“Oral History and Lesbian Subjects”
I will focus on the use of oral history as a key method in the recovery of lesbian/queer lives and the archival labor and resources required to implement this important documentation tool. Highlighting the Documenting Lesbian Lives collection at Smith College, I will reflect on the challenges of archiving queer oral history as well as the activist and community-building potential inherent in a cross-generational project that documents lesbian elders. I will also share my observations about teaching lesbian history to queer students at an all women’s college and the unique challenges that come with such an endeavor, particularly around the limitations of language and identity politics.
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