Oral History Research Office Hosts Annual Summer Institute Program


(NEW YORK, May 14, 2009) The Columbia University Oral History Research Office (OHRO) is sponsoring its annual two-week Summer Institute in Oral History from June 1st to 12th, 2009 featuring acclaimed oral history leaders and thinkers from around the world. The theme of the 2009 Institute is "Narrating the Body: Oral History, Narrative and Embodied Practice."

This year’s Institute will explore issues, stories and performances tracing the history of the body, as well as oral history as an embodied practice. Mary Marshall Clark, director of the Oral History Research Office said "the Institute is an opportunity for creative, collaborative exploration of the uses of oral history, in a setting that develops new oral history paradigms for contemporary fieldwork and research. This year we will address how we come to know ourselves, and others, through our bodies."

There will be two public lectures during the Summer Institute: Kathy Davis, senior researcher at the Institute of History and Culture at Utrecht University in the Netherlands will give a lecture on Feminism as Traveling Theory: The Case of Our Bodies, Ourselves on June 3 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.. Alessandro Portelli, professor of American Literature at the University of Rome, will lecture on Struggle and Survival: Narratives of the Body, Illness and Death in Harlan County, Kentucky on June 10 from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. Both lectures will be held at 754 Schermerhorn Extension on Columbia's Morningside campus.

Core faculty will explore recent theoretical inquiries into the embodied nature of the oral history interview as it addresses hunger, political trauma, disability and illness narratives as well as reproductive rights and sexuality. Workshops will include training for interviewing vulnerable and traumatized families/communities and developing archives of cultural memory and activism, as well as practical workshops in the development of archives and the use of digital technology to record and preserve interviews.

Faculty in the 2009 Summer Institute will include Peter Bearman, director of the Lazarsfeld Center for the Social Sciences, the Cole Professor of Social Science, and co-director of the Health & Society Scholars Program at Columbia University; Rita Charon, director of the Narrative Medicine Program at Columbia University; Mary Marshall Clark, director of the OHRO; Sayantani DasGupta, assistant clinical professor of pediatrics and a core faculty member of the Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University; Kathy Davis, senior researcher at the Institute of History and Culture at Utrecht University in the Netherlands; Jeff Friedman, associate professor on the faculty of the Department of Dance at Rutgers University; Lynn Garafola, professor of dance at Barnard College; Victoria Phillips Geduld, Ph.D. candidate in cultural and political history at Columbia University; Ronald Grele, director emeritus of the OHRO; Marsha Hurst, faculty member of Columbia's Narrative Medicine Program and research scholar at Columbia University's Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy; Ynestra King, writer and editor; Jose Carlos Sebe Bom Meihy, oral historian at the University of São Paulo, Brazil; Alessandra Nicifero, translator and dance critic; MiRi Park, program coordinator of the Oral History MA Program at Columbia; Alessandro Portelli, professor of American Literature at the University of Rome; radio documentary producer/director Steve Rowland; Linda Shopes, freelance editor, project manager, and oral historian; Amy Starecheski, doctoral student in cultural anthropology at the City University of New York Graduate Center; Laura Starecheski, award-winning audio producer; and Dorinda Welle, program officer in Sexuality, Reproductive Health and Rights at the Ford Foundation.

For more information please call the Oral History Research Office at 212-854-2273 or visit the website at www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/indiv/oral/summer/index.html.

The Columbia University Oral History Research Office is the oldest and largest organized university-based oral history program open to the public in the world. Founded in 1948 by Pulitzer Prize winning historian Allan Nevins, the oral history collection now contains nearly 8,000 taped memoirs, and nearly 1,000,000 pages of transcript. The program is also a center for teaching and research, offering opportunities for students, visiting scholars and fellows.

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 10 million volumes, over 100,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 25 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 550 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries at www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb is the gateway to its services and resources.

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05/14/09 LMK