Our Summer B Intro to Oral History Course Will Focus on FL Farmworker History

Summer B 2018, July 2 – August 10
AMH 3593: Introduction to Oral History

Course Overview

This course will introduce students to the theories and methods of oral history. Oral history is an important methodological approach to documenting the past which allows historians to engage directly with narrators who share their life experiences touching on any number of themes and topics. It is an easily accessible form of history in which practically anyone can take part as either an interviewer or interviewee. Oral history projects often involve making connections with community organizations which allows for the forging of stronger connections between academia and Main Street. Accordingly, one of the biggest strengths of oral history as a methodological approach to studying the past is its public component-oral histories are often collected in a community and then shared with that community.

For our research project this summer we will be partnering with the Farmworkers’ Association of Florida (FWAF), an organization which advocates on behalf of agricultural workers in central Florida. We will be interviewing current and former farmworkers. Conducting these oral history interviews will give us the opportunity to interrogate the lived experiences of these men and women and to better understand what it means to be a worker in the agricultural industry and to understand the intersection of class, race/ethnicity, and gender in this work environment. Through these interviews we will also explores issues of environmental sustainability and the impact of pesticides and genetically modified crops on humans and the environment.

Course Goals:

• Build foundational knowledge of oral history methodology and research use
• Work on oral history interview processing
• Conduct an original oral history interview
• Gain Digital Archives & Humanities experience
• Learn skills in different forms of visual media, podcasting and design software

 

Undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to apply. For more information contact Matt Simmons at mattfsimmons@ufl.edu

 

 

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