Columbia University and Oral History Association offer anti-oppression workshops

On July 25th our first in a series of anti-oppression workshops will be taking place and we invite you to join us!

Oral history has a strong tradition as a progressive practice, focused on amplifying marginalized voices typically giving powerful platforms to speak in public. Oral historians have documented the stories of struggles for justice around the world, and at times have participated in those struggles. At the same time, as a field oral history has excluded Indigenous people and practices from the legitimacy we have so laboriously built. Leadership in our organizations and institutions has been predominantly white, even while people of color have played key roles and invested their time and energy in building these institutions.

In this series, we will share visions for oral history in which people of color – their knowledge, skills, practices and voices – are at the center of our practice. This is not a diversity approach, in which our field remains white-led but invites some people of color in. It is an anti-oppression approach, in which we reorient our work to challenge structural oppression actively, expecting that that will change our work and our field in deep ways. The series will start out with a workshop introducing an anti-oppression approach to oral history work. The next four sessions will invite participants to explore project design, interviewing, and transcription from an anti-racist and decolonial perspective. We invite you to learn, grow, imagine and be challenged.

These workshops, sponsored by OHMA and the Oral History Association, are free and open to the public. We also encourage donations to cover the costs of paying the facilitators. Any donations that go beyond covering these costs will be used to support a Black incoming OHMA student.


July 25, 2020, 1:00 – 4:00 PM
Identifying Patterns: How Oppression and Abuse May Show Up in Oral History
Noor Alzamami and K.K. Hammond

August 7, 2020, 3:00 – 6:00 PM
Amplifying Oral Histories of Resistance
Sara Sinclair

August 13, 2020, 1:00 – 4:00 PM
Listening for Embodied Knowledge: An Approach to the Oral History Interview
Nyssa Chow

August 22, 2020, 4:00 – 7:00 PM
Talking White: An Anti-Oppression View Towards Transcribing Black Narrators
Alissa Rae Funderburk

August 27, 2020, 1:00 – 4:00 PM
Decentering Dominance: Language Justice in the Field
Fernanda Espinosa

*All times are listed in Eastern Standard Time

Written by Judith