As we wrap up the fall semester, please join us in celebrating the news and accomplishments of our students and alums!Read More
To close out the year, OHMA is excited to share these recent news updates about our students and alumni. We hope that you will be able to join us for our Spring Open House on January 26 and One-Day Oral History Training Workshops on January 28, 2017 to meet a number of our program affiliates—including Nicki Pombier Berger (2010) and Fernanda Espinosa (2015)—and learn more about their innovative work!Read More
Two years after the formation of the Columbia Oral History Alumni Association (COHAA) Founding President and OHMA Project Coordinator Erica Fugger (2012) reminiscences on the group's origin story—spanning Columbia Center for Oral History Research's move to INCITE to the organic spaces for inter-cohort dialogue that arose amidst our historic interview archives in Butler Library.
Erica discusses the Alumni Association's early organizing efforts, participation in campus demonstrations, and commitment to building networks of support for emerging oral historians.
In this post, OHMA alum Kate Brenner (2014) writes about her desire to make oral history projects more accessible to a public audience. The popularity of podcasts means the field is ripe for oral history, but breaking into the world of radio is difficult for people unfamiliar with it. As a result, Kate decided to start Amplify: The Oral History Podcast Network.Read More
Sam Robson is an OHMA alum. In this post, he discusses his experiences as an oral historian at the David J. Sencer CDC Museum, researching the Ebola epidemic.Read More
OHMA is pleased to provide updates as it continues to strengthen engagement in the program from a variety of oral history community members.
One-Day Workshops and Alumni Short Courses Help Build New Cohorts
OHMA is proud to announce that the overwhelming interest in our one-day oral history workshops held earlier this month - attended by nearly 200 people! - has allowed us to increase in our annual merit scholarship from $4000 to $6500, with the support of matching funds from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. We are grateful for your engagement and hope that you may be interested in continuing the conversation through our Alumni Short Course Series this spring, hosted by the Columbia Oral History History Alumni Association and taught by graduates of our program.
Celebrating our Ten-Year Anniversary with a Digital Thesis Collection
Leading up to OHMA's ten-year anniversary in 2018, we are in the final stages of a project to preserve of our oral history thesis collection. Our students' work will be fully printed, digitized, and archived for internal use by our faculty and student/alumni communities. Access to these projects will help deepen essential discussions on oral history pedagogy, methodology, and analysis within our program.
We will also soon be premiering a public collection of selected thesis material, with a multimedia website and abstracts of our students' work. We hope that this resource will highlight the hard work of our graduates and crucial stories of their narrators. In the meantime, please enjoy our recently updated list of students theses through which you can view the projects already publicly accessible on Columbia's Academic Commons.
OHMA alum Molly Rosner is helping to organize this May 13 unconference with Mary Rizzo, which will focus on many aspects of public history. The participants determine the topics that are covered during discussion groups. Registration is $20 and that covers the cost of food for the day. Check out their website for more information.Read More
Our first fundraising campaign for OHMA couldn't have gone better. Over half of our alums donated time or money to OHMA since we announced this campaign at the end of 2015.Read More
Looking for an experienced communications professional and oral historian to help your campaign, organization, or family to tell your story?
OHMA alum Leyla Vural has lauched a new venture, LV Communications: Stories that Make a Difference. Check it out.
And read about Leyla's vision:
I am most interested in our shared efforts to make the world a more just place. I studied oral history (and in May 2015 earned an M.A. in it from Columbia University) because I wanted to learn the newest methods in the oldest of traditions: listening to people share their experience. Life stories are about understanding the past, to be sure, but they're also about shaping the future. Oral history helps ordinary people (Studs Terkel called us the "etceteras") put ourselves directly on the record. That by itself is important, but listening to life stories also is a way to imagine a brighter day and sharing those stories is a way to push for change.
One of the things I love about oral history is that it’s communal. By definition, you can’t work alone if your work is about listening to people. In this way, oral history mirrors all efforts at social change and, of course, life itself. It’s not only better with other people, it’s impossible without them. Social justice may be a forever project, but together we can keep bending that arc of history while we find strength in one another and have some fun as we go.
Crystal Mun-hye Baik is an OHMA alum and Assistant Professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside. Currently, she is working on her first book manuscript, tentatively entitled: Demilitarized Futures: Korean Transnational Artists and a Poetics of Division.Read More
The Columbia University Oral History Master of Arts Program is excited to announce the Jeffrey H. Brodsky Oral History Award.Read More
New oral history interviews commissioned by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation are online!Read More
Our alums continue to demonstrate oral history’s ability to enhance work in diverse fields. Check out these Fall 2015 updates on what some of them are up to.Read More
This week we’ve had quite a lot of alumni announcements to share with our readers:
Alumna Sara Cohen Fournier contributed to a recently published collection of articles, entitled Beyond Testimony and Trauma: Oral History in the Aftermath of Mass Violence (ed. Steven High). The book surrounds ways to engage dealing with trauma and moving beyond in long form oral histories. It is based on the research "Life Stories of Montrealers displaced by war, genocides and human rights violations," which took place for 5 years in Montreal and collected stories from Rwanda, Haiti, Holocaust, and North African Jewery.
Alumna Liza Zapol has been working in collaboration with artists on a project on Embodied Mapping in the Lower East Side, sponsored by iLAND and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. This weekend (Friday, April 17 and Saturday, April 18, 2015) they will be hosting a symposium about this work and you can participate in some collaborative workshops for free. Check it out!
On May 14th and 15th, the Manhattan Repertory Theatre in New York is hosting full productions of alumnus Sam Robson’s play Timothy and Mary. Robson wrote the play based on oral history interviews he conducted for his OHMA thesis, for which he interviewed people with dementia and their family members and caregivers.
Alumna Sarah Loose, co-founder of Groundswell: Oral History for Social Change, was awarded the Radcliffe Oral History Grant this year. Her project, Breastfeeding & Migration, explores the connections between motherhood and migration—specifically the impacts of immigration and immigration policy/enforcement on infant feeding practices. Using a combination of oral history, photography, community organizing, participatory research and popular education, the project aims to:
- document and share the experiences of immigrant mothers (especially low-income and undocumented immigrant mothers),
- identify barriers to immigrant parents’ right to choose how to feed their infants and potential solutions, and
- support the efforts of immigrant mothers in advocating for their health, the health of their babies, and their basic human rights, dignity, and self-determination.
Ultimately, Breastfeeding & Migration seeks to contribute to organizing efforts at the intersections of gender and racial justice, workplace and immigrant rights, and maternal, infant and public health.
Alumna Elisabeth Sydor is hosting a staged reading of her thesis, Stories from the Carriage Trade, on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at 8 pm. Hear inside tales of the carriage business in the 1980’s, when Hell's Kitchen's horse-drawn carriages still trotted the streets of New York City any time of the day or night. The evening will be narrated by former carriage drivers Dave Forshtay, Maggie Goodman, Bryan Northam, Åsa Jahnke Stephens, and Elisabeth Sydor - from the book of their oral histories and Elisabeth's written recollections, developed from her masters thesis for OHMA. Free admission and no minimum, but purchase of drinks/dinner go toward the room rental - much appreciated!
Alumna Crystal Baik will be the keynote speaker at Williams College's Asian American Popular Culture conference this week (sponsored by Asian Americans Students in Action, or AASiA)-- one of the first Asian/American studies conferences organized by small liberal arts colleges in the Northeast.
It’s a pleasure to see our alums’ innovative work flourish in such a diverse array of fields—from dance, to theater, to pure oral history!
Cindy Choung, an OHMA alum, is holding an open house for the Asian Oral History Collective on April 11, 2015. Don't miss it!Read More
OHMA alum Elisabeth Sydor will host a staged reading of her thesis.Read More
This blog post is the second in a three-part series by Laura Barnett. In the series, Laura shares lessons gleaned from OHMA alumni about finding a thesis topic.Read More
This blog post is the first in a three-part series by Laura Barnett. In the series, Laura shares lessons gleaned from OHMA alumni about finding a thesis topic.Read More