AMS 391 • Oral Narrative as History
9:00 AM-12:00 PM
This course focuses on the collection and analysis of oral narratives as evidence of the past, situated somewhere on the continuum between memory and history. Students are trained in ethnographic fieldwork methods, oral history interviewing techniques, transcription, and the evaluation of oral evidence. The class reads theoretical material about collective memory, the relationship between memory and history, the ethnographer's role in the creation of the past, and the challenges and possibilities of interpreting oral narrative as history. Students view films and discuss how the public presentation of narrative in print, in film and in the museum setting, impacts its meanings. Each student will conduct a series of interviews with selected people associated with a site in the Hill Country, and work with other class members to design a major grant proposal to the National Endowment for the Humanities or the National Endowment for the Arts based on the interviews and their analysis. If the grant is awarded, students will be funded to create and produce the project.