This academic year in our public workshop series, in partnership with the Program in Narrative Medicine, the Oral History MA Program at Columbia University will be exploring the intersections of oral history, health and medicine. As public health professionals experiment with using oral history to access new realms of knowledge about health and social life, practitioners of narrative medicine deploy oral history to engage with patients, and oral historians partner with people with disabilities, dementia, and mental illness to record and amplify their stories, the time is right for an in-depth multidisciplinary engagement of the productive areas where these fields meet.
Most of the events this year will focus on this theme, although some will range more widely. The events in the workshop series typically include book talks, presentations of theoretical papers, behind-the-scenes explorations of how oral histories are transformed into films or books, and sharing of projects at various stages of completion. We present finished works as well as works-in-progress. Presenters, no matter what kind of work they're sharing, frame their presentation with critical question about oral history practice.
The speakers in the series on oral history, health and medicine will engage questions like:
How can oral history contribute to public health work?
How can we better understand oral history as an embodied practice?
What can medical professionals learn from oral history research?
What can oral history research on the history and practice of medicine teach us?
What is the relationship between oral history and narrative medicine?
What does it mean for oral history practice and theory to do oral history work with people with dementia, developmental disabilities, or mental illness?
How can we effectively share oral histories with medical and public health professionals?
What are the possibilities and pitfalls of using oral history for advocacy work?
All Events are Free and Open to the Public
Sam Robson, freelance oral historian and writer; OHMA alum
Commentator: Marsha Hurst, Columbia Program in Narrative Medicine
Luke Gerwe, Managing Editor, Voice of Witness
Teiji Okamoto, public health professional
Sayantani DasGupta, MD MPH, Columbia University Master's Program in Narrative Medicine
Brian Purnell, Associate Professor of Africana Studies and History, Bowdoin College
Nicki Pombier Berger, freelance oral historian, OHMA alum
Commentator: Rachel Adams, Professor of English and American Studies, Columbia University
Ann Cvetkovich, Professor, English, University of Texas at Austin
Christopher Sellers, MD, PhD, Professor of History, SUNY Stonybrook
Kathy Davis, Senior Research Fellow, Sociology, VU University Amsterdam
Lynda Crane, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, and Tracy McDonough, licensed clinical psychologist and Associate Professor, Mount St. Joseph University
Ron Doel, Associate Professor of History, Florida State University
Alessandro Portelli, Professor Emeritus, American Literature, University of Rome
Ynestra King, feminist teacher, writer and oral historian
Aline Gubrium, Associate Professor, Public Health and Elizabeth L. Krause, Professor, Anthropology, UMass Amherst
Sponsors: This talk is co-sponsored by the Program in Narrative Medicine and is part of the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Lecture Series, co-sponsored by the Columbia Center for Oral History Research (CCOHR) and the Oral History Master of Arts Program (OHMA). Support from the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE) is provided for programming that embodies late Professor Paul Lazarsfeld’s commitment to improving methodological approaches that address concerns of vital cultural and social significance.
For more information, please email Amy Starecheski, Associate Director of OHMA, at aas39(at)columbia.edu.