Category Archives: Books

Wednesday, June 18 at 2pm: Love, Literature & Oral History: A Public Interview with Dr. Farah Griffin

Love, Literature and Oral History:
Transmitting our Stories

A Public Interview with Dr. Farah Jasmine Griffin

Farah GriffinThe Center for Oral History Research/INCITE (Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics) and the Institute for Research in African-American Studies presents a public interview with Dr. Farah Jasmine Griffin, William B. Ransford Professor of English & Comparative Literature and African American Studies, as a part of its 2014 Oral History Institute, “ Second Generation Memories and Stories.” The interview, which will focus on the power of love and the transmission of memory in African American communities, will be conducted by Janée Moses and Dr. Marcellus Blount will provide response.

WHEN: Wednesday, June 18, 2:00-4:30pm.

WHERE: Columbia University, Knox Hall, Room 509, 606 West 122nd Street, 5th floor. Campus Map.

Farah Jasmine Griffin is a professor of English and comparative literature and African American Studies at Columbia University, where she has served as director of the Institute for Research in African American studies. In addition to editing several collections of letters and essays she is the author of Who Set You Flowin’: The African American Migration Narrative (Oxford, 1995), If You Can’t Be Free, Be a Mystery: In Search of Billie Holiday (Free Press, 2001) and Clawing At the Limits of Cool: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and the Greatest Jazz Collaboration Ever (Thomas Dunne, 2008).

Marcellus Blount, Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Co-Director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies, teaches American and African American literary and cultural studies at Columbia University. He has been a Research Fellow at the Carter G. Woodson Institute at the University of Virginia, a Visiting Fellow at Wesleyan’s Center for Afro-American Studies, a Rockefeller Fellow at the Center for the Study of Black Literature and Culture at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Visiting Fellow at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University. He has published essays in PMLA, Callaloo, American Literary History, and Southern Review. He co-edited Representing Black Men with George Cunningham. His first study is entitled “In a Broken Tongue: Rediscovering African American Poetry.” His current project is entitled Listening for My Name: African American Men and the Politics of Friendship. He was the Sterling Brown ’22 Visiting Professor of English at Williams College.

Janée A. Moses is a doctoral student at the University of Michigan in the American Culture Program. In May 2014, she earned a Master of Arts in Oral History from Columbia University. Her thesis, It matters whom she loves: An Oral History of the Life and Works of Amina Baraka, excavates the history of Black women participants of the Black Arts Movement and the importance of knowing whom they loved. In 2012, Moses earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on 20th century American cultural history, women’s history, African American history, gender studies, literary studies, and love. Oral history remains her primary method in pursuit of re-examining history in order to advance our understanding of the present.

INFORMATION: For more information, please email Terrell Frazier at or visit


Fall 2013 Oral History Workshop Series

Fall 2013 Oral History Workshop Series

This series is co-sponsored by the Columbia Center for Oral History (CCOH) and the Oral History Master of Arts Program (OHMA). All of our workshops are free and open to the public and will explore the myriad of ethical and practical issues raised by the practice of oral history in the different disciplines within the humanities and social sciences.

All of the events in the Oral History Workshop are funded through the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Lecture Series, which provides support for events that honor the legacy of the former Columbia professor.


Darija Marić “Personal Memories of war and Detention in Croatia from 1941 until Today: Making Private Experiences Public as a Means of Mobilizing Support and Developing Understanding

Thursday, September 12, 6:30-8:30pm, Room 509, Knox Hall, 606 West 122nd Street, 5th floor. Campus Map. [More Information]

Co-sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Human Rights

Daniel Wolff “Listening to New Orleans

Thursday, September 26, 6:30-8:30pm, Room 509, Knox Hall, 606 West 122nd Street, 5th floor. Campus Map.


Avner GvaryahuOur Harsh Logic: Israeli Soldiers’ Testimonies from the Occupied Territories 2000-2010

Monday, October 7, 6:30-8:30pm, 523 Butler Library, 535 West 114th Street, 5th floor. Campus Map. [Flyer]

Co-sponsored by The Middle East Institute

Muriel MiguelFrom Storytelling to Storyweaving: Muriel Miguel, A Retrospective

Thursday, October 24, 6:30-8:30pm, Room 509, Knox Hall, 606 West 122nd Street, 5th floor. Campus Map.


Audrey Petty (Voice of Witness) “High Rise Stories” 

Thursday, November 7, 6:30-8:30pm, Room 509, Knox Hall, 606 West 122nd Street, 5th floor. Campus Map.

Jeff Friedman “The Eros of Oral History” 

Thursday, November 21, 6:30-8:30pm, Room 509, Knox Hall, 606 West 122nd Street, 5th floor. Campus Map.

All events are free and open to the public

Please refer to for updated information


[Audio] Throwing Stones at the Moon: A Q&A

On Tuesday, September 18, 2012 the Columbia Center for Oral History and the Oral History Master of Arts (OHMA) program were delighted to co-host Sibylla Brodzinsky and Max Schoening, editors of the latest Voice of Witness title Throwing Stones at the Moon: Narratives from Colombians Displaced by Violence. Students of the Oral History Master of Arts program had the chance to sit down with Max and Sibylla for a Q&A session which covered several fascinating topics, including how they started this project, their interviewing methodologies, the book editing process, and their responsibilities to their narrators.

Listen to the Q&A below:

This session was recorded and edited by OHMA students Kyana Moghadam and Sam Robson:

Kyana is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Oral History at Columbia University. Originally from the East Bay, California, she is excited to be in New York collecting and editing life histories of Iranian Americans.

Sam holds a B.A. from Carleton College in history, focusing on Africa and its Diaspora. A current student in the Oral History Master of Arts program, he is interested in experiences of U.S. hegemony in Central America.



The Oral History Master of Arts (OHMA) Program and the Voice of Witness Presents


WHO: Sibylla Brodzinsky, is a journalist who has written on Latin American Politics, social issues, and human rights for The Economist, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Guardian, and Max Schoening is a researcher for Human Rights Watch and contributing researcher for an upcoming photographic book, Violentology: A Manual of the Colombian Conflict by Stephen Ferry. The two will discuss their latest book, Throwing Stones at the Moon: Narratives from Colombians Displaced by Violence that documents Colombians’ narratives of forced displacement. Staff will also be on hand to talk with prospective students about the Oral History Master of Arts (OHMA) program at Columbia University.

WHEN: Tuesday, September 18, 2012, 6:30-8:00pm.

WHERE: Columbia University Law School, Jerome Greene Annex, Morningside Heights Campus, 410 West 117th Street NY, NY 10027. Enter campus at 116th Street, at either Broadway or Amsterdam. Google Map, Campus Map.

ABOUT THE WORKSHOP: The Oral History Master of Arts program (OHMA) and Voice of Witness, will host editors Sibylla Brodzinsky and Max Schoening as part of the Oral History Seminar Series. Brodzinsky and Schoening will discuss and read from their new book, which is an astonishing account of the forced displacement, which was a consequence of Colombia’s internal armed conflict during the past five decades. In Throwing Stones at the Moon narrators explain the effect of this human rights crisis on their lives as they recount their displacement, the reasons for their flight, and their struggle to rebuild their lives.

There will also be a presentation from faculty and alumni about the Oral History Master of Arts (OHMA), a multi-disciplinary program that utilizes theoretical approaches across the social sciences and humanities.

SPONSORS: This talk is part of the “Oral History Seminar Series,” co-sponsored by the Columbia Center for Oral History (CCOH) and the Oral History Master of Arts Program (OHMA). OHMA is supported by the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Center for the Social Sciences.

INFORMATION: For more information, please email Terrell Frazier at



Here is a roundup of news and happenings in the field of oral history. Follow us on Twitter @CU_OralHistory and “like” us on Facebook for the latest news and events.


With the support of a grant from the National Marine Fisheries Service, the University of Southern Mississippi Center for Oral History continues its work capturing the stories of those whose livelihood depends on the Gulf Coast’s seafood industry, which was threatened by the 2010 Oil Spill on the Gulf of Mexico. The Center has talked with crabbers, shrimpers and oyster harvesters across the Gulf of Mexico about the challenges the disaster has presented to their way of life and the foodways of the region.

Read more at Southern Miss Now

University of Winnipeg Professor Leads Oral History Project on Salvadoran Voices of Manitoba

Professor of Oral History at the University of Winnipeg in Canada, Alexander Freund, has begun documenting the history of the migration of refugees to Manitoba after World War II, focusing on the Salvadoran community: the most populous Latin American group to arrive as a result of the war.

Read more at Metro News (CA)

Lecturer at University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee Completes Milwaukee Transgender Oral History Project

In an effort to show that oral history is “one of the best ways non-transgender people can get to know and understand those who are transgender,” archivist and lecturer at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Brice Smith, completed an oral history project dedicated to stories of transgender people in the Milwaukee community in a little over a year. The project is now stored in the UWM library archives and is fully accessible to students and to the public. It includes 10 hours of audio and more than 200 pages of transcript.

Read more at Wisconsin Gazette

The Memory Project Documents Oral Testimonies on the 1991-2002 Civil War in Sierra Leone, Africa

Similar to Voices of Rwanda, an Oral History project documenting the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the Memory Project, led by the director of the Jeneba Project, Joseph Kaifla, will give those who lived through the Civil War in Sierra Leone the opportunity to give oral testimonies about what happened and how they were affected by the war. The project will serve as “a platform for justice”, with hopes of educating community youth in order to provide understanding and prevent a brutal civil war from happening again.

Read more at Awoko


Retired Music Executive Donates Interviews with Bob Dylan and more to Library of Congress

According to the NY Daily News, retired music executive, Joe Smith, will donate more than 200 rare audio interviews recorded while President of Capitol Records with popular singers including Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Paul McCartney, Barbra Streisand, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tina Turner and others to the Library of Congress.

Read more at NY Daily News

Western Carolina University Library Releases “Stories of Mountain Folk”

As the first audio collection released by Hunter Library at the University of Western Carolina, “Stories of Mountain Folk,” an oral history collection produced by a western North Carolina not-for-profit, Catch the Spirit of Appalachia, has now become available through the library’s website. The collection’s interviews cover traditions, events and life stories of regional individuals of Western Carolina including gardeners, herbalists, farmers, musicians, artists and writers, and is now searchable by name, place, and topic in the collection’s online archives.

Read more at Macon County News

Visit the collection here.


Audio and Sound Recording Forum

Looking for a place where you can share knowledge and discuss current topics relevant to the fields of audio recording, composition, archiving, engineering, and research? “Playback” is a social media network that welcomes people with both professional and personal interests in audio recording.

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