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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Spring 2008

T C 357 • Oral History, Identity and Diversity

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
43740 M
3:00 PM-6:00 PM
CRD 007A

Course Description

This course focuses on the collection and analysis of oral narratives as evidence of the recent past, situated somewhere on the continuum between memory and history, but placed in the immediacy of accelerated history. The class also focuses on ethnic and racial identity and how individuals narrate their identity. Students are trained in 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, transgenerational memory, trauma and memory, the construction of racialized identities, and the challenges and possibilities of interpreting oral narrative as accelerated history. Students read transcriptions, listen to audio interviews, view films, and examine web based oral histories as they evaluate how presentation impacts the creation of meaning. Each student will conduct a series of interviews with UT students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds about their racial and ethnic identity and their experiences at UT. After transcribing and excerpting meaningful passages, and identifying common themes among the interviews, the class will create exhibits and radio pieces highlighting their work.


Raymond Arsenault, Freedom Riders, 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice
Bal, Mieke, Crewe, Jonathan, Spitzer, Leo, Acts of Memory: Cultural Recall in the Present
Peter Bartis, Folklife and Fieldwork, A Layman's Introduction to Field Techniques
William Chafe, Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Tell about Life in the Segregated South
Michael Frisch, A Shared Authority: Essays on the Craft and Meaning of Oral and Public History
Gluck, Sherna, Berger, Patai, Daphne, Womens Words: The Feminist Practice of Oral History
Martha Norkunas, Monuments and Memories
Alessandro Rosengarten and Nate Shaw, All Gods Dangers: The Life of Nate Shaw
Art Spiegelman, Maus I, A Survivors Tale: My Father Bleeds History
Art Spiegelman, Maus II, A Survivors Tale: And Here My Troubles Began
Paul Richard Thompson, The Voice of the Past: Oral History


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