Oral History Office Hosts Summer Institute Program

NEW YORK, June 25, 2003 - Columbia University Oral History Research Office is sponsoring it's annual two-week International Summer Institute in Oral History, a series of workshops from June 15th to June 27th featuring acclaimed oral history leaders and thinkers. Attendees will be visiting fellows from around the nation and the world who will gather to discuss dynamic theories and methods of oral history research in diverse settings and cultures.

The theme of the Seminar is "Telling Lives: Memory, Orality and Testimony in Oral History". Presentations will be on topics such as The Practice of Listening and Questioning, Oral History and the Art of Dialogue, Digital Storytelling as a New Pedagogy, and Individual and Collective Identities in Post-War Kosovo. Guests include Rina Benmayor, an author of lead discussions on the role of testimonial literature in writing Latina women's lives and Alessandro Portelli, who teaches American literature at the University of Rome. Portelli will interview Annie Napier from Harlan County, Kentucky where he has conducted fieldwork for the last 15 years. Presentations will also be made on the Oral History Research Office's current projects on the events and aftermath of September 11, 2001, in which over 500 people have been interviewed.

Mary Marshall Clark, director of the Oral History Research Office said "the summer 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."

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 800,000 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 is one of the top ten academic library systems in the nation, with 7.5 million volumes, 49,000 serials, as well as extensive collections of electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms and other non-print formats. The collections and services are organized into 23 libraries, supporting specific academic or professional disciplines. The Library's web site at http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/ is a gateway to the print and electronic collections and to services.

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07/03/03 JD