The OHA’s Day of Giving last year raised money for scholarships to fund travel to the Annual OHA Conference for those in hurricane-affected areas. With matching funds provided by the Chao Center for Asian Studies at Rice University and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida, the OHA was able to fund 2 scholarships for travel expenses to the OHA Conference in Montreal, October 10-14. Please see the call below. Deadline to submit: September 15, 2018

Call for Applications:

The Oral History Association announces two travel scholarships for Oral Historians from Areas Affected by Hurricanes in 2017 to attend the OHA Conference in Montreal, Canada, October 10-14, 2018.

In response to the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the Oral History Association, the Chao Center for Asian Studies at Rice University and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida are pleased to announce two $2500 travel awards to those living or working in these affected areas for travel to the Oral History Association Conference in Montreal, Canada, October 10-14, 2018. All travel costs to the conference will be reimbursable up to that $2500 mark.

Applications must include a letter explaining the applicant’s oral history work and a letter of support for the application.

For award purposes, we define those affected by these hurricanes to include any area damaged by high water (either from rain or from opening up reservoirs), be they individual structures, waterways, streets, or entire neighborhoods. We are looking to fund people whose particular projects fits into a more comprehensive attempt at recording or researching any of these catastrophic hurricanes.

Apply here!

Applications are due on September 15, 2018, and winners will be announced by September 30, 2018.  To submit an application: Please include a one-page letter explaining the applicant’s oral history work, and a letter of support for the application. Please combine your entire application into ONE PDF document and email it by September 15, 2018. 

This Summer a SPOHP team of undergraduate students, graduate students, and SPOHP alumni returned to in Atmore, Alabama to conduct interviews with members of the Poarch Band of the Creek Indian Nation. Students learned the technical skills necessary to set up cameras, lighting, and audio equipment at the tribe’s archive building, as well as in homes on the nearby reservation. Unlike many eastern Indian tribes, the Poarch Creeks were not removed from their tribal lands and have lived together for almost 200 years in and around the reservation in Poarch, Alabama.

Dr. Paul Ortiz and SPOHP will take part in developing UF undergrad courses on Intersections of Global Blackness and Latinx Identity through an Intersections Research-Into-Teaching Grant from the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere & Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This Intersections group will emphasize how popular culture, visual arts, and performance reverberate globally through media consumption to (re)produce Black & Latinx cultures. Illustration by Rafael López for Margarita Engle’s Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music.

Laura Mae Dixie, known as “the Mother of the Movement in Tallahassee, Florida,” passed away last month at the age of 92. Her life is a testament to the oft-forgotten role of African-American working-class people — especially women — in the making of the modern civil rights movement in the South. (Photo by Deborah Hendrix.)

Facing South has published our essay on Mrs. Laura Dixie. Known as “the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement,” in Tallahassee, Florida, Laura Dixie was one of the most important organizers in the rise of the modern civil rights movement in the Deep South in the 1950s. She was a lead organizer in the historic Tallahassee Bus Boycott in 1956; played a pivotal role in the FAMU sit-in movement in the 1960s; was responsible for a massive voter registration campaign in the Panhandle in the 1970s; marched against the Ku Klux Klan in Forsyth, Georgia in the 1980s; was a founding president of her hospital workers union–and even all of these listed activities barely scratches the surface of the importance of her life. For the Proctor Program, Mrs. Dixie has hosted us for barbecues, fish-fries and stop-overs during our annual Mississippi Freedom Project field trips–as well as other events for a decade. SPOHP will continue to honor the memory of this amazing person who has done so much for the nation as well as SPOHP.

Read our essay published in Facing South titled “Laura Dixie: Remembering a ‘Mother of the Movement'” here now!




50 Years of Collaboration

“From participating in interviews, to engaging with the collection, to attending SPOHP’s events, the public is the lifeforce behind SPOHP’s past, present, and future.” -Dr. Paul Ortiz

This jubilee year, SPOHP wants to reflect,

say thank you and plan for the future.

Thanks to our supporters, SPOHP has had one of its most productive years yet. We want to take a step back to reflect on some of this year’s greatest hits.

But SPOHP never rests! We have a busy year ahead. Let’s also take a look at some of the many programs and events lined up for this summer.

Director’s Welcome


Welcome to SPOHP’s  2017 summer newsletter! The mission of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida is to gather preserve and promote living history for future generations of students, scholars, and inquiring minds. To fulfill our mission, we emphasize three themes: experiential learning, civic engagement, and digital humanities production.

As a history professor at the University of Florida, I love books, classrooms, and even dusty archives [sneeze!]. However, experience has taught me the humbling truth that sometimes the most transformative learning experiences happen outside of the lecture hall and the campus. SPOHP specializes in teaching students how to work and learn in spaces far away from the normal “comfort zones” we too often settle down in.

Equally important, Proctor Program staff guide our students through the process of transforming the interviews they gather in the field into digital audio podcasts, senior honors theses, dissertations, documentaries, and other formats that are now regularly aired in K-12 classrooms, museums, community organizing workshops, radio stations and other educational platforms. Your support makes it possible for the Proctor Program to amplify the remarkable stories told by our narrators!

SPOHP alumni tell us that these learning experiences are life-changing. This week, I received an email from a Proctor Program alumnus who told me: “as a former graduate student at UF, I can attest to the program’s transformative influence – it catalyzed my commitment to using innovative research techniques and progressive pedagogical models in the furtherance of social justice.” This alumnus is now a successful teacher at one of the highest-ranked schools in the United States.

Of course, none of this is possible without your support! The great majority of SPOHP’s field work initiatives are funded by private donations; no donation is too small! Your support helps ensure that the Proctor Program is able to cover the travel, lodging, and equipment costs of our students as they embark on the field work opportunities you will read about in this newsletter.

Above all, I hope that you will enjoy this update on SPOHP’s work, and I welcome the opportunity to answer any questions you may have about the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program.

Thank You!

Paul Ortiz, Director

Thanks to our donors, 2016-2017 was our year.

We Sent a Team of Students to the 2017 Presidential Inauguration and the Women’s March on Washington!

19 Students, over 150 interviews. This Experiential Learning Oral History Project sent out a team of students to document the voices of attendees of the 2017 Inauguration and Women’s March on Washington.

Learn More



We’re Now the National Repository for Interviews Conducted at the Women’s March

Over the course of this year SPOHP will begin receiving and archiving interviews conducted at Women’s Marches all over the country.






The SPOHP Podcast Launched Four Original Series

Available on iTunes, SoundCloud or the SPOHP website, the SPOHP Podcast is dedicated to making the stories from our archives as accessible to you as possible.

Listen Here




SPOHP Concluded a Successful Spring Internship

Our interns showcased their final podcast projects at the end of the semester. SPOHP will be uploading these pieces to the UFDC for public access.





Ottoman Greeks of the US Project

This video is a sample from an Ottoman Greeks of the US Project presentation entitled, Goodbye Virgin Mary: Early 20th Century Memories of Migration from the Ottoman Empire. The sample is from a longer video called, “Will I Make It?” The rest of the video was featured at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Hollywood, Florida. For more information about the Ottoman Greeks of the US Project please contact the project’s coordinator, George Topalidis at

We’ve got a busy year ahead! 

Film Director Jeffrey Pufahl is Constructing SPOHP’s Women’s March Fall Project Course

Building on an existing partnership between SPOHP and the Center for Women’s Studies, film director Jeffrey Pufahl will be spending the summer organizing SPOHP’s fall project course. Students will translate their collected research and interviews from the November 2016 Women’s March and Inauguration in Washington DC into an original theater/multi-media presentation. Students will be performing and exhibiting this work at the Imagining America conference at University of California, Davis (Oct 12-14). Interns will also perform on the UF campus at the Center for Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Research, and the Harn Museum as part of (Oct. 3-Dec. 31).”

This exhibit is designed to provoke audiences to connect the historical issues of women to issues of the present day (Website). By placing the performance in the context of the exhibition, we will further explore this connection. By illuminating the issues expressed by the women at the March, and telling the story through the eyes of the students who went to the March in context of the exhibit, our project has the potential to create deep resonance and generate discussion between audience and performers.

With a professional background in film and theatre directing and producing, Jeffrey holds an MFA in Theater Performance (University of Cincinnati) and an MFA in Theater Directing (University of Victoria). His work at the University of Florida is focused on creating inter-campus and inter-community partnerships to develop theatre-based programming that addresses social issues and community health. A member of the UF Imagining America cohort, Jeffrey specializes in creating site-specific theater and documentary film.  His research focuses on innovatively applying theatre and video to health, social, and educational content in order to engage audience more effectively.

Recent projects include his award winning production of Ashley’s Consent, a multi-media, site-specific applied theatre experience educating on sexual assault and consent, and Telling: Gainesville, an original verbatim theatre project connecting the oral histories of Gainesville veterans with community for the purpose of facilitating dialogue and understanding. He has also developed several applied theatre workshops for teens; topics include stress and coping mechanisms. Currently, Jeffrey is developing a unique theatre program for adolescents and young adults with mental health conditions in collaboration with Chicago’s Second City. ​



The 2017 Mississippi Freedom Summer Research Trip is Underway!

Our Mississippi Freedom Summer team will hit the road for Delta, Mississippi on June 18th. Over the past several years, SPOHP has collected 200+ interviews with members of the Sunflower County Civil Rights Organization. UF students will return to Gainesville and host public programs to discuss what they’ve learned. Many student-participants in the past have incorporated their oral histories into senior theses, dissertations, and conference papers. The goal of all of these symposia is to use the history of the civil rights movement as a starting point to interrogate the world around us today and to think about what still needs to be changed. Learn more about this research project here (PDF).

Recognizing Our Award-winning Staff 


Meet Patrick, Our SPOHP Archivist

In this video, Patrick Daglaris talks about how the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program has guided his career path.





Associate Program Director Dr. Ryan Morini was Awarded Grant Funding for the Western Shoshone Project

The Sven and Astrid Liljeblad Fund grant will help Dr. Morini to continue his historical ethnographic work with Western Shoshones in Nevada, which is currently focused on telling the stories of individuals whose lives, when described together, help to demonstrate the variety of ways that Shoshone people survived the challenges of the 19th and 20th centuries and worked to create opportunities for future generations. The grant will fund a trip to the National Archives in San Bruno, California, which holds most of the Indian Agency records for Nevada Shoshones from the 19th to the mid-20th centuries, and also a trip to Nevada to share that information with Shoshone community members and to conduct new oral history interviews related to it.


African American History Project Coordinator Justin Dunnavant was Awarded Two Postdoctoral Fellows:

The soon-to-be Dr. Dunnavant was awarded the University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship (Fall 2017 – Spring 2018) and the Vanderbilt Academic Pathways Postdoctoral Fellowship (Fall 2018 – Spring 2020). As a UC President’s Fellow, he will be in residence at the UC Santa Cruz Archaeological Research Center, publishing his dissertation research on Ethiopian historical archaeology and developing a new archaeology project that explores the ecology of slavery in the former Danish West Indies (St. Croix). As a Vanderbilt Academic Pathways Fellow, he will continue to develop the geospatial component of his St. Croix research at Vanderbilt University’s Spatial Analysis Research Laboratory (SARL).


Visit our Donate Page Here to Support SPOHP’s Mission


One Community, Many Voices

Congratulations to new SPOHPer Michael T. Barry, Jr. (B.A., College of the Holy Cross 2014, M.A. Providence College 2016)! He is a first-year doctoral student in American history and a SPOHP graduate research assistant. Mike works on the Alachua County African American History Project and the St. Augustine African American History Project.

On Saturday August 20th, Michael screened his most recent film, The Universal Soldier: Vietnam as an official selection at the 2016 Nyack Film Festival in Nyack, New York. The film takes a closer look at the lives of Vietnam War veterans from both the American and Vietnamese perspective. Specifically, it explores the more compassionate, shared elements of life at war through the work of artistically gifted veterans. The project utilizes never before seen footage from the war, portions of Vietnamese film, and firsthand accounts from veterans.

The film screened to a full audience and was received positively. In the following question and answer session, the viewers and filmmaker dialogued on themes like: Is war inevitable? Can we put an end to war? What if humans understood conflict without creating enemies or fundamentally different “others” wrongheaded and therefore expendable? What if we could see that soldiers share a universal experience? How do veterans handle these universal experiences and emotions? What can these ideas from Vietnam teach us about other modern wars like Iraq and Afghanistan? Ultimately, the film went on to win the festival’s Best Feature award.



Happy New Year, SPOHP’ers! We have some wonderful news to share: Gainesville’s chapter of Veterans For Peace recently honored SPOHP’s Digital Humanities Coordinator, Ms. Deborah Hendrix, with the coveted Peace Helmet Award at December’s Winter Solstice Concert.

2015 Peace Helmet Award for Ms. Deborah Hendrix:

Deborah Hendrix is known in Gainesville as the People’s Videographer. She has produced countless hours of documentary film programs on issues such as immigrants’ rights, environmental history, African American studies and many other topics. Working into the wee hours of the evening and during the weekends, Deborah has filmed numerous events for Gainesville Veterans for Peace including our Peace Poetry programs and public lectures on the anti-war movement by VFP members such as Scott Camil’s “Resistance & Liberation talk on the history of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War movement in 2014.

During Memorial Mile, 2015,  Deborah directed a major effort to preserve the history of Memorial Mile through oral histories, video footage of the tombstones, and still photography of the event. Deborah works tirelessly to make the work of Veterans for Peace and other community organizations come alive on the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program’s You Tube channel,

Please join us in congratulating Deborah, and saying thanks for the continuous effort and dedication she puts forth to produce such valuable documentary films!

Photo by Dr. Paul Ortíz, of Ms. Hendrix trains VFP member John Fullerton at the 2014 Peace Poetry awards ceremony.