August 2015

Interns Destinie Pittman, Alex Ford, & Devin Holman with Field Scholar Taylor Livingston during their first seminar
Field Notes
Stories from the Southern Oral History Program

From the Director
UNC's classes started this week and we at SOHP look forward to an academic year filled with opportunities for research, teaching, and engagement. In the last year we have made substantial progress on our research initiatives in women's leadership and the rural South. We continue to explore themes of equality, success, and perseverance through the life histories we collect. We are working with teachers, entrepreneurs, scholars, activists, and everyone in between to turn knowledge into action that encourages empathy and advances our society. Associate Director Rachel Seidman, Coordinator of Collections Jaycie Vos, and our Field Scholars and Undergraduate Interns will continue to develop research collaborations.
We also have some exciting recent developments! I have been awardeda Public Scholar Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Humanities that will support a three-semester research leave. I'll be finishing my current book project, The Lumbee Indians: An American Struggle, which chronicles Lumbee history from European contact to the
Renee Alexander Craft
present, for a general audience. The College of Arts and Sciences at UNC is also supporting this critical time away from teaching that will help me complete the manuscript. In my place, Renee Alexander Craft, Associate Professor of Communication Studies, will serve as Acting Director of SOHP. She is generously stepping forward to bring her critical strengths in oral history, digital humanities, and performance to SOHP until December 2016 (I will return in January 2017). Everyone at the Center for the Study of the American South and the College has been helpful in this transition and we are very excited to have Renee on board as a new partner.
Rachel Olsen
Finally, CSAS has also hired our Administrative Support Associate, Rachel Olsen, on a full-time basis! If you have ever tried to complete a project or facilitate a collaboration of any sort, you know how important it is to have staff members who have high standards and go above and beyond to anticipate the team's needs and make things work. Rachel will be with us full time for the next year to keep the engine behind of all our partnerships running smoothly. Don't forget to check our website at for ongoing news, featured interviews, and resources that you can use in your everyday work. It's going to be a great year!
Meet the Fall 2015 Undergraduate Interns 
Introducing the Fall 2015 SOHP Undergraduate Interns! Learn more about Alex Ford, Devin Holman, Monique Laborde, and Destinie Pittman on our internship page.

Our internship program is one of our favorite pedagogical initiatives. Using a selective application process, we choose four impressive undergraduates each semester who receive academic credit for working at SOHP, learning about oral history methods, undertaking a group research project, and providing important service to the program.

This year, our interns will focus on the desegregation of UNC by interviewing members of the Black Pioneers, a group of the first African American students attending UNC from 1952-1972. The SOHP is looking forward to capturing these alumni's stories to impart important historical and cultural information to the UNC community. The Black Pioneers' oral histories and associated material culture will enrich the SOHP and Southern Historical Collection's assemblage of information on this important time period at UNC. To sample this material, click here to listen to the interview with Karen Parker, '65, the first African American female to graduate from UNC, and here to browse her diary from her time at UNC.  
Oral History Research: Feminist Activists 
The office of the Op Ed Project in Manhattan, where Seidman
interviewed founder and executive director Katie Orenstein.

Associate Director Rachel Seidman traveled to New York City this summer on a Schlesinger Library Oral History Grant to undertake interviews with current feminist activists. Seidman is working on a book project under contract with UNC Press called Speaking Up, Speaking Out, Talking Back: An Oral History of Feminism in the Digital Age. "Interviewing these activists was inspiring," Seidman says. "Their energy, determination, and creative problem solving were impressive. I was struck by themes that started to unfold in our conversations about pragmatism vs. idealism, the relationship between feminist theory and on-the-ground activism, the impact of 9/11, the economic crash and recession, and conceptions of politics and power. I'm looking forward to collecting more interviews in the upcoming year."

American Studies Ph.D. student Rachel Gelfand also contributed to Seidman's project by collecting four interviews with grassroots feminist activists in Atlanta. Her interviews will join the SOHP's Long Women's Movement in the American South collection. "
The trip to Atlanta was a great opportunity for me to interview activists with powerful insight into what is going on in feminism and politics today," said Gelfand. "It was exciting to meet women working in Atlanta on issues of reproductive rights and refugee support... Oral history opens the door for amazing conversations!" 

Guest Blog Posts: Using Oral History 
Now that school's back in session, be sure to check out SOHP's Field Notes Blog for posts from our Field Scholars, Undergraduate Interns, and guest bloggers. We've recently featured two great posts from colleagues doing great things in the field of oral history.

Students in Dr. Friedman's "NewStories" Class
Barbara Friedman, Associate Professor in the UNC School of Media and Journalism and SOHP Faculty Affiliate, has found new and unique ways to bring oral history performance to the field of journalism. She wrote about her experience and how it's encouraged her to enthusiastically embrace performance as a pedagogical tool and a way of bringing voices to life for her students. Read her blog post here.

Karida Brown with interviewee Richard "Bo" Chapman
Karida Brown, founder and principal investigator of the Eastern Kentucky African American Migration Project (EKAAMP), is working hard to make the worlds of oral history research and public, community-based history collide in her ongoing project on intergenerational migration into and out of the Appalachian region of eastern Kentucky throughout the 20th century. After completing over 200 interviews, she established a participatory archive, allowing her interviewees to make history together. Read her blog post here.
News From Our Friends
We're so excited for SOHP Alumna Sarah McNamara, who was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association for the Latino Americans: 500 Years of History initiative. This nationwide program supports the history and experiences of Latino Americans. Sarah will use the grant for an oral history project and public programming about Latino history and culture of Ybor City and Tampa, Florida, which is being sponsored by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida. Sarah is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her work focuses on women and gender, Latina/o, and labor history. Congratulations, Sarah!

Save the Date: NC Women's Summit
The 2015 NC Women's Summit will take place on Thursday, September 24th, 2015 at Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, NC). This year's summit will feature keynote speakers Melissa Harris-Perry, Executive Director of WFU's Pro Humanitate Institute, and Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress. SOHP is proud to co-sponsor the NC Women's Summit again. Get your ticket for the NC Women's Summit now!