 AM-NOON
Workshop Leaders:
Gerald Zahavi, University at Albany, SUNY
Susan McCormick, University at Albany, SUNY

Oral History and the Law
1:00PM-4:30PM
Workshop Leader:
John A. Neuenschwander, Carthage College (emeritus)

Gigabyte, Terabyte, Tetrabyte – Oh my!: A Workshop To Tackle The Challenge of Preservation of Oral History Interviews in Digital Video Formats
1:00PM-4:30PM
Workshop Leaders:
Christa Whitney, Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project
Emily Felder, Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project

Saturday Teacher Workshop

Oral History, Cultural Identity, and the Arts
9:00AM-NOON, John F. Germany Public Library, downtown Tampa
Workshop Leader:
Judith Sloan, EarSay

 

Workshop Descriptions:

Introduction to Oral History

This introductory workshop serves as an informative overview of the art and science of oral history from initial idea through finished product. The workshop will cover specifics within three sub-categories of oral history: Pre-Interview, Interview, and Post-Interview, including project planning, technology, funding, questions and follow-up questions, release forms, index or transcript, publication, and any other topic of interest to the attendees. Additionally, the workshop leaders, time permitting, will include interactive exercises to hone listening and interviewing skills.

Troy Reeves has led the oral history program at UW-Madison since 2007. From 1999-2006 he directed the Idaho Oral History Center in Boise. In both of those positions, Reeves has overseen the key components of managing an oral history program—collecting and curating oral history recordings, as well as communicating and collaborating with interested individuals (throughout both states and beyond) about the art and science of oral history. Along with these program leadership tasks, he has managed nearly twenty oral histories projects in Wisconsin and Idaho on myriad topics, including cultural, political, and environmental history. He also has been published in historical journals, including the Western Historical Quarterly, the Public Historian, and the Oral History Review. Along with these projects and publications, Reeves has held leadership roles in the Oral History Association, most recently serving as local arrangements chair for the organization’s 2014 annual meeting, held in Madison. Since January 2012, Reeves has been the managing editor of the Oral History Review, the journal of oral history for the U.S. In this role he oversees the day-to-day operations of the journal, including its social media initiative. He also works with the OHR’s editorial team and author to add multimedia (both audio and audio/video) into the journal’s articles.

Jennifer A. Cramer serves as Director of the T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History. She currently oversees all oral history projects for the LSU Libraries and manages an oral history collection of nearly 4,000 interviews, including collection development and all aspects pertaining to access and preservation of the collection. Cramer is responsible for acquisition of collections and cultivating partnerships with other organizations, individuals, community groups, and like-minded organizations. She supervises collections processing including access, transcribing, finding-aid creation, in-house digitization, preservation, providing reference service and coordinating digital access to the oral history collection. She is responsible for pubic programming including training programs, exhibitions, event programming, and podcast production. Other primary duties include budget and development/enhancement activities, fundraising, acquisition of donated collections, and contributing collaboratively to the LSU Libraries as a department head. Cramer has also served at the Media Review Editor for The Oral History Review since 2010, and has been an active member of OHA since 2000.

Share the Wealth: Bringing Oral History to the Public

After conducting oral history interviews, how can you share the stories and voices that you’ve captured? Learn about bringing oral history to the public in creative, engaging ways to reach a wide audience beyond the archive. In this workshop, Southern Oral History Program faculty and staff will introduce participants to public and digital exhibits, podcasts, and performances, drawing from examples at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Participants will learn how to develop their own public oral history projects across the physical and digital worlds, from big-picture planning to specific tasks such as editing audio clips for a podcast, creating QR codes, producing visual materials for display, and setting up interactive listening stations where visitors can hear the voices from your oral history collection. Workshop leaders will introduce participants to a variety of platforms, such as SoundCloud, Paperless Post, and Word Press, for use in hosting oral history interviews and publicizing special events.

Jaycie Vos is an archivist and the Coordinator of Collections for the Southern Oral History Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She earned her Master’s in Library Science at UNC in 2013. Her research focuses on archival description and metadata standards in oral history collections as well as usability and accessibility in digital collections. She has presented on digital archives, metadata, curating exhibits, and digital access tools at conferences nationwide. In spring 2014, Vos curated an exhibit celebrating the SOHP’s fortieth anniversary featured at UNC’s Wilson Library.

Malinda Maynor Lowery is an Associate Professor of History at UNC-Chapel Hill and Director of the Southern Oral History Program. Her first book, Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South: Race, Identity, and the Making of a Nation (2010), was published by UNC Press and has won several awards. She is currently working on The Lumbee Indians: An American Struggle, a survey of Lumbee history from 1521 to the present for a general audience. She also produces documentary films, most recently as Co-Producer of A Chef’s Life and Private Violence.

Rachel F. Seidman has a Ph.D. in history from Yale University, and she is the Associate Director of The Southern Oral History Program at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where she is an adjunct assistant professor in History and in Women’s and Gender Studies. The author of The Civil War: A History in Documents (Oxford University Press, 2001), and scholarly articles on women’s activism in the Civil War, she most recently published “Who Needs Feminism? Lessons from a Digital World,” in Feminist Studies. She is currently working on a book project based on oral history interviews with young feminist activists in the digital world. Seidman co-founded and directs The Moxie Project: Women and Leadership for Social Change, and also teaches in the Program in Women’s Studies at Duke University.

Seth Kotch is an Assistant Professor of American Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill. He conducts research at the intersections of a number of fields and disciplines, most prominently modern American history, digital humanities, and oral history. Kotch is the co-author of “The Racial Justice Act and the Long Struggle with Race and the Death Penalty in North Carolina” (North Carolina Law Review, 2010). His digital projects include “Mapping the Long Women’s Movement,” an effort to empower researchers to explore oral histories in new ways. He serves as Principal Investigator of “Media and the Movement,” a project sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities that seeks to understand the role of journalists and the media in the civil rights movement during and after the 1960s.

Introduction to Digital Video Oral History

This workshop offers participants basic, practical instruction in digital video oral history. We will first briefly cover the basics of oral history practice, including the advantages and disadvantages of video recording and how video impacts the interviewer/interviewee relationship. We’ll then move into discussions and demonstrations focusing on: technology (cameras and ancillary equipment); basic videography for sit-down interviews as well as location shooting; the selection of ideal shooting locations; high quality sound recording for video (microphone choices and placement); basic existing light and 3-point lighting practice; and video media storage, migration, and preservation. The main emphasis is on high quality, low-cost options for individuals and institutions.

Gerald Zahavi is Professor of History and director of both the Documentary Studies and the Public History programs at the University at Albany, SUNY. He is the former editor of the The Journal for MultiMedia History, and the Director and co-producer of Talking History, a history radio show and production center at the University at Albany, SUNY. Zahavi teaches courses in labor and business history, comparative public history, documentary studies, oral and video history, historical radio/audio documentary production, and historical film/video documentary production. He is currently completing a documentary film and Web site on the Communist Party in 1920s and early 1930s Montana (“Red Montana”).

Susan McCormick is a lecturer in the History Department at the University at Albany, SUNY where she teaches introductory courses in oral history and documentary studies. She has been exploring how we can use emerging technologies and new media to communicate history – particularly oral history – to a wide audience for more than 15 years. A member of the Editorial Board of the Oral History Review, she is also the co-producer of Talking History, www.talkinghistory.org, and one of the founding editors of The Journal for MultiMedia History.

Oral History and the Law

The vast expansion in the practice of oral history has fortunately been remarkably free of legal problems. There are many reasons for this but the most important ones are the strong reliance that most oral historians place on professional ethics and the adoption of sound legal procedures. The goal of the workshop is to introduce attendees to the major legal issues that all oral historians need to be cognizant of and to suggest the best means by which to implement sound legal procedures. Topics that will be covered include legal release agreements, challenges to interview restrictions, defamation, the privacy torts, copyright, and the Internet. The workshop is designed to encourage both questions and input from participants.

John A. Neuenschwander received his PhD from Case Western Reserve in 1971 and his JD from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1983. He taught at Carthage College for many years and also served as the Municipal Judge for the City of Kenosha, Wisconsin from 1985-2012. He is a past president of the Oral History Association and the author of A Guide to Oral History and the Law. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Gigabyte, Terabyte, Tetrabyte – Oh my!: A Workshop To Tackle The Challenge of Preservation of Oral History Interviews in Digital Video Formats

No matter what we do, digital video is here to stay. In an age of instantaneous access to information, people are now accustomed to and crave the feeling of “being there,” especially in historical moments. Digital video production accomplishes this better than any other existing form of media. With so many people carrying smartphones in their pockets, there are daily opportunities to document history from a personal perspective. This video format of documentation powerfully influences our culture as not merely an entertainment trend, but as powerful potential educational and historical tools. As a field, it’s time to get ready. Once we have growing archives of digital videos, what must change in our infrastructure, workflow, and method? How will we manage such enormous file sizes? How many copies should be kept, and where? How often do we need to back up? Which formats are the best bet for the long run, especially as technology continues to evolve so quickly? Lastly, how can you keep it all organized and keep track of it all? To avoid obsoletism and vulnerability, our current models of infrastructure and organization need to be rethought. As the director and technical assistant of the born-digital-video Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project, we will give answers to these questions and provide models for preserving our digital video oral histories to the best approximation of standards we have to date.

Christa Whitney is the director of the Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project, a growing collection of more than 450 in-depth video interviews with people of all ages and backgrounds. Full-length oral histories and curated excerpts are freely available online to all who seek a fuller understanding of the place of Yiddish in Jewish past, present, and future. A native of northern California, Christa discovered Yiddish while studying comparative literature at Smith College. She is an alumna of the Yiddish Book Center’s Steiner Summer Yiddish Program and also did a yearlong fellowship at the Center, when she was instrumental in establishing the Wexler Oral History Project. She also studied Yiddish at the Vilnius Yiddish Institute.

Emily Felder is the Technical Assistant for the Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project, providing videography support for in-house and field interviews, developing and editing video features, overseeing and organizing the digital database and paper filing systems, coordinating priorities within the post-production and archival processes, and on-site and off-site archival data management. She received her BA in Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she focused on historical archaeology and documentary film.

Oral History, Cultural Identity, and the Arts

This workshop includes both information sharing and hands-on participation with workshop attendees. Judith Sloan, an artist dedicated to uncovering narratives of individuals and communities often ignored by the mass media, will discuss strategies and techniques developed in the process of creating theatre and multi-media art projects with traumatized immigrant and refugee youth. She will share images, stories and radio excerpts from her award-winning work and contextualize trauma work from an artistic perspective. Sloan will lead the workshop participants in a series of exercises that focus on the art of listening and transforming stories into artistic expression. The tools and techniques can be used in a range of situations from college and university classes, with small groups healing from trauma, in community projects, radio and journalism, interviewing for creation of theatre, poetry, multimedia work, and can be adapted for all ages. In the workshop Sloan will break down very specific ways the techniques can be used for college undergraduate classes, graduate work, as well as for elementary and high school students. The process of creating artistic works from oral narratives can be used across the curriculum.

Judith Sloan is an actor, audio artist, writer, radio producer, human rights activist, educator and poet whose work combines humor, pathos, and a love of the absurd, and is informed by oral history. For over twenty years, Sloan has been creating interdisciplinary works in audio and theater, portraying voices often ignored by the mass media. Her solo performances and plays include: Denial of the Fittest Responding to Chaos, A Tattle Tale: eyewitness in Mississippi, and Crossing the BLVD: strangers, neighbors, aliens in a new America (based on the critically acclaimed book co-authored with Warren Lehrer) and her new work YO MISS!. Sloan has received numerous grants and awards for her work in theatre and radio-which focuses on voices often ignored by the mass media-including: 2013 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Music/Sound, a 2012, 2013, and 2015 Queens Council on the Arts Grant, awards from the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and New York State Council on the Arts; the Brendan Gill Prize 2004; BAXten Artists Award 2005; and the Third Coast International Audio Festival 2005, short doc competition. Sloan won first place in the Missouri Review National Audio Competition in 2008 and 2009 for two of her audio poems and music, and was a 2011 Finalist in the documentary category. Her commentaries, plays, poetry and documentaries have aired on National Public Radio, New York Public Radio, WBEZ Chicago, PRI, BBC, and public radio stations throughout the U.S. A frequent guest lecturer on college campuses on issues of diversity, human rights, and the arts, Sloan’s work has been published by Second Story Press, W.W. Norton, and The New York Times. Her theatre and radio works have been produced throughout the U.S. and abroad at venues including La Mama, The Public Theatre, and The Smithsonian Institution, the Market Theatre (Johannesburg). She is co-founder of EarSay, an artist-driven non-profit arts organization dedicated to uncovering and portraying stories of the uncelebrated with projects that bridge the divide between documentary and expressive forms in books, exhibitions, on stage, in sound & electronic media. Judith is the director of Cross-Cultural Dialogue Through the Arts, an arts mentorship and training program creating collaborations between disparate communities. In 2009, she founded Transforming Trauma Into Art, which provides theatre, music, and Hip-Hop education to teenagers from war-zones and immigrant youth who have been displaced by natural disasters and poverty. Her teaching interests include Oral History, Multimedia Theatre, Radio, the Art of Storytelling and Immigration.