The workshop will take place over two sessions with attendees needing to commit to attending both when they register.
This course will introduce DC Oral History Collaborative’s interviewers—you!—to the best practices of doing oral history, to empower you with the basic tools for developing your own style and approach to realizing the Collaborative’s overall aim: preserving DC’s rich past through oral history interviews with a wide range of its residents.
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 during COVID-- 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. The instructor will provide individualized feedback on these activities that you can use to jumpstart your oral history work.
The workshop will be facilitated by instructors Anna Kaplan, PhD. and Maggie Lemere.
Anna F. Kaplan, PhD, is an independent historian and oral historian whose work focuses on issues of race, memory, and historical narratives. She has worked on oral history projects with the Archives of American Art, the National Park Service, and local community projects throughout Washington, DC. Her current projects include a book manuscript about the memory of the University of Mississippi’s desegregation and a research project on Black women’s labors in establishing oral history programs or centers in the US. She also teaches courses on US history and oral history at American University and UDC. This past year she published the article “Cultivating Supports while Venturing into Interviewing During COVID-19” and organized the virtual panel “In Our Own Words: Deaf Perspectives in Oral History and Public History.” Anna also serves as the Vice President of Oral History in the Mid-Atlantic Region and Co-Chair of the Oral History Association’s Diversity Committee.
Maggie Lemere is a filmmaker, oral historian and storytelling strategist 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 a film about the relationship between indigenous communities and old-growth olive trees in the Middle East, and is producing films following water protectors in Myanmar and youth climate activists in the U.S. She is the author of Nowhere to Be Home: Narratives from Survivors of Burma's Military Regime (McSweeney's). 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 serves as Oral Historian for the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
Registration for this program closes Friday, September 24 at 12 pm. Use the toggle below to register (this will register you for both sessions).