*** You know that Grandma/Lola/Auntie/Role Model you've always wanted to learn more about, but never have enough time to just sit and chat?
*** OR that Research Project/Thesis that you have to do interviews for, but just don't know where to start?
*** Have you been searching for a small seminar where you can learn a really good skill in-depth?
THEN THIS ORAL HISTORY CLASS IS FOR YOU!!
This course focuses on the theory and practice of collecting oral histories of women. We will examine various methods of conducting interviews, with a concentration on the feminist perspective. We will discuss theoretical issues such as relationships between the interviewer and interviewee, "insider-outsider" perspectives, our role as "narrator", legal and ethical issues, the reliability of memory, and how the complex intersection of race, class, gender, and sexuality are reflected in women's life stories. We will also explore how material and cultural artifacts are made, and how meaning is produced in oral history narratives. Students will learn different strategies of how to prepare for, conduct, and process an oral history interview; how to develop an interview question guide, how to do background research, how to phrase questions to get the most out of an interview, and what type of equipment choices one has. Towards the latter half of the course, we will cover post-interview processing, including: transcribing, editing, indexing, and presenting the interview. Students will have the opportunity to uncover "new" historical findings within our local community, by conducting an interview of one woman, adding to the oral history research available on women.
Assignments include: Journals based on readings, plus essays for a Term Project based on an in-depth interview of one woman. Graduate students may enroll in this course and will be required to complete additional assignments for Rackham credit.
Intended Audience / This course fulfills:
-"Women, Gender, and/or Sexuality" breadth requirements for the concentration in American Culture.
-Electives for the Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies Minor
-Electives for the Gender, Race, and Nation Minor.
-"Gender, Culture, and Representation" and "Gender, Race and Ethnicity in U.S." areas of the Women's Studies Concentration
-Practicum requirement for the Women's Studies Concentration.