Field researchers with the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program communicate in a variety of arenas, including writing theses and dissertations, presenting at national conferences, and working with community organizations on emerging research.
Oral History Association 49th Annual Conference, Tampa, Florida, October 2015
Students and staff from Samuel Proctor Oral History Program presented at the upcoming Oral History Association conference in Tampa, Florida, where Dr. Ortíz served as the OHA President.
On Thursday, Oct. 15, the afternoon roundtable “Veterans of WWII Tell Their Stories,” featured SPOHP’s Veterans History Project, an ongoing collection in partnership with the Library of Congress American Folklife Center, with project coordinators Ann Smith, Don Obrist, and Deborah Hendrix. Also that afternoon, Jana Ronan, the Chair of George A. Smathers’ Library West and Principal Investigator of a 2013-2014 mini-grant between the Library and SPOHP for the Mississippi Freedom Project, presented results of the collection during the panel, “Documenting the Black Freedom Struggle, Then and Now.”
During the evening on Thursday, the UF College of the Arts’ School of Theatre and Dance and SPOHP hosted an encore performance of “Gator Tales” at the TECO Hall at the Tampa Bay History Center. “Gator Tales,” a dramatic oral history performance devised and directed by Kevin Marshall, drew from SPOHP’s Alachua County African American History Project to tell the stories of the first students to integrate the university. The performance was made possible by the Florida Humanities Council, and was free and open to the public.
On Friday, Oct. 16, SPOHP alumni Dr. Erin Conlin presented on the OHA Education Committee’s morning panel, “Beyond the Interview,” which discussed methods of challenging secondary, community
college and university students to move beyond the interview. Dr. Conlin is an assistant professor of history at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Poarch Creek Project coordinator Diana Dombrowski presented on the “Teaching and Connecting Through Native American History” panel.
Awards presented by the OHA recognize outstanding achievement in oral history collection and education, and SPOHP’s Mississippi Freedom Project, a growing archive of interviews with civil rights movement veterans and notable residents of the Mississippi Delta, was be honored this year with the Elizabeth B. Mason Small Project Award during the meeting showcase on Saturday, Oct. 17. Coordinator Sarah Blanc and project staff Diana Dombrowski accepted the award.
Also on Saturday, Elaine Sponholtz, a graduate student associated with SPOHP, presented her oral history research with environmental activist Margaret Ross Tolbert, in contribution to the “Media of Resistance: Narrating Social Change in Photography, Paintings, and Music” panel. SPOHP alumnae Candice Ellis (George Washington University) and Sarah McNamara (UNC-Chapel Hill) presented on their doctoral research on the roundtable, “Re-thinking Florida’s Political Past: Oral History, Social Change, and Social Justice.”
SPOHP also sponsored the Saturday plenary session, “Documenting Ferguson: Oral History, Virtual Technologies and the Making of a Movement,” with Makiba Foster of the Documenting Ferguson project at Washington University, and Professor Donna Murch of Rutgers University, author of Living for the City, and SPOHP alumni and Dream Defender Nailah Summers. The session will explore issues of historical recovery posed by the mass protests against state-sanctioned violence after the shooting of Michael Brown last August.
On Sunday, Oct. 18, graduate coordinators of SPOHP’s Alachua County African American History Project, Dr. Ryan Morini, Randi Gill-Sadler, Justin Dunnavant, and Anthony Donaldson, presented on the roundtable, “#NoLaughingMatter: Disrupting Racial Oppression in the New South.” The project has amassed a collection of over 400 interviews with Blacks in Florida and the greater South, and the panel discussed Jim Crow oppression, segregation, and the struggle for social change.
Also on Sunday, project coordinators across SPOHP presented at the “Standing with Elders: Fieldwork in the South,” including Diana Dombrowski with the Poarch Creek Project, Jessica Taylor with the Appalachian Social Change Project, Sarah Blanc with Mississippi Freedom Project, and Patrick Daglaris, with the Virginia Tidewater Main Street Project. The panel highlighted recent fieldwork initiatives and discussed resulting student work, examining academic legacies of earlier oral history work and solidifying contemporary networks for advancing scholarship.
- See the Oral History Association 2015 meeting description for “Stories for Social Change and Social Justice” and read the official program.
- Read the OHA 2015 SPOHP Press Release, and download the OHA 2015 Full SPOHP Events and Sponsorships Listing.
Mississippi Civil Rights Movement and Labor History Teacher Fellowship Institute, Jackson, Mississippi, July 2015
Teaching for Change is organizing teacher fellowship program on Mississippi history with a focus on the civil rights movement and labor for July 2015. Mississippi Freedom Project (MFP) Coordinator Sarah Blanc and staff Diana Dombrowski will present on the collection’s resources and topics, and “I Never Will Forget,” the edited of volume of oral history interviews released by SPOHP last year.
The institute is designed to build a sustainable statewide learning community of classroom language arts, social studies, and history teachers in grades 6–12 for teaching hands-on, inquiry-based U.S. history through the lens of race and class in Mississippi history. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is providing funding with guidance from partners including historians, activists, museum staff, and educators.
- See the Civil Rights Teaching institute application.
The Latin American Jewish Studies Association (LAJSA) XVII International Research Conference, to be held at Florida International University (Biscayne Bay Campus) in Miami, June 21-23, 2015, will bring together scholars from a variety of disciplines and geographical regions whose work focuses on the lives, experiences, cultural production, and representations of Jews in/from Latin America.
LDAP Coordinator Génesis Lara will present with Dr. Rebecca Jefferson of the University of Florida Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica and Paul Losch of the Latin American and Carribean Collection about oral histories from the Jewish community in El Salvador.
- See the LAJSA 2015 conference program “LAJSA XVII International Research Conference.”
2015 Hispanic-Latino Institute, John I. Leonard High School, Palm Beach County, Florida, June 2015
As secondary education in Latino Studies for Palm Beach County Schools, the 2015 Hispanic-Latino Institute will be held at John I. Leonard High School this summer. Discussions will focus on topics including Latino portrayals in the media, legal and educational issues concerning Latino students and parents, bilingual development and parental engagement for Latino students, and more. LDAP Coordinator Génesis Lara will discuss the Latin American Diaspora in the U.S.
- See the PBCS conference program “2015 Hispanic/Latino Summer Studies Institute.”
Alcohol and Drugs History Society, Bowling Green, Ohio, June 2015
The biennial Alcohol and Drug History Society conference, convening this year at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, showcases research from university faculty, independent scholars, and graduate students.
This year, UF PhD student and SPOHP Graduate Coordinator Kyle Bridge will present his latest project, “(Insert Addiction Here): Twelve-Step Recovery and the Advent of the Addictive Personality.” Kyle’s paper finds that the idea of the “addictive personality,” defined as a supposed condition which afflicts people with a predisposition to addictive behavior from taking drugs to exercise, emerged in addict folklore by the late 1980s due to the rise of innate personality as a causal explanation for human behavior, the proliferation of twelve-step addiction recovery groups, and the gradual creation of an inter-addiction recovery culture featuring a dynamic movement of people and ideas. The project uses several oral histories of addicts, some of which are archived in the SPOHP Alcohol and Drug History Collection.
- See the ADHS call for papers to the conference, “Borders, Boundaries, and Contexts: Defining Spaces in the History of Alcohol and Drugs.”
Oral History Association 48th Annual Conference, Madison, Wisconsin, October 2014
In October 2014, SPOHP students and staff from the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program presented at the annual OHA meeting in Madison, Wisconsin, where Dr. Ortíz served as the OHA Vice President.
Latina/o Diaspora in the Americas Project (LDAP) Coordinator Génesis Lara presented using her thesis work for SPOHP’s panel, “Un-silencing Hispaniola’s Histories: Precedents and Possibilities.” She also presented on a second panel, “From Oral History to Community Action: Latino Youth Building Community and Transforming Social Discourses and Institutions,” on SPOHP’s Nuestras Historias collection, which features interviews with students, alumni and faculty from the University of Florida’s Hispanic-Latino community, and highlights the Institute of Hispanic-Latino Culture, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year.
Diana Dombrowski presented with SPOHP alumni Dr. Erin Conlin and Sarah McNamara on the panel, “Recording Voices and Empowering Communities: Oral History, Community, Engagement, and Social Justice,” discussing oral history research related to social justice organizing. Dombrowski examined three original SPOHP projects supported by students and volunteers to show how oral history projects can shape undergraduates and the communities they interview.
Graduate Coordinator Jessica Taylor and SPOHP alumni Chelsea Carnes presented, “Suffering in Silence: Counteracting Myths of Passivity through Narratives of Resistance,” using interviews with black men and women to discuss the limitations of violence enacted symbolically in white spaces with Graduate Coordinator Matthew Simmons, who utilized oral histories gathered from the farmworker community in Apopka, Florida. Mississippi Freedom Project (MFP) Coordinator Sarah Blanc presented on the panel, “The Civil Rights Act and Freedom Summer at 50: New Evidence, New Interpretations,” highlighting the SPOHP collection and research trip, with scholars from the historical offices of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
- See the OHA 2014 conference program, “Movements, Transformations, and the Power of Story.”
University of Florida Center for Latin American Studies’ 63rd Annual Conference, Gainesville, Florida, March 2014
Dr. Paul Ortíz spoke on “Oral Histories and Historical Memories of the Panama Canal Zone,” referencing SPOHP’s Panama Canal Zone oral history collection, at the UF Center for Latin American Studies’ 63rd Annual Conference. The PCM collection features 50+ oral histories with former Zonians. SPOHP developed the collection working in cooperation with the Panama Canal Museum, George A. Smathers Libraries, and UF’s Center for Latin American Studies.
The UF Center for Latin American Studies marked the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Panama Canal. Highlighting UF’s contributions and connections to Panama, the conference featured more than 30 expert presentations on Panama from diverse perspectives, including paleontology, geology, forest conservation, finance, tourism, politics, Afro-Panamanian heritage, indigenous peoples, and popular culture.
- See the UF Center for Latin American Studies’ 2014 conference program, “Panama Considered: Remembering the Past, Embracing the Future.”
In February 2014, Mississippi Freedom Project (MFP) Coordinator Sarah Blanc presented with UF African American Studies Librarian Jana Ronan at the Institute on Black Life’s annual conference in Tampa, Florida, with the poster session, “The Freedom Summer Oral History Digitization Project: Making Hidden Lobby Collections Visible.”
The poster session detailed a collaborative digitization project at the University of Florida that coincided with an important historical anniversary, the 50th anniversary of the national civil rights movement campaign called Freedom Summer. Freedom Summer was a highly publicized campaign which brought approximately 1,000 young college students and other activists from other parts of the USA to the state of Mississippi, to register blacks to vote despite a history of violence and intimidation by authorities. SPOHP holds over 100 recorded interviews with civil rights movement veterans in their archives about this turbulent period of unrest.
The collection includes interviews with such well-known figures as Lawrence Guyot, Director of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party in 1964, and Liz Fusco, who served as the Mississippi Statewide Coordinator of Freedom Schools. Other oral histories contain reflections on the interviewees’ work with organizers such as Fannie Lou Hamer, and Stokely Carmichael, as well as organizations such as CORE, SNCC and the SCLC. The project also includes interviews with activist Rosa Parks, concerning the Montgomery Bus boycott of 1955 and other events leading up to 1964.
- See the IBL 2014 conference program, “Race and Place: Cultural Landscapes of Black Life in America.”
American Historical Association 128th Annual Conference, Washington, DC, January 2014
Dr. Paul Ortíz presented on the panel, “Public Universities and the Need to Rethink Public History,” with co-panelists from other public universities. He discussed public history initiatives at SPOHP and UF, emphasizing successful strategies to get funding and expand public history programs, including sending students into local communities, emphasizing hard skills, and actively advocating for resources.
The American Historical Association is the oldest and largest society of historians and professors of history in the United States. It was established to promote historical studies, the teaching of history, and preservation of and access to historical materials in 1884.
- See the AHA 2014 conference program details.
- Dr. Ortíz’s presentation was featured in the Cutting Edge News article, “How to Get Funding for Public History,” in January 2014.
Oral History Association 47th Annual Conference, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, October 2014
SPOHP students and staff presented on the panel, “Lessons from the Delta: Oral History, Heritage, and Civil Rights” at the 2013 OHA conference in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The panel was chaired by Dr. Paul Ortíz.
SPOHP Graduate Coordinator Jessica Taylor spoke on “(In)tangible Heritage and the civil rights movement in Mississippi,” and African American History Project (AAHP) Coordinator Justin Dunnavant spoke on “Veterans of SNCC: The Painful Memories of the War for Equality.” Joanna Joseph, a University Scholar, spoke “Experiencing Oral History: Student Reflections from the Delta.” SPOHP received the Stetson Kennedy Vox Populi “Voice of the People” Award at the conference, and MFP research partner Falana McDaniels was awarded the Martha Ross Teaching Award.
- Read more about SPOHP’s Vox Populi award.
- See the OHA 2013 conference program, “Hidden Stories, Contested Truths: The Craft of Oral History.”
Association for the Study of African American Life and History 98th Annual Meeting, Jacksonville, FL
Graduate coordinators from the African American History Project presented at the 98th annual conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History in Jacksonville, Florida. The panel, entitled “Teach Them How to Sing: Harry T. Moore and Patricia Due, Florida’s Activist Educators” featured presentations from attorney John Due and AAHP graduate coordinators Ryan Morini and Justin Dunnavant. Dr. Paul Ortíz moderated the panel.
Morini presented on oral history methodology, describing the history of AAHP and sharing clips of interviews with former Lincoln High School students and educators to highlight black high school alumni associations and the politics of memory and nostalgia. Dunnavant presented on the significance of educator activists in Florida’s civil rights era, using the life of Harry and Harriette Moore to explore the role activist educators played in desegregating and gathering resources for black schools. Morini earned his Ph.D in Anthropology from the University of Florida in 2014, and Dunnavant is a Ford Foundation Predoctoral fellow and Ph.D candidate studying archaeology. Concluding the panel, attorney and civil rights movement veteran John Due reflected upon the activist legacy of his wife, Patricia Stephens Due, in connection with contemporary organizing strategies.
- See the ASALH 2013 conference program details.