Columbia University Oral History Masters Program

Columbia University Oral History Masters Program OHMA is the first program of its kind: a one-year interdisciplinary Master of Arts degree training students in oral history method and theory.

Our graduates work in museums, historical societies, advocacy organizations, media, the arts, education, human rights and development. OHMA is also excellent preparation for doctoral work in fields like anthropology, history, journalism, and American studies or professional degrees in law, education, or social work.

Mission: During a year at OHMA, students learn the skills of digital audio and video production and editing, digital archiving, oral history project design and interviewing, and both historical and social science analysis. Working with an OHMA faculty member and an outside advisor, each student is guided through the process of creating a thesis project. Past projects have taken the form of academic and creative essays, film and audio documentaries, performances, exhibits, and multimedia websites. OHMA students also have access to elective courses taught anywhere within the University and exclusive oral history internship opportunities.

Next up in our OHMA Workshop series, Dr. Crystal Mun-hye Baik, OHMA alum and University of California Riverside professo...
11/14/2020
“The War Is Not A Bomber Jet Anymore”: Reencountering the Korean War through Aural History — Oral History Master of Arts

Next up in our OHMA Workshop series, Dr. Crystal Mun-hye Baik, OHMA alum and University of California Riverside professor, and members of Nodutdol for Korean Community Development present on the Intergenerational Korean American Oral History Project, a diasporic memory archive of the un-ended Korean War. Throughout the talk and Q&A segment, participants will also discuss what it means to draw on oral/aural history to amplify the urgent importance of anti-racist organizing, as well as the complications that emerge in attempts to document prolonged histories of transnational war. Join us next Thursday (11/19) for the conversation!

http://oralhistory.columbia.edu/calendar/reencountering-the-korean-war-2020

What does it mean to live with a 70-year war when its manifestations, hypervisible and deeply sensed, are perceived as everyday formations delinked from militarized violence and state brutality?

"Repatriating the archives isn’t always about removing materials from institutional care. It’s making sure the people wh...
11/13/2020
Repatriating the archives: Lumbee scholars find their people and bring them home

"Repatriating the archives isn’t always about removing materials from institutional care. It’s making sure the people whose lives and cultures are represented in collections know they are there, and ensuring they have the ability to view and share these materials as they see fit. When materials are returned to their communities of origin, they become reactivated."

In this recent piece, two Lumbee scholars, Ashley Minner from Baltimore and Jessica Locklear from Philadelphia, share about how they have grappled with the politics of archives, ownership, and access, and how they have navigated their dual identities as public-facing scholars and tribal citizens.

https://theconversation.com/repatriating-the-archives-lumbee-scholars-find-their-people-and-bring-them-home-129220

Two Lumbee scholars who have mined local archives in search of tribal history raise the profound question: Who has the rights to memories and artifacts of their people's past?

Throughout the days following the election, many have spoken out about the importance of recognizing the range of indivi...
11/10/2020
Voices from the fight: An oral history of the four-year movement to defeat Donald Trump

Throughout the days following the election, many have spoken out about the importance of recognizing the range of individuals who organized both within and beyond this presidential race. This piece from the Washington Post aims to piece together voices from different parts of the country to show how community members mobilized across the four years of Trump's presidency. As oral historians, though, we wonder: whose voices could and should be added to this narrative?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/elections/trump-opposition-oral-history/

Notable figures and ordinary Americans describe their reaction to Trump's victory in 2016 and describe the moments during his presidency that compelled them to speak out and mobilize against him.

What does an actor/actress look like when off-stage in the real world? The human drama goes on beyond the curtain fall. ...
11/09/2020
Beyond and Before the Curtain: Oral History Theatre of Toronto Chinatown Women — Oral History Master of Arts

What does an actor/actress look like when off-stage in the real world? The human drama goes on beyond the curtain fall. In this blog post, current OHMA student Yiling (Nina) Zhou draws from an interview she conducted studying the history of Cantonese Opera in Canada and reflects on her oral history project. This approach was inspired by the recent OHMA workshop with Nikki Yeboah, whose oral history performance project, “The (M)others, explores the stories of four women who lost their loved ones to police brutality. Her process of theatre-making shows an empowering way in storytelling of women.

http://oralhistory.columbia.edu/blog-posts/People/beyond-and-before-the-curtain-oral-history-theatre-of-toronto-chinatown-women

What does an actor/actress look like when off-stage in the real world? The human drama goes on beyond the curtain fall. In this piece, OHMA student Yiling (Nina) Zhou draws from an interview she conducted studying the history of Cantonese Opera in Canada and reflects on her oral history project. T

Our OHMA Workshop series continues next Thursday with a talk from Leanne Simpson. Weaving story, song and film, Leanne e...
11/06/2020
Noopiming: The Cure For White Ladies — Oral History Master of Arts

Our OHMA Workshop series continues next Thursday with a talk from Leanne Simpson. Weaving story, song and film, Leanne explores the orality of her new work Noopiming: The Cure For White Ladies. The novel combines narrative and poetic fragments through a careful and fierce reclamation of Anishinaabe aesthetics. To read Simpson’s work is an act of decolonization, degentrification, and willful resistance to the perpetuation and dissemination of centuries-old colonial myth-making.

http://oralhistory.columbia.edu/calendar/noopiming-the-cure-for-white-ladies

Weaving story, song and film, Leanne explores the orality of her new work Noopiming: The Cure For White Ladies, published this fall by the House of Anansi Press, and forthcoming in the US in the Winter of 2020 from the University of Minnesota Press.

Check out OHMA alum Lynn Lewis's work tonight at 6pm at the opening of the Imagining De-Gentrified Futures exhibition. T...
11/04/2020
Imagining De-Gentrified Futures Virtual Opening and Tour

Check out OHMA alum Lynn Lewis's work tonight at 6pm at the opening of the Imagining De-Gentrified Futures exhibition. The exhibit, curated by Betty Yu, attempts to imagine socially-just futures for our cities and aiming to rethink the assumed trajectory of urban development. Lynn's work through the Picture the Homeless Oral History Project is one of several featured projects from across the country. If you can't make it tonight, the exhibit will be up from November 5-December 19!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/imagining-de-gentrified-futures-virtual-opening-and-tour-tickets-92491764357?utm_source=sendinblue&utm_campaign=ImaginingPR&utm_medium=email

Join a Virtual Exhibition Walkthrough of Imagining De-Gentrified Futures with Curator Betty Yu

In honor of Election Day, we are resharing this StoryCorps clip of a conversation between Cherie DeBrest and her daughte...
11/03/2020
Philadelphia Poll Worker Supports Her Community, and Inspires Daughter to Do the Same

In honor of Election Day, we are resharing this StoryCorps clip of a conversation between Cherie DeBrest and her daughter Naima about her first voting experience, her motivation to become a poll worker in recent years, and her thoughts about an election cycle like none other.

https://storycorps.org/stories/philadelphia-poll-worker-supports-her-community-and-inspires-daughter-to-do-the-same/

Cherie DeBrest speaks with her daughter, Naima, about working the polls together in the upcoming election.

Interested in studying oral history? Columbia University's Oral History Master of Arts (OHMA) program, an interdisciplin...
11/02/2020
OHMA Virtual Open House

Interested in studying oral history? Columbia University's Oral History Master of Arts (OHMA) program, an interdisciplinary program that trains students in oral history method and theory, might be for you! Join us for our Virtual Open House on November 16th from 9-11am to learn more.

Our Virtual Open House will include an information session, opportunities to virtually meet our OHMA students and alums, a presentation by OHMA Alum, Alissa Rae Funderburk, and a mini-interviewing workshop, taught by OHMA Director Amy Starecheski.

RSVP at the link below. Hope to see you there!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ohma-virtual-open-house-tickets-121243367175

OHMA Virtual Open House on Nov. 16, 2020 Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

Using oral history as an education tool was big theme of the Oral History Association Annual Meeting. Are you wondering ...
11/02/2020
Teachers, Now is a Great Time for Oral History

Using oral history as an education tool was big theme of the Oral History Association Annual Meeting. Are you wondering what that looks like? Check out this May article from Museum of the City of New York about why now is the perfect time to start using oral histories in your classroom spaces. For more guides, trainings, and curriculum, some great places to start are: Voice of Witness, Oral History Center at UC Berkeley and Oral History Association. If you want to shout out other organizations that have great resources, put them below!
https://www.mcny.org/story/teachers-now-great-time-oral-history

Encourage students to harness the hours at home to connect with and listen to their fellow New Yorkers, all the while creating the primary sources of tomorrow.

Looking for something to listen to this weekend? Check out this episode of stushanbush podcast with OHMA alum and curren...
11/01/2020
episode 4 | is diaspora working? by Stush an’ Bush • A podcast on Anchor

Looking for something to listen to this weekend? Check out this episode of stushanbush podcast with OHMA alum and current anthropology PhD student Andrew Viñales. Andrew speaks about intimacy and learning from elders--look in the Episode 4 notes to link to some of Andrew's work!

https://anchor.fm/stush-an-bush/episodes/episode-4--is-diaspora-working-el97br?fbclid=IwAR3HSveUrHgYOMW7yv7xQo7aT6UBnEdAxB6RR2I1j23BoD3YYaPRlk_IG5o

Robert gets a new micrphone and Khadieme mishaps on "maricones," but more than that, more mix up on latinidad, story telling and some oral historian work. join us as we speak with cultural anthropology PhD student and oral historian Andrew Viñales on intimacy, learning from our elders as we become ...

Our third OHMA Workshop of the semester is next Thursday (11/5) with our OHMA alum Sara Sinclair and curriculum speciali...
10/30/2020
Empowering Youth Through Indigenous Stories — Oral History Master of Arts

Our third OHMA Workshop of the semester is next Thursday (11/5) with our OHMA alum Sara Sinclair and curriculum specialist Suzanne Methot. They will explore how oral history can form the foundation of educational materials designed to challenge oppressive power dynamics. Sara is the North American editor of the recent Voice of Witness book, How We Go Home: Voices from Indigenous North America, which evolved out of her OHMA thesis.

We are looking forward to learning how the book’s narratives and accompanying curriculum can return the power of the stories to Indigenous youth and amplify their voices.

http://oralhistory.columbia.edu/calendar/empowering-youth-through-indigenous-stories

Oral historians have a reverence for the power of the stories that are shared with us. As practitioners, we also aim to pursue our work through processes that empower our narrators and their larger communities.

TONIGHT! Join us for our first OHMA Virtual Open House from 6-8pm. We will have an information session, chances to meet ...
10/29/2020
OHMA Virtual Open House

TONIGHT! Join us for our first OHMA Virtual Open House from 6-8pm. We will have an information session, chances to meet students and alums, a chance to hear about the work of two of our awesome alum (Emma Courtland and Robin Miniter), and a mini-interviewing workshop with our OHMA Director, Amy Starecheski. Applications open November 15. We hope to see you tonight and to read your applications soon!
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ohma-virtual-open-house-tickets-121242293965

OHMA Virtual Open House on Oct. 29, 2020

Two years ago today, news of a mass synagogue shooting in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania sho...
10/27/2020
Meanings of October 27th: First Listen

Two years ago today, news of a mass synagogue shooting in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania shocked many across the country and opened broader conversations about anti-semitism in the United States. After the media left, the Meanings of October 27th oral history project has explored the meanings of that event for the Tree of Life – Or L'Simcha Congregation and the larger Pittsburgh community.

https://soundcloud.com/user-273644587/meanings-promo

Listen to Meanings of October 27th: First Listen by meanings #np on #SoundCloud

What is the role of oral historians in an era of fake news? #tb to this 2016 blog post, in which OHMA alum Rachel Unkovi...
10/26/2020
Oral History in the 'Post-Fact' Era: Exploring ‘Voices of Crown Heights’ (Part II) — Oral History Master of Arts

What is the role of oral historians in an era of fake news? #tb to this 2016 blog post, in which OHMA alum Rachel Unkovic used the work of Zaheer Ali, then Brooklyn Historical Society oral history and current OHMA faculty, and Alessandro Portelli as a jumping off point to explore this question. Spoiler alert: it’s complicated!

http://oralhistory.columbia.edu/blog-posts/People/nrggqv9xow97knqnmpbemn5scfezfb?rq=election

This article is the second in a three-part series examining the Brooklyn Historical Society’s ongoing oral history project “ Voices of Crown Heights .” In this piece, current OHMA student Rachel Unkovic (2016) focuses on how oral history can illuminate (rather than obfuscate) historical narrat...

Have you checked out The New York Public Library's oral history collections recently? One of the newer projects, COVID-1...
10/25/2020
COVID-19 Dance Worker Narratives Project

Have you checked out The New York Public Library's oral history collections recently? One of the newer projects, COVID-19 Dance Worker Narratives Project, documents the unique experience of dance artists and workers in the midst of the unfolding Covid-19 pandemic and nationwide Black Lives Matter protests. The project also intends to give opportunities for members of the dance community to connect with one another despite the inability to gather physically. They are currently looking for submissions!

https://www.nypl.org/node/574813

The Jerome Robbins Dance Division of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts seeks participation in a peer-to-peer interview project across dance communities in NYC and nationally. We are requesting your submissions through May 31, 2021.

October is Filipino American History Month and we want to spotlight the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project's...
10/24/2020
Video Oral Histories - Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project

October is Filipino American History Month and we want to spotlight the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project's collection on the history of cannery union activism in the Seattle Filipino American community. This collection follows three generations of organizing through archival materials, essays, and oral histories in order to document this powerful example of civil rights unionism on the West Coast.

https://depts.washington.edu/civilr/cannery_interviews.htm

Activists from Seattle's Filipino American civil rights and labor movements discussed their experiences in videotaped oral histories. The links below lead to brief personal biographies and streaming-video excerpts of each interview.

Want to learn more about the OHMA program? One week from today we'll be hosting our first Fall Open House, featuring an ...
10/22/2020
2021 OHMA Application and Open House Information

Want to learn more about the OHMA program? One week from today we'll be hosting our first Fall Open House, featuring an info session, a mini-interviewing workshop, and a presentation from two of our alums, Emma Courtland and Robin Miniter. Get more details below!

https://incite.columbia.edu/campaigns/view-campaign/XMcClc7l_Tx5A-H1J4gVx74aa5UQVOliVHQNARn7fr6EH_OmOCbGX0OxuLnGbm7jif5LItgwxDJ4el7mlGfrh9n_hua0OL2L

OHMA invites applications from scholarly and creative prospective students who want to cross the disciplines, seek deep engagement in people's lives and communities, and are ready to contribute to developing the field of oral history with us. For the 2020-21 Academic Year OHMA is offering both compl...

This weekend! Join Weeksville Heritage Center's Legacy Project for Sensing History, a virtual experience exploring how B...
10/21/2020
Weeksville Heritage Center’s The Legacy Project presents Sensing History Curated by Archival Alchemy® — Weeksville Heritage Center

This weekend! Join Weeksville Heritage Center's Legacy Project for Sensing History, a virtual experience exploring how Black practitioners have been using history and archival practices as road maps for navigating our present-day realities.

As Black communities continue to be impacted by the current pandemic and national political uprisings, this event aims to share resources, offer support and provide inspiration as we collectively envision ways through this unprecedented time.

https://www.weeksvillesociety.org/new-events-1/sensing-history

Weeksville Heritage Center’s Legacy Project invites you to Sensing History, a virtual experience exploring how Black practitioners have been using history and archival practices as road maps for navigating our present-day realities. This event is FREE to attend, but registration is required for vi

10/21/2020
Nikki Yeboah - OHMA Fall 2020 Workshop - Refuse Catharsis At All Costs (clip)

Did you miss Nikki Yeboah's OHMA Workshop last month? You're in luck--we have shared some of the most powerful clips on our YouTube page. We were especially moved by this clip about "the moment when stage drama meets social drama" and how to motivate audiences into action. You can also catch a performance of Nikki's newest work, The (M)others, at 11:30am today at #OHA2020.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehoNa1YzW80&list=PLV5jyAyVdV0q6aTYgWCvatA5krguNBel7&index=4

From the September 24, 2020 OHMA Workshop http://oralhistory.columbia.edu/calendar/nikki-yeboah

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Jointly run by the Columbia Center for Oral History Research, one of the preeminent oral history centers in the world, and INCITE, a lively hub for interdisciplinary research in the humanities and social sciences, OHMA connects students with the intellectual resources of a major research university, and with the intimate society of a small cohort of talented students.

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Abstracts due 15 October: (Re)imagining research, activism, and rights at the intersections of sexuality, health, and social justice **** We invite traditional academic submissions as well as less traditional submissions, such as photo-essays, interviews, etc.
hi friends, I have a question. I am doing an oral history project with women and it says that my research is exempt if I do not generalize it. However, is it still exempt if I draw patterns from my 30 oral history interviews? Is that generalization? Thank you!
IABA Americas Conference in Kingston, Jamaica Deadline for submissions extended to January 11, 2019! La fecha límite para las presentaciones se extiende hasta el 11 de enero de 2019! Prazo para envio de inscrições até 11 de janeiro de 2019! La date limite pour les soumissions est prolongée jusqu’au 11 janvier 2019! CALL FOR PAPERS “Lives in Transition: Negotiating the Currents in a Changing World” The 4th Biennial Conference of the IABA Americas Chapter The Department of Literatures in English University of the West Indies, Mona Kingston, Jamaica June 13-15, 2019 The conference conveners invite papers that explore means by which auto/biographical subjects explore lives ‘in transition’ and/or in the process of ‘transitioning.’ How do life narratives explore the kinds of adjustments, challenges, and negotiations made in ‘transitional’ periods? How do we as life narrative scholars, teachers, and practitioners metabolize and incorporate ideas of transitioning in our approaches to our respective disciplines and methodologies? Possible topics include how these transitions may have been brought on by trauma, natural disasters, wars, referendums and other legislative changes, social policies, scandals, illnesses, medical procedures, body politics, gendered lives, migrations, or the relocations of Indigenous and other communities. We are also interested in papers that explore life, death, kinship, consciousness, and mourning in the ongoing aftermath of violence, which Black cultural studies scholar Christina Sharpe encourages us to imagine, in her work on slavery’s legacies, as living “in the wake.” Papers addressing all genres of life narratives (written, visual, performed, multimodal, interdisciplinary, digital, etc.) are welcome. We invite abstracts of 250-300 words accompanied by brief biographies (no more than 100 words) on topics that are not limited to, but may include: Citizenship and records Refugees, points of entry/departure Health, rehabilitation, and recovery Rites of passage Legislation Translation Sexuality and advocacy Family and generational conflict Transgender lives Extradition, detention, and deportation Embodied politics Teaching as transitional tool: methodology, internship, practicum Discursive practices: movement, migration and diaspora Constructing and deconstructing gender Please send abstracts and biographies via email to [email protected] by December 1, 2018. CHAMADA DE TRABALHOS “Vidas em transição: Conciliando as correntezas em um mundo em mutação” IV Conferência Bianual da IABA – Sucursal Américas Departamento de Literaturas – Língua Inglesa Universidade das Índias Ocidentais, Mona Kingston, Jamaica 13 a 15 de junho de 2019 Os organizadores da conferência convidam à submissão de trabalhos que investiguem as formas através das quais temas auto/biográficos lidam com as vidas “em transição” ou em processo de “transição”. Como as narrativas de vida exploram os tipos de ajustes, desafios e negociações feitos em períodos de “transição”? Como nós, pesquisadores, professores e praticantes de narrativas de vida metabolizamos e incorporamos ideias de transição nas abordagens de nossas respectivas disciplinas e metodologias? Os possíveis tópicos incluem as formas como essas transições podem ser advindas do trauma, de desastres naturais, guerras, plebiscitos ou outras mudanças legislativas, políticas sociais, escândalos, enfermidades, procedimentos médicos, corpo político, questões de gênero, migrações ou deslocamentos indígenas ou de outras comunidades. Estamos também interessados em trabalhos que explorem temas como a vida, morte, afinidades, consciência e luto como consequência da violência, de acordo com o pensamento da pesquisadora de Estudos Culturais Negros, Christina Sharpe, que nos incentiva a imaginar o viver como um estado de vigília, assim como ilustrado em sua pesquisa sobre os legados da escravidão. Serão também aceitos para análise temas como manifestações de triunfos políticos ou pessoais, conquistas e celebrações. Trabalhos que lidem com quaisquer formas de narrativas de vida (escrita, visual, performática, multimodal, interdisciplinar, digital, etc.) serão bem-vindos. Convidamos à submissão de resumos de 250 a 300 palavras, juntamente com uma breve biografia (no máximo 100 palavras), sobre os seguintes tópicos, mas não limitados a eles: Cidadania e registros Refugiados, pontos de entrada e saída Saúde, reabilitação e recuperação Ritos de passagem Legislação Tecnologias de transição Sexualidade e militância Família e conflitos geracionais Vidas transgêneras Políticas do corpo/no corpo Ensino como um instrumento de transição: metodologia, estágios e prática Práticas discursivas: movimento, migração e diáspora Construindo e desconstruindo o gênero Favor enviar resumos e biografias por e-mail para [email protected] até 1 de dezembro de 2018. Translated by Sergio da Silva Barcellos Convocatoria de propuestas “Vidas en transición: Negociando cambios en un mundo cambiante” 4 Conferencia Bienal del Capítulo Americano IABA Departamento de Literaturas en Lengua Inglesa Universidad de las Indias Occidentales, Mona Kingston, Jamaica Junio 13-15, 2019 Los organizadores de la conferencia convocan propuestas que estudien los métodos usados por sujetos auto/biográficos para explorar sus vidas ‘en transición’ y/o procesos de ‘transición.’ ¿Cómo se exploran este tipo de cambios, retos, y negociaciones hechas en periodos de transición a través de narrativas de vida? ¿Cómo podemos metabolizar e incorporar ideas de transición en nuestras respectivas disciplinas y metodologías como investigadores, profesores y escritores de auto/biografía? Posibles temas incluyen el estudio de los procesos que causan estas transiciones, como traumas, desastres naturales, guerras, referéndums y otros cambios legislativos, leyes sociales, escándalos, enfermedades, procedimientos médicos, políticas del cuerpo, vidas de género, migraciones, o traslados de comunidades indígenas u otras comunidades. También estamos interesados en propuestas que exploren la vida, muerte, afinidad, consciencia, y luto en secuelas de violencia siguiendo a la investigadora de estudios culturales afroamericanos, Christina Sharpe, quien nos anima a imaginar estas repercusiones como vivas, “en vigilia.” Se invita a enviar propuestas que aborden todos los géneros de narrativas de vida (escritas, visuales, teatrales, multimodales, interdisciplinarias, digitales, etc). Por favor, envíe resúmenes de propuestas de 250-300 palabras acompañadas de una breve biografía (100 palabras máximo) relacionadas con los siguientes temas: Ciudadanía y registros civiles Refugiados, puntos de entrada y salida Salud, rehabilitación y recuperación Ritos de paso Legislación Traducción Sexualidad y derechos Familia y conflictos generacionales Vidas transgénero Extradición, detención y deportación Políticas encarnadas Enseñanza como técnica transicional: metodología, periodos de prácticas Prácticas discursivas: movimiento, migración y diáspora. Construcción y deconstrucción de género Favor de enviar propuestas y biografías por correo electrónico a [email protected]. Plazo de recepción de propuestas: 1 de diciembre de 2018 Translated by Ana Roncero-Bellido
I urge everyone to watch this short film of how these two Pakistani Muslim Women are fighting political terrorism in Pakistan. Being a victim of such ferocity, these survivors are providing psychological, emotional and practical support to families who have lost one or more members of their family in terrorist attacks.