Townsend Oral History Working Group
Previous Events

May 5, 2005, 12-1:30pm, Stone Seminar Room, The Bancroft Library
"Life and Works at the Portuguese Electric Utility Industry"
Bruno Cordovil da Silca Cordeiro
Assistant Professor at ISCTE, University of Lisbon

March 30, 2005, 12-1:30pm, The Krouzian Study Center, Bancroft Library
"Using Oral History to Create Historical Fiction "
Kimberly Bird
History of Consciousness, UC Santa Cruz

March 9, 2005, 12-1:30pm, Geballe Room at the Townsend for the Humanities,
"Geographies of Dispalcement and the Everyday Practices of Silence and Consent: A Community Oral History of Gentrification in the Mission District and its Impact on Latina/os"
Nancy Mirabal
Raza Studies, College of Ethnic Studies, San Francisco State University

November 12, 2004
"'I was accused of being a bastard:' Tensions of Childhood, Western, New York, 1906-1915."
Elizabeth Kennedy, Professor of Women's Studies, University of Arizona

September 23, 2004, 12-1:30pm
"A divided memory: Remembering the civilians' massacres in 1944 Tuscany during
World War II"
Giovanni Contini, Oral Historian in the State Archives of Tuscany, Italy; consultant for the Shoah Foundation.

Thursday April 29, 2004 12-1:30pm
"Feelings of Desire: Queeer Latina and Latino Memories from the Bay Area"
Horacio N. Roque Ramirez , Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, UC Santa Barbara



Thursday April 8, 2004
"Reluctant Witnesses: Oral History and and the Protagonists of Capital Punishment in California"
Simon Grivet, ROHO

Thursday March 18, 2004
"Arrival of the Fittest: Aesthetics of Identy and Narrative Negotions for Cold War Chinese Immigrants"
Robin Li, Program in American Culture, University of Michigan

February 26, 2004
ROHO Projects on Social Movements
"The California Labor School and The Building of Activist Culture in the Post World War II San Francisco Bay Area"
Jess Rigelhaupt

"Impairment? Empowerment? Challenging Societal Definitions of Disability"
Esther Ehrlich February 4, 2004

"Ask & Tell: Oral Histories with Gay Veterans from World War I to the Gulf War.
Steve Estes, History Department Sonoma State University

November 12, 2003
Dr. Martin Meeker
"Being Alfred Kinsey" will ask those engaged in oral history interviewing to consider and discuss the role of sex and sexuality--as well as marriage, birth control, divorce--in structuring the narratives offered by their interviewees and in framing (perhaps
unconsciously) their own research agendas. It will pick up where Kinsey left off fifty years ago, first, by considering the ways in which oral historians have used questions about sexual behavior to illuminate larger social, cultural, and political issues and,
second, by discussing methodological strategies for including exchanges about sexual behavior in an oral history interview.

Martin Meeker currently holds a Sexual Research Postdoctoral Fellowship
with the Social Science Research Council and is a visiting scholar at the
Regional Oral History Office, UC Berkeley. His is currently completing a
book, tentatively titled, "Contacts Desired: A History of Connecting to
the Gay and Lesbian World, 1940s-1970s."

November 6, 2003
Elizabeth Castle and Madonna Thunder Hawk
"Research Ethics in Indian Country and Electoral Politics in South Dakota"
Madonna Thunder Hawk, Two Kettle Lakota, is a veteran of every modern Native American struggle from the occupation of Alcatraz to the 1973 siege of Wounded Knee. She is also a long-time community organizer with a range of experience in American Indian rights protection, cultural preservation, economic development, environmental justice and Lakota social reclamation. Women of All Red Nations (WARN) in 1978, organizing a health study of the drinking water on the Pine Ridge reservation. (WARN found the water to be highly radioactive, which led to the establishment of rural water supply system.) Thunder Hawk also helped organize the Black Hills Protection Committee (later the HeSapa Institute) whose goal is to protect the many sacred sites within the region's treaty lands.

Elizabeth Castle is a UC President's Postdoctoral Fellow and is completing a book on American Indian Women's Activism in the Red Power Movement for Oxford University Press.

This event is co-sponsored by the Regional Oral History Office (ROHO), The Townsend Center for the Humanities New Directions in Oral History Working Group, and the Institute of Governmental Studies Center On Politics.

April 17, 2003

Nadine Wilmot
, Coordinator of the African American Faculty and Senior Administrator Oral History Project
" Going to the Territory: Black Faculty and Access to the University of California at Berkeley."
Nadine will discuss the framework for this project and the major research questions that have emerged from its initial phase.

Anne MacLachlan, Senior Researcher, Center for Higher Education
" The Impact of Communication Networks on Access to Higher Education"
Dr. MacLachlan will discuss how minority pupils and students are excluded from the information which makes higher education possible. March 13, 2003
Audre Lorde was a feminist poet, essayist, teacher, and activist who died in l992.
" The Edge of Each Other's Battles: The Vision of Audre Lorde,"
The documentary uses of oral history was explored in an evening devoted to poet and essayist Audre Lorde. The film includes interviews and conversations with her and with students at an international conference on her work. Sponsored jointly by the Regional Oral History Office and the Townsend Center for the Humanities, the event featured a screening of the 60-minute film and a discussion led by the producer/director, Jennifer Abod. This event was co-sponsored by Women's Studies.

February 27, 2003
Dr. Susana Kaiser, Assistant Professor, Department of Media Studies and Latin American Studies Program, University of San Francisco
" Argentineans' Postmemories of Terror"
This work focuses on how young Argentineans remember the traumatic events of the military dictatorship in Argentina [l976-l983], that is, what are their “postmemories.” Based on oral histories with young people who were neither direct victims nor political activists, who were born during the terror or afterwards, and who have had an entirely mediated knowledge of it, I explore how, in the year 1998, the post-dictatorship generation was reconstructing this past from three main sources: inter-generational dialogue, education, and the communication media. These interviews and conversations discuss selected and recurrent themes (societal fears and silences, remembering/ forgetting, historical explanations, impunity/justice). By bringing the “second-generation/ non victim” perspective, I share the voices of the average person, beyond victims and victimizers, to empirically explore the impact of state terrorism on millions of “ordinary” Argentineans.



November 19, 2002
James Ridgeway, correspondent for the Village Voice, and documentary film maker.
" The National Detainee Courts: Civil Liberties and Terror"
Long before the National Detainee Courts became a
public issue. Jim Ridgeway was interviewing people who were incarcerated in the wake of September 11, 2001. This distinguished author, journalist, and documentarian will talk about the information he has gathered and his views on the history of violations of civil liberties during "times of terror."


November 5, 2002
Ana Maria Mauad, Professor of History and Coordinator for the Laboratory of Oral History and Iconography, Universidade Fluminense Federal, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
"Vivid Memories about Death and Pain: The 1961 Burning of the Grand Circus Norte-Americano, in Niterói City, Brazil"
This story of trauma and historical memory, traced the connections of internal political struggle and anti-Americanism in Brazil, and comparing the record preserved in photographs and oral histories with eyewitness accounts.

October 22, 2002
Martin Meeker, visiting scholar, ROHO; lecturer, IDS
"Six Degrees of Conversation" This presentation discussed the relationship between network theory and the process of locating individuals in an interview. Models of communications/migrations were explored theoretically, methodologically, and empirically. Dr. Meeker is author of "Come Out West: San Francisco and The Emergence of Gay and Lesbian Community 1920-1972" [University of Chicago Press, 2003]

September 24, 2002
Pace, Performance Pitch and Even Poetry: Returning to Orality/Aurality

Sherna Gluck, Professor, Department of History; Director of the Oral History Program CSU Long Beach, Co-Director, Virtual/Aural History Archive



April 3, 2002
Recalling the Revolution: The Third World Left in Los Angeles, 1968-1978
Laura Pulido, Department of Geography, USC

March 20, 2002
The Underground Movement in Minsk During World War II
Barbara Epstein, Department of History of Consciousness, UC Santa Cruz

February 20, 2002
Using Oral History as a Base for Social Research: The Case of Anti-Racism and Diversity Training
Norma Smith, Ethnic and Cultural Studies, UC Berkeley

November 24, 2001
New Technology and Accessibility of Digital History
Gary Handman, director of the Media Resources Center at UC Berkeley, has been at the forefront of digital recording technology and online presentation for many years. He spoke about the resources of his center in the Moffitt Undergraduate Library (http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC/level2.html) relative to documentation of history.

November 7, 2001
Luisa Passerini, visiting scholar at UCB Department of Italian Studies, Professor, European University in Florence: "Between Silence and Oblivion." Passerini presented a road map relating the theoretical base of oral history to her oral histories of Italian working class, the new left, feminism, and terrorism in Europe.

October 17, 2001
Susan Rasky of UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, and former Congressional correspondent for the New York Times: "Mervin Field: California's Pollster and Interpreter to the Nation." Rasky discussed her on going life-interview series with Mervin Field, who was a student of George Gallup and also a pioneer in political polling techniques.

September 19, 2001
Caroline Crawford, ROHO music interviewer, introduced Ronnie Stewart, Bay Area Blues Society director: "California Blues Oral History Project." They discussed oral histories of Oakland blues musicians of the 1950s. The presentation included musical excerpts from legendary bluesmen and oral history excerpts from an interview of Charles Brown.

April 20, 2001
Tomas Sandoval, U.C. Department of History, presented his work from a forth coming dissertation entitled, Latino Community formation in San Francisco 1945-1970. The focus was "Oral Histories and the Making of San Francisco's Latino Identity." Sandoval argued that oral history was a substantive method for gaining information as well as contesting stereotypes of Hispanics. He discussed the appropriateness of oral history for filling in the political record before memory becomes distorted.

March 23, 2001
Dr. Fay Wemberly, formerly of UC's African History Department, spoke on the topic: "Using Oral Histories to Understand the Role of Religion in the Integration of Brazil" This presentation included extensive interviews with second and third generation children of former slaves in Brazil. Dr. Wemberly's talk was taken from her larger work: Afro-Brazilian Culture
and Politics 1790-1990

February 23, 2001
Dr. Leanne Hinton, Professor of
Linguistics, U.C. Berkeley and Vice-Dean of Students, presented a paper on Native American Songs as Oral History. Dr. Hinton argued that: "Our notions about oral history can be broadened by examining different ways in which other cultures view audience, evaluation, and other components of performance." Focus on Havasupai Indians of Arizona.

January 26, 2001
Alex Prisadsky from UC Berkeley's Recording Sound Studio presented a show and tell about the latest technology in tape recording. This was a nuts and bolts presentation and by all accounts a session that should be a mainstay of the working group and a feature of ROHO.

November 27, 2000
Dr. David Wellman, Professor of Community Studies at UC Santa Cruz and Research Fellow at the Institute for Social Change at UC Berkeley, presented a paper "Documenting the Invisible." This was based on his extensive collection of workers' oral histories, which in part discuss his work conducting workers' oral histories. He argued that oral history is the critical tool for documenting the formation of labor institutional structures which negotiate for workers and impact the work process. Dr. Wellman also has written extensively on unions and white racism. Recently he has testified in judicial cases involving discrimination.

October 26, 2000
Margo McBane, Director of the Oral History Center and Professor of Public History, University of Texas at El Passo: "The Hispanic Labor Force in the Early Citrus Industry in Southern California" Included taped oral histories and video documentary.

September 21, 2000
Dr. Rina Benmayor, Professor of Social Science at California State University at Monterey Bay, presented a power-point computer demonstration of how she conducts, edits and produces oral histories with students about their community.



Related Links:
Working bibliography
Reports from previous meetings
Links to other oral history sites


The Oral History Working Group
receives generous support from

The Doreen B. Townsend LOGO
Center for the Humanities


The Doreen B. Townsend LOGO



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