Field Notes
July 2016
From the Acting Director
One of the things I treasure most about teaching is the opportunity to learn-again and again... out loud... in the company of curious students. Even the material that I know most intimately, that is closest to my ways of thinking and being in the world, gets properly pushed, pulled, and challenged in the space between what I understand in the quiet of my own mind and what I am able to impart to another in my leadership capacity as her teacher. Teaching is a marvelous way to crystallize one's learning. What a joy it is to shift perspective on the luminous fragment you've come to know and let the light hit it differently in order to learn anew. The opportunity to serve as Acting Director of the Southern Oral History Program this past year has been a transformative privilege for me. It has been a year of testing what I thought I knew about this great organization, of coming to understand the power and potential of oral history in more expansive ways, and of benefiting from the opportunity to learn and grow in the company of some of the best colleagues I could imagine as teammates and comrades. As grateful as I am to begin my Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship leave, I am equally grateful to Kenneth Janken and the Center for the Study of the American South, and to Malinda Maynor Lowery and the Southern Oral History Program, for giving me the opportunity to learn by doing and the space to make a mark.

I am thrilled to publicly announce two pieces of news that we, at the Love House and Hutchins Forum, have been celebrating for a bit. From July 1st through Malinda's return in January, Rachel Seidman will serve in the position of Acting Director of SOHP. I could not have been as
2015-2016 SOHP staff, left to right: Rachel Seidman, Rachel Olsen, Renée Alexander Craft, and Jaycie Vos
successful in the role without Rachel's institutional memory, knowledge, and wisdom. We look forward to a rich and rigorous fall semester under her leadership. 
 
The second bit of news is bittersweet. We are proud beyond measure that Administrative Support Associate Rachel Olsen has been accepted into the Ed.S. program in Child, Family, and School Psychology at the University of Denver. Rachel's service to SOHP over the last three years has far exceeded her title. We thank her for her commitment, professionalism, precision, and care. We thank her for consistently providing the type of backstage labor and support SOHP requires to thrive. And, we thank her for approaching such hard work with seemingly boundless energy, warmth, wit, and grace. We will miss her, but we wish her every success as she takes this next step along her professional journey.
 
Ou r local, national, and global communities are in the midst of a tumultuous period in history when unchecked structural realities of racism, xenophobia, and sexism have produced new waves of violence and new waves of fear. The loudest and most entitled keep a tight grip on the microphone. Thankfully, there is more than one. Thankfully, organizations like the Southern Oral History Program have microphones too and are listening to the diverse voices of the everyday many and not just the privileged few. SOHP, I look forward to continuing to listen and record alongside you.

--Renée Alexander Craft
New Episode of PRESS RECORD: The SOHP Podcast

Episode 5 of PRESS RECORD is now available on iTunes and SoundCloud! Summer is in full swing here at the SOHP and this month's episode of Press Record explores a sillier but often overlooked topic: what happens when animals take center stage during an oral history interview?

Learn more and listen to the episode here, and don't forget to subscribe on iTunes to get new episodes right to your device. Episode 6 coming soon!  
Moxie Celebration 2016


Congratulations to the 2016 Moxie Scholars on the conclusion of a great summer! On Friday, July 8th, friends and colleagues gathered to celebrate their hard work and view their final project, a zine titled "Call Me Moxie." In their words, "Our intention in creating a zine was to explore the intersections of our experiences with oral histories, internships, and feminism." A huge thank you to all Moxie mentors and community partners; and to Rain, Hannah, Emily, Adrienne, Sam, and Hampton for their contributions to these organizations and to the SOHP archive.
Good News from the SOHP Family
Sarah McNamara, former SOHP field scholar from 2011 to 2013, successfully defended her dissertation "From Picket Lines to Picket Fences: Latinas and the Remaking of the Jim Crow South, 1930-1964." In August of this year, she will join the faculty at Texas A&M University as an Assistant Professor of History. Sarah's work incorporates oral histories she conducted with Cuban women in Florida. She has also interviewed and worked with undocumented Latina activists in North Carolina, which she wrote about for South Writ Large. Congratulations Sarah!


And former Acting Director Renée Alexander Craft recently launched Portobelo Digital, the Spanish-language version of Digital Portobelo: Art + Scholarship + Cultural Preservation . Digital Portobelo is  an interactive on-line collection of ethnographic interviews, photos, videos, art work, and archival material illuminating the rich culture and history of Portobelo, Panama. The websites are constantly being added to, so check back often & follow the project on Facebook

Southern Oral History Program  |  Center for the Study of the American South 
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill  |  410 E. Franklin Street  |  Chapel Hill, NC 27514
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