The readings should be completed by the class under which they are listed. You should have also finished the reading notes for that class by 10 p.m. the day before class. You will have one set of reading notes for each class on your Google doc, but there should be a summary, terms and questions for each. The “PDF” link will take you to a password-protected Dropbox file. I will share the password in class.

Week 1 – Jan.  22

Introduction to class
Intro to Oral History
Project selection

Before class:
• Alex Haley, “Black History, Oral History and Genealogy” Alex Haley – Black History, Oral History and Geneology
• Alessandro Portelli, “What Makes Oral History Different” Portelli – What Makes Oral History Different

Event on Jan. 25: Code: Red, White and Blue

Mary Marshall Clark, Oral History in the Digital Age

Week 2 – Jan. 29

Organizing an oral history project
Shared historical authority

Before class:
• Sacks, “Why do Oral History?” from Catching Stories: A Practical Guide to Oral History (PDF) Sacks Why do Oral History?
• Paschen, “Planning an Oral History Project,” from Catching Stories: A Practical Guide to Oral History (PDF) Paschen – Planning an Oral History Project
• Latoya Winters, “You Live By It, You Die By It,”  from How Long Will I Cry? Voices of Youth Violence.

Terms: the civic approach, inreach and outreach,

Week 3 – Feb. 5

Interviewing Guide
Mission presentations

• Yow, “Preparation for the Interviewing Project” and “Interviewing Techniques,” from Valerie Raleigh Yow,  Recording Oral History (PDF)
Yow – Preparation for the Interviewing Project
Yow – Interviewing Techniques
• Studs Terkel with Tony Parker, “Interviewing an Interviewer,” from The Oral History Reader. (PDF)
Studs Terkel and Tony Parker
• Portelli, They Say in Harlan County, pp. 3-29 (PDF)
They Say in Harlan County – 1-29
• “Being Married is Like Having a Colored Television Set”

terms: interview guide, leading question, follow-up, challenge question

Deliverables by the end of class today:

• Mission statement
• Letter to prospective narrator
• Project description

Week 4 – Feb. 12

For Mantua Group: Meeting with Quintessa from DB4. I am meeting with Quintessa from the DB4 group on Monday at the Penn Bookstore cafe at 5:30 if anyone is interested in joining.

Oral history and advocacy
Project description presentations

• Homeless Veterans group reading: Kerr, “We Know What the Problem is”: Using Oral History to Develop Collaborative Analysis of Homelessness from the Bottom up,” from The Oral History Review 30:1.(PDF)
Kerr – We Know What the Problem is

terms and concepts: “shared authority,” “principle of reflexivity”

• Mantua group reading: Mirabal, “Geographies of Displacement: Latina/os, Oral History and the Politics of Gentrification in San Francisco’s Mission District,” from The Public Historian, 31:2. (PDF)
Mirabal – Geographies of Displacement

terms and concepts: gentrification, displacement, “spaces are not neutral,” “shared authority,” “mutual forgetting,” “gentrified consumption,”shared authority”

• Both groups:
“Advocacy and Empowerment: Introduction, from The Oral History Reader. (PDF)
This book is available as a pdf here. This reading is pp. 183-189.

An oral history project to check out (you don’t have to do reading notes on this, but listen to an interview or two when you get a chance):

The Civil Rights Movement

• Project Plan
• Draft interview guide

Week 5 – Feb. 19

Ethics and Law
Consent forms
Interview guide due

Sacks, Ethics and Politics in Oral History Research, from Catching Stories: A Practical Guide to Oral History (PDF)
Oral History ethics
Mould, “Legal Issues,” from Catching Stories: A Practical Guide to Oral History (PDF)
Oral History – Legal Issues


• Consent form

• Buy domain name and hosting

– start talking about site. Who is the audience? What needs to be on it?

Week 6 – Feb. 26

We will meet on the front steps of Beeber Middle School (59th and Malvern) at 1 p.m.

Research presentations
SLA students join the class
Visit from representatives of Support Homeless Veterans

Week 7 – March 5

Release forms due

Mill Creek Documentary Screening

Interviewing/editing/transcription practice

Week 8 – March 12

Spring Break – No Class

Week 9 – March 19
We built a foundation in the first half of the semester that includes project plan and description, consent forms etc. Now we need to put the plan in motion. This begins today with the design of a website and a flyer.
Design Day
Deliverables (by the end of class, you should have):
• Website design
After looking through some best practices (examples of similar sites online) you should have completed a rough website design, which includes installation of a theme.
• Logo/Flyer design
I have two community meetings this week and I would like to hand out flyers that include the basic project description, purpose contact information etc.
• Bios
We need to get everyone’s photo and bio on the appropriate site. So if you haven’t sent a photo, had your photo taken or you don’t bring one today, we will take one (a really good one, don’t worry) to use.
Here is an event tonight for Mantua people if anyone is interested in going. I will be there:
A brainstorming session with community members about the future of Hawthorne Hall. The meeting is an experiment in community-driven historic preservation. Click the photo of Hawthorne Hall below to read more.
Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 1.15.07 PM
• I will also be attending the Mantua Civic Association meeting on Thursday from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Grace Church at 36th and Haverford.
• For those of you working on the homeless veterans project, I am trying to recruit more narrators through the Philadelphia Alliance for Supportive Services to Veteran Families, the Project HOME outreach team and St. Elizabeth’s Recovery Center. Your help in contacting these organizations and talking about the project would be great. Also, here is an outreach program that the federal government is conducting.
Week 10 – March 26
Project work
Week 11 – April 2
Project work
Week 12 – April 9
Project work
Week 13 – April 16
Project work.
By today I am hoping you have some interviews to get online and transcribe. Transcription is tricky because you want to retain as much of the flavor of someone’s speech as possible. Here is a style guide that will help.
Week 14 – April 23
Project work.
Week 15 – April 30 – Last Day of Class
Talk/presentation on how the project went. Thoughts on how it might change int he future.

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