Oral History and Community Engagement

Solicited by the Oral History Association

Thursday, April 2, 2020, 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Type: Roundtable Discussion

Tags: Museums; Public History and Memory; Urban and Suburban


We live amid a new groundswell of radical oral history practice that acknowledges that people in communities under siege can reflect upon and interpret their own experiences, envision themselves as historical actors, and transform the world around them. Oral history can be a powerful tool that facilitates dialogues grounded in personal experiences and interpretive reflections on the past. This ferment of activity has prompted oral historians to rethink what oral history is, rewrite the history of our field, and re-engage with the communities that we live in. This panel will explore the ways through which this new era of community-engaged oral history has transformed the field.

Session Participants

Chair: Kelly Navies, National Museum of African American History and Culture

Panelist: Ariel Beaujot, University of Wisconsin–La Crosse

Panelist: Daniel R. Kerr, American University

Panelist: Samir Meghelli, Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum

Panelist: Amy Starecheski, Columbia Oral History MA Program