November 2014
Moxie Scholars 2014 in their own documentary video
Field Notes
Stories from the Southern Oral History Program

Greetings from the Associate Director

We're calling it The Year of the Podcast.  Inspired in part by the keynote address given at the Oral History Association conference last month by our friend and colleague, radio documentarian John Biewen of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke, we are experimenting with this format for sharing our work with multiple audiences.  We love the way it allows for collaborative, creative, even playful work that seeks to explore and understand serious issues.  

 

We're just getting started, but we foresee the podcast as a flexible, exciting tool that can tap into the interests and energies of our students as well as find new audiences for our research.  Our interns have already jumped into the challenge and have taken the lead in experimenting with the form.  We started with the podcast version of our walking tour. Now one group is working on a podcast for high school civics classes about voting--drawing from interviews with people in our collection who reflect on the importance of suffrage and the long, difficult battles it took to extend the right to all. Another pair of interns has already produced our first extended podcast, about "rebellion," aimed at an audience of their peers on UNC's campus, as you'll see below.  

 

The podcast is not just a technique we can use to pursue our goal of sharing the wealth of our resources--the incredible stories housed in our collections--with new audiences.  It also serves as a fabulous pedagogical tool; in order to craft an effective podcast, students have to think seriously about their own analysis of interviews they choose to highlight--what connections do they see, what tensions arise when they put them together, what questions do they raise for the producer and for the audience?  We are thrilled with our students' first forays into this new territory; we hope you'll listen and share your thoughts.

 

--Rachel F. Seidman

Interns Create New Podcast on "Rebellion" at UNC
Interns Rachel Worsham and David Farrow created our inaugural podcast, "Rebellion."The podcast features interviews with Sharon Rose Powell, student chairwoman of the Women's Residence Council, who rallied students against UNC's in loco parentis policies, and Ashley Davis, a Black Student Movement member who helped organize food workers for the 1969 Food Workers Strike.  Their analysis explores the degree to which "marginalized voices can still change history."  Listen here and let us know what you think!  
Field Scholar Evan Faulkenbury Researches Conservative Women's Activism
This fall, SOHP field scholar Evan Faulkenbury has continued to work on his oral history project focusing on conservative women activists. Evan's interest in conservatism and anti-feminism led him to seek out women who normally would not consider themselves to be feminists to ask about their politics, beliefs, and influence on their community. He has talked with women involved with the National Federation of Republican Women, Concerned Women for America, crisis pregnancy centers, Liberty University, and local churches. They have described their views on feminism, abortion, gay rights, government, health care, education, and a host of other pertinent political and social issues. Evan pursued this project because he believed conservative women activists are underrepresented in the SOHP archive, and he suspected their influence on modern conservatism is crucial, yet largely misunderstood. Their perspectives on these issues are far from monolithic. One woman labeled feminism "irrelevant," but in describing its impact on society, she demonstrated how it continues to perplex evangelical Christians. Another woman identified as a feminist herself, but one who was primarily concerned with ending abortion rights. And yet another sees feminism as a destructive idea that upends traditional gender roles, but properly applied, feminism can empower women to accept their supportive roles with confidence. Taken together, these interviews illustrate the complexities of conservative activists while suggesting women have been paramount to conservatism in the South for generations.
Moxie Documentary Now Available Online
At the end of each summer, Moxie Scholars undertake a final project that pulls together their classroom learning, oral history research, and internship experiences. This summer we were delighted by the cohort's moving documentary and original music video. Watch here to find out why they undertook the Moxie Project, what they learned from it and from each other, what "artivism" means to them, and how their internship supervisors feel about the program and its service to the state of North Carolina.  And enjoy their fabulous Moxie Project Rap!
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Southern Oral History Program, Center for the Study of the American South, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, CB 9127,  410 E. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-9127