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Pre-Conference Workshops

The OHA will have pre-conference workshops on Wednesday, October 10. Workshops will cost $40 for members and $50 for non-members.

*We are featuring blog posts from each of the workshop leaders. See the first post from Molly Graham here.


8:30 AM – 12 PM  Oral History & Podcasting/Radio Storytelling – Molly Graham

8:30 AM – 12 PM Introduction to OHMS and Bilingual Indexing –Brendan Coates, Teague Schneiter, Doug Boyd

1:00 PM -4:30 PM  Community Organizing Basics for Oral Historians – Sarah Loose and Isabell Moore

1:00 PM -4:30 PM Cooking with Sound: How to Make Great Aural Histories with the Best Sonic Ingredients – Charles Hardy, Kent Davies, Sarah Lake, and Sami Zenderoudi


Oral History & Podcasting/Radio Storytelling

Workshop leader: Molly Graham, director of Voices from the Fisheries, an oral history archive of the National Marine Fisheries Service

Turning oral histories into radio stories means your content can reach broader and more diverse audiences. Interviews are more flexible and versatile if shared in this way. This  hands on workshop is a is an introduction to the basic tools and techniques for creating a podcast.  Participants will learn about the basic equipment to get started, professional sound recording tricks and techniques, narrative reporting, and how to gather and document the elements for a compelling radio story.  We will also discuss writing for radio and scripting the podcast, in addition to voicing narration, editing and sound production.  Also, students will learn about branding, promotion and sponsorship. Finally, participants will be able to share their podcast ideas with the group, who will serve as an editing team.


Introduction to OHMS and Bilingual Indexing

Workshop leaders: Brendan Coates and Teague Schneiter, Oral History Projects, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Preservation and Foundation Programs, and Doug Boyd, University of Kentucky

Heard of OHMS and want to learn more about how it works?  Are you in need of a way to provide access to oral histories not recorded in English? Do you have dreams of creating multilingual metadata for interviews recorded in English to non-English speaking communities/users? This workshop will be an introduction to both indexing in the OHMS environment and how to do so bilingually.

In late 2016 The University of Kentucky Nunn Center updated the OHMS application and viewer to have multilingual functionalities, creating the capability to synchronize both a transcript/translation, as well as to create a bilingual index, making all of these searchable and synchronized to the corresponding moment in the audio or video. In this mini-workshop OHMS power users Teague Schneiter and Brendan Coates will demonstrate the multilingual functionalities of OHMS. Through demonstration of a bilingual use case, instructors will walk attendees through each step of the indexing process to prepare a sample Spanish-English index. Instructors will also guide attendees to develop workflows to support multilingual indexing.

Participants will leave the workshop with the foundational knowledge not only of how to index bilingual content using OHMS, but with a larger framework for how to apply context-specific indexing to their own collections. Key tips and lessons learned from the experience of the indexing project managers and indexers will ensure that participants are able to hit the ground running with their own projects.


Community Organizing Basics for Oral Historians

Workshop leaders: Sarah Loose and Isabell Moore, Groundswell: Oral History for Social Change

The process of conducting and archiving oral history interviews itself makes a difference in our world.  But in these fraught times, many oral historians want to seek more direct kinds of impact. We want to support community organizing and social movements that are building the kinds of power needed to create large-scale transformation.

Beyond conducting interviews and making them available through archives, how can oral history be used most effectively for social change? How can we best partner with or reach audiences of community organizers so that social change agents on the ground can use our work?

Oral historians can support social change without being or becoming community organizers. But we can do so most effectively if we understand a bit about the art of organizing. Rooted in a long history, community organizers have developed specific theories of power, both time-tested and fresh approaches to social change, sophisticated strategies, and a diverse tactical toolbox.

This participatory workshop will deepen your understanding of how grassroots communities and allies build and exercise power to transform systems and effect change. And it will challenge – and help! – you to think more strategically about how to mobilize your oral history work in support of organizing for justice.

At the end of the workshop, you will come away with:

  • a clearer understanding of the assumptions, practices and frameworks of community organizing,
  • more clarity about why community organizers believe building collective power is the most effective way to make change,
  • new frameworks for conceptualizing your oral history work in relationship to community organizing and collective power,
  • practical strategies for overcoming some of the institutional and other barriers to engaging oral history in service

of social justice, and

  • connection to a community of practitioners committed to supporting one another in activating our oral history work to have an impact.


Cooking with Sound: How to Make Great Aural Histories with the Best Sonic Ingredients

Workshop Leaders: Kent Davies, University of Winnipeg; Charles Hardy III, West Chester University; and Sarah Lake and Sami Zenderoudi, Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling, Concordia University.

In recent years more and more oral historians have discovered the rewards and the pleasures of working in sound, sharing their interviews in podcasts, audio walking tours, installations, and still emerging forms of sound and multi-media programming. This workshop is for those of you interested in taking your work with sound to the next level; to improving your “sonological competence,” and making your work more sonically engaging for yourself and your audiences. The workshop will include the following:

  • An introduction to the best affordable field recorders and microphones, and to the field recording techniques that will enable you to get the most out of that equipment
  • An exploration of the pleasures and possibilities that emerge with the leap from mono-tony to stereo and three-dimensional sound
  • Expanding your ingredients: Examples of how the use of the soundscapes, sound artifacts, and sound documents can provide historical context and sonic interest to your aural history interviews
  • Hearing exercises in which we listen to and critique compelling examples from outstanding works in aural history.
  • An exercise in sound mapping and onsite listening.
  • An introduction to how copyright law and fair use impact your ability to work with others’ sound recordings.

To make the most effective use of the little time that we have together, those registering for the workshop will receive a link to instructional materials mounted in advance on Oral History in the Digital Age.  We also encourage you to share work samples with the workshop leaders and to bring your own field recording equipment to the workshop.