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Pre-Conference Workshops

The OHA will have pre-conference workshops on Saturday, October 9 and Saturday, October 10. Workshop registration will be on a tiered scale, so please pay as much or as little as you are able. Tiers will be free, $10, $25, $40, and $100.

Attendees can sign up to attend the workshops, without attending the whole of the conference. Registration information is available here.


Saturday, October 9

1:00 PM – 4:00 PM Inviting Authorship: Oral History as Spontaneous Literature, Led by Nyssa Chow

1:00 PM – 4:00 PM Trauma-Interviewing and Oral History: Co-Creating Narratives with Survivors of Violence, Led by Jane Field

1:00 PM – 4:00 PM What Does Done Look Like? Oral History Project Planning Mini-Workshop, Led by Troy Reeves and Jennifer Cramer

Sunday, October 10

1:00 PM – 4:00 PM Equity Budgeting For Oral History: Paying Everybody More!, Led by Sara Dziedzic and Jess Lamar Reese Holler

1:00 PM – 4:00 PM Decolonizing Your Research Methodology: Building a Practice, Led by Gail Baikie

1:00 PM – 4:00 PM Rebalancing Power & Privilege During the Interview Process: Examining and Addressing Inequities in Our Practice, Led by Milene Monteiro


Inviting Authorship: Oral History as Spontaneous Literature

What does it mean to “listen” in an oral history interview? What are we listening for, and what is it possible to hear? Can we invite the narrator to be the first interpreter of their lived experience? In this introductory course we will begin with the idea that the oral history is a means to record ‘ways of being’ and ‘ways of knowing’. We will approach the interview as spontaneous literature—an act of authorship—inviting narrators to inscribe their particular meanings and interpretations onto the shared landscape of our world. This workshop is for both newcomers to an oral history practice and experienced oral historians who want to experiment with new approaches.

Nyssa Chow is an oral historian, writer, and interdisciplinary artist.

Trauma-Interviewing and Oral History: Co-Creating Narratives with Survivors of Violence

Trauma-Interviewing and Oral History: Co-Creating Narratives with Survivors of Violence will lead attendees through the process of interviewing survivors of violence without perpetuating harm. The Texas After Violence Project has over ten years experience refining a slow-interviewing method that emphasizes relationship building and collaborative storytelling in the aftermath of violence, reducing risk of re-traumatization and giving as much control as possible to the interviewee. Attendees will learn about the Texas After Violence Project’s methods and techniques, and discuss strategies for responsibly working with survivors of violence and other forms of trauma.

Jane Field is the Associate Director of the Texas After Violence Project, where she manages the After Violence Archive and leads the TAVP interview program.

What Does Done Look Like? Oral History Project Planning Mini-Workshop

We will focus the workshop on the question in the title, “What Does Done Look Like?” a phrase Reeves has borrowed from training at UW-Madison to serve as a launching point for all discussions he undertakes regarding project planning. Then, from that question, we will use a project planning document created by Cramer for LSU projects. We will spend the bulk of the workshop working together interactively in break-out groups and as a whole group using the toolkit provided by co-leads to create a plan for an oral history project of any size or budget. The idea is for the attendees to leave the workshop with a deliverable–a plan to start an oral history project–that they can implement.

Since 2005, as Director of the T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History, Jennifer A. Cramer has overseen all oral history projects for the LSU Libraries and manages an oral history collection of over 6,000 interviews with topics on Louisiana politics, culture, military, the environmental movement, civil rights, women’s history, LGBTQ+ history, and coastal changes. Responsibilities include collection development, access, preservation, public programming, development, and teaching oral history seminars. Cramer served as the Media Review Editor for The Oral History Review from 2010-2018, and as a council member for Oral History Association from 2016-2020, where she has been a member since 2000.

Since June 2007,  Troy Reeves has led the oral history program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Archives. 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 about the art and science of oral history. Along with these program leadership tasks, he has managed or facilitated dozens and dozens of oral history projects in Wisconsin and Idaho on cultural, political, and environmental history. Along with these projects, Reeves has held leadership roles in the Oral History Association, including six years as the Oral History Review’s managing editor, co-chairing the 2017-18 taskforce that updated the Principles & Best Practices, and currently serving as OHA’s Treasurer.

Equity Budgeting For Oral History: Paying Everybody More!

This workshop invites cultural workers to put economic justice at the center of other modes of justice work –– racial justice, environmental justice, social justice, health or housing justice –– that our projects endeavor to engage … starting with our budgets. We’ll use guided reflective exercises, & hold space for participants to explore cultural and economic practices that often result in undercompensating the labor of cultural workers, community collaborators, & narrators alike. You’ll take away a copy of the Equity Budgeting Workbook with resources and exercises to help develop reparative budgets & justice-aligned funding proposals that commit to compensating the full ecology of oral history project work.

Sarah Dziedzic is an oral historian, project consultant, grant advisor, researcher, and workshop facilitator in New York City, and is co-chair of the OHA’s Independent Practitioner Task Force. Jess Lamar Reece Holler (Marion Voices Folklife + Oral History Program; Caledonia Northern Folk Studios) is a community-based cultural worker, public folklorist, oral historian, documentarian & consultant on cultural work for justice praxes in & beyond North-Central Ohio.

Decolonizing Your Research Methodology: Building a Practice

More and more researchers are becoming aware of the need to decolonize Western methodologies that perpetuate colonialism in and through research. However, they are challenged to move beyond theoretical and ethical considerations into applied practice. This workshop will draw on the facilitator’s experience, through necessity, of having to develop a decolonizing methodology and will offer participants an opportunity to actively engage in processes that will enable them to integrate decolonizing practices into their research.

Gail Baikie is an Indigenous (Inuk) scholar with a focus on Indigenizing and decolonizing research, pedagogy, and professional practice.

Rebalancing Power & Privilege During the Interview Process: Examining and Addressing Inequities in Our Practice

In this three-hour workshop, we will explore how social, racial, class and gender inequities are performed during interviews. Participants will have the opportunity to evaluate their own positionalities and rethink new ways to engage in equitable dynamics.

Milene Monteiro is an educator who has facilitated workshops in her Bahia, California, and London approaching issues related to gender and race inequities.