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, on the web, and in the museum setting, impacts its meanings. Each student will conduct a series of interviews with selected people associated with a case study, and edit the materials for web publications. Students have the option to work with other class members to write grant proposals to selected foundations to continue their work at the conclusion of the semester. If the grants are awarded, students will be funded to create and produce additional work on the project.