Trading Secrets of the Craft: A Macro Examination of Oral Histories

AHA Session 233
Saturday, January 6, 2018: 1:30 PM-3:30 PM
Palladian Ballroom (Omni Shoreham, West Lobby)
Kristina Giannotta, Naval History and Heritage Command
Joel C. Christenson, Office of Secretary of Defense
Kristina Giannotta, Naval History and Heritage Command
Megan Harris, Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
Jessie Kratz, National Archives and Records Administration
Patrick Nugent, Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College

In this roundtable, federal historians and educators take a broad view of lessons learned in oral history programs. The panelists share their successes and challenges seeking input and experiences from the attendees.

This roundtable will be followed by the Oral History Jukebox workshop, which examines oral history lessons learned from a micro-level.

Session Abstract

This workshop seeks to examine the use of oral histories as a teaching tool-both for students at the University and in the larger audience of students and adults involved in community outreach. The workshop will consist of multiple oral history programs that feature major aspects of teaching, outreach and crowd sourcing, and training (such as internships). Professors, Historians and managers of these programs will discuss their methodology, discuss their program and share areas of success and challenges. This portion of the workshop should run 40-50 minutes long. The Starr Center will follow on with a more detailed discussion of using oral histories in the University environment. Starting with how oral history can be used as a teaching tool and a platform for community service, this discussion will look at pedagogical techniques for bringing oral histories into the classroom to enhance student experience and learning. This part of the workshop should run 30 minutes long followed by 10-20 minutes of discussion and questions. The workshop will then break out into working groups that explore more technical aspects of teaching oral history among University students, using crowd sourcing to preserve oral histories and inform communities of our shared history, and using oral histories to train and prepare interns for jobs which include the collection and preservation of oral histories. The break-out sessions should run approximately one hour. The session will end with a final round of Q/A and comments.
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