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Learn how to record oral history interviews with your family, friends, and community.

This course, led by Maggie Lemere, will introduce Washingtonians interested in becoming oral historians to the best practices of doing oral history, to empower them with the basic tools for developing their style and approach to preserving DC’s rich past through oral history interviews.

This course is structured to follow the full cycle of an oral history interview, from conception to processing. We will discuss practical and theoretical considerations of doing oral history–including COVID safety considerations – in order to demonstrate the distinctive, interdisciplinary mindset that oral historians take to their work. Because oral history is best learned “on the job,” the instructor will ask you to do activities and to discuss your experiences along the way.

There is a lot of material to cover, so participants will also be asked to do some reading and exercises between sessions in preparation.

This workshop consists of three sessions – registrants must commit to participating in each session:

Sept 7, 14, & 21

6:30pm-8:30pm

Maggie Lemere is a filmmaker, oral historian and National Geographic Explorer whose work focuses on social and environmental issues. She’s been a conflict researcher, human rights trainer, refugee case worker, and filmmaker on projects globally. She is currently directing and producing films following water protectors in Myanmar, youth climate activists in the U.S, and regenerative olive farmers in the Middle East. She is the author of the oral history book Nowhere to Be Home: Narratives from Survivors of Burma’s Military Regime (McSweeney’s & Voice of Witness). As a founder of Rhiza, a women-led collective that uses storytelling, healing, organizing, and research to support social transformation and environmental justice, Maggie is passionate about high-quality, high-impact and collaborative storytelling. Maggie is a Master Naturalist and serves as Oral Historian for the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

The DC Oral History Collaborative (DCOHC) documents, preserves, and celebrates the lived experiences of all Washington, DC residents and communities through oral history. The Collaborative accomplishes this by providing training, mentorship, resources, programs, and funding to current and aspiring oral historians.

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