May 2015
Moxie Scholars 2015, from left to right: Z Tugman, Clara Femia,
Anne Zhou, Emily Carrino and Kadejah Murray

Field Notes
Stories from the Southern Oral History Program

Greetings from the Associate Director
With the spring semester behind us, we are finally exhaling!  Teaching classes that involve students not only in reading history and listening to interviews but oral history research projects, civic engagement initiatives, and creative final products means we can sometimes feel like we have too many balls in the air.  But once the juggling show is over, we get to reflect on all the learning and growth (for us as well as for our students) that happened over the semester.  Together with Malinda, Jaycie, Rachel Olsen, and Taylor Livingston (featured below), I can say that we continue to be excited about the possibilities for sharing oral history through podcasts, though we have even more appreciation for the time, skill, and talent it takes to make a good one!  Inspired by John Biewen, who runs the Audio Documentary program at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke and was the keynote speaker for the Oral History Association meeting last October, we dedicated ourselves to playing with the format this year. Students in our classes, practicum and internship all made podcasts (see article below), and while the experiment was certainly a creative and pedagogical challenge for all of us, we are excited to share the results with you. We continue to believe in the magic of live performances of oral histories as well, and the students in Malinda's oral history class as well as our interns carried on the long SOHP tradition of performing pieces based on their oral history interviews.  Knowing how powerful oral history can be in the classroom, we have also been working to make that experience more available to teachers and students in the K-12 system, and are looking forward to building on that initiative this summer and next year.  

We hope your summer is off to a good start, and we look forward to keeping you up to date with our continuing projects in the coming months.
  

--Rachel F. Seidman

Student Podcasts Explore Wide Range of Topics 
Students in Lumbee History class present their final podcast
Students in Malinda Maynor Lowery's Lumbee History class, in Associate Director Rachel Seidman's Oral History and Women's Activism in the South class, and in the SOHP internship and practicum all produced audio pieces this semester.  Students explored Lumbee history, desegregation in NC schools, the impact of Ms. Magazine, and "artivism" among other topics.  We have gathered them together on SoundCloud under a playlist called Podcasts, so that you can listen to them. With training from consultant Susan Davis, producer of The Good Fight podcast and former WUNC radio producer, students learned to incorporate not only oral histories, but music, sound effects, and their own narration to create evocative layers of audio that add to the listener's enjoyment as well as understanding.  We hope you enjoy these examples of what students can do when given time to explore and be creative with their learning.  SOHP continues to imagine what role podcasts might play in our future...keep listening and tune in for more next year!  

Intern Performance Uncovers Women's Activism at UNC
This semester SOHP interns researched student activism around women's issues at UNC.  They interviewed former activists and those who watched feminism unfold from the sidelines.  They shared their interviewees' voices and their own insights in a final performance.  Pulling different perspectives together into a joint script forced the students to share their individual research findings with each other, broaden their views and test their ideas together.  At the performance itself, the students had the pleasure of sharing their work with a public audience that included some of their interviewees.  Answering questions from the audience also got the students thinking about what they had learned, and why it was special. Samantha Gregg interviewed UNC Trustee Sallie Shuping-Russell (pictured on right) who, as an undergrad, authored a pamphlet that was one of the earliest examples of anti-rape activism on campus.  Students and the audience all gained important new insight by talking about the connections between the history and the contemporary challenges of fighting sexual assault at UNC.  
Field Scholar Taylor Livingston Enlivens Oral History for Interns

Taylor Livingston has been the engine behind the undergraduate internship over the past year.  For the spring semester, she did preparatory research in the archives about women's activism on UNC campus, led the Friday seminars, guided the students' oral history research, oversaw their work mining the archives for clips on desegregation and creating a new walking tour map of UNC, and helped shape their final performance about feminist student activism at Carolina.  She worked tirelessly and with enthusiasm, always ready with a funny anecdote or key insight.  Luckily for us, Taylor will be back in the fall.  It is through her leadership that we will be undertaking a new intern research project on The Black Pioneers, the first generation of black students at UNC.  Taylor says 


 
"I am excited to continue the rewarding experience of working with students more closely than [TA positions] allow next year. I can't wait to dig into the archives for information on the Black Pioneers, have the interns discover this information, and hear about and listen to their interviews with these courageous students.

 

Weirdly, it is as if my life has come full circle to my life seven years ago. Seven years ago when I was a junior in college, Bill Moore introduced me to social movement theory and oral history in my Honors course on the history of the civil rights movement.  I also researched, conducted oral histories, and a wrote a paper on the integration of my alma mater, the College of Charleston, much like the interns next year will do. I hope that the information and experiences they have conducting their research stays with them long afterwards as my experiences did."


 
You can read more about Taylor's work with the interns in her own words here.  We're thrilled that Taylor will continue working with SOHP and we know that another group of students will benefit from her generous, talented, and energetic teaching.  

 

 

Moxie Project Launches New Scholars into Summer 
Laura Edwards of WomenAdvance, Jaycie Vos of SOHP, Barbara Lau of Pauli Murray Project, Mary Koenig Moxie '13, Anne Zhou and Emily Carrino current Moxies, and Mark Newman of the Development Office enjoyed lunch together at CSAS.
Current and past Moxie scholars, internship site supervisors, SOHP, Carolina Women's Center and CSAS staff, and friends and supporters all joined together for a lovely "Launch Lunch" on May 15.  Our five Moxies will be working this summer at three sites: The North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NCCASA), The Pauli Murray Project, and Women Advance.  In addition to their internships, students will meet weekly for a seminar discussion with program leaders, take field trips to other local organizations, and meet with women leaders who will offer guidance and reflect on their own career paths. New this year we are partnering with the Career Center at UNC to offers Moxies tips on how to encapsulate their internship experiences on resumes at the end of the summer.  We're looking forward to seeing what these Moxies do for their final project!  We will be blogging about the Moxie Project here this summer; keep in touch! 
SOHP Goes Back to High School
Carrboro High School students in Sara Clay's Mythology class are undertaking a project to interview different generations from the local community about their lives and the stories that have been passed down through their families.  Jaycie Vos and Rachel Seidman visited their class to talk and answer their questions about collecting and archiving interviews.  Earlier in the year we worked with English teacher Andrew Jester, who had his students using our archives and doing some interviews on their own as well.  We are looking forward to developing our relationship with the school in the coming months and exploring new ways of connecting with high school teachers, librarians, and students.