Look Who's Talking: Teaching Students to Conduct Oral History Projects
Oral histories are widely known for helping scholars to better understand the experiences, thoughts, and feelings of people from marginalized groups who are often left out of official archives. Understanding what these histories can tell us, and getting students to conduct their own projects can, however, be a daunting task. What makes oral histories different from other kinds of interviews? How are "narrators" (i.e. people who share their stories) recruited? What kinds of research should interviewers do in advance, and what level of care do they owe the people who talk with them? How should questions be formulated so that people feel free to share their own experiences, and how should their responses be properly transcribed and stored for future researchers? Finally, how should oral history responses be analyzed within the context of other sources?
Beth Fowler, associate professor of teaching in the Honors College, has conducted original oral histories for her own research and is eager to share techniques for using oral histories in class and teaching students to organize their own projects. Find out how you can use this humane research method to help students in your class collect and better understand people's stories that may otherwise be overlooked.
Coffee and snacks will be provided!
Join in Purdy/Kresge Library Room 150 or via Zoom