Enjoy the Winter OHA Newsletter! Click "view this email in your browser" to see photos.
View this email in your browser
Winter 2016 Volume L Number 3

OHA@50: Traditions, Transitions and Technologies from the Field

It was a birthday party befitting an organization of story listeners and story tellers.
Nearly 600 oral historians from around the world celebrated a landmark 50th anniversary for the Oral History Association Oct. 12-16 in Long Beach, California.
The celebration was a homecoming of sorts for the organization that held its first national colloquium at Lake Arrowhead, in the San Bernardino Mountains about 100 east of Long Beach. That colloquium, according to proceedings of the 1966 event, “dealt with the following aspects of oral history: justifications, uses, directions, approaches, techniques, objectives, and standards for the collection, study, and dissemination of an interdisciplinary range of materials in oral history.”
Fifty years later, many of the themes remain.
Long Beach conference attendees, joined by members of the Southwest Oral History Association commemorating its 35th anniversary, celebrated with a banquet and awards dinner beneath a life-size, 88-foot, fiberglass model of a female blue whale and her calf in the great hall of the Aquarium of the Pacific a short walk from the conference hotel. Twenty OHA past presidents attended, and two attendees—past president Alice Hoffman and Elizabeth Calciano—had participated in the original 1966 Lake Arrowhead colloquium.
Conference participants could choose from more than 100 plenaries, workshops, panels, roundtables, networking opportunities, a tech showcase, poster session and project bazaar, cultural tours and a memorial tribute to OHA’s former executive director Cliff Kuhn, who died last year. And as always, the conference created space for serendipitous conversations between oral history strangers who become friends.
Stories throughout this issue of the Newsletter offer highlights of some of the conference sessions. The spring issue of the OHA Newsletter will include additional coverage of OHA conference sessions. Stay tuned!

President's Report

Share your work at 2017 OHA meeting

Executive Director's Report

Members elect new OHA leaders

OHA members elected to leadership positions for the coming year are: 

  • First Vice President: Natalie Fousekis of the Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton
  • Council member: Jennifer Abraham Cramer of the T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History, Louisiana State University Libraries;
  • Nominating Committee member: Tami Albin, associate librarian at the University of Kansas;
  • Nominating Committee member: Rina Benmayor, professor emerita at California State University, Monterey Bay and
  • Nominating Committee member: Chuck Bolton, history professor, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Genocide testimonies become teaching tools

If you want firsthand testimony about the Holocaust, of course you will visit (online, naturally) the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive...

Oral history methods draw scholars from widely different perspectives

The Sioux Indian nation, Southern black gay men and San Francisco’s queer community in the 1940s might appear to have little in common...

Ad hoc labor working group organizes solidarity actions

An OHA ad hoc labor working group, formed after the Marriott Renaissance Hotel in Long Beach became the target of a labor organizing dispute, spearheaded a number of solidarity actions during the OHA conference...

Oral history, now (and tomorrow)

If you’ve ever been to an Oral History Association meeting, you’ll know there’s really only one theme:  What is oral history?

Heartfelt thanks to supporters

OHA past presidents gather at 50th anniversary celebration

More than two dozen colleges, universities and other oral history-supporting organizations contributed to the 2016 OHA 50th anniversary conference.  They include:

50th Anniversary Sponsors

  • Arizona State University
  • Audio Transcription Center
  • AV Preserve
  • Baylor Institute for Oral History
  • Center for Oral and Public History, Cal State Fullerton
  • Center for Oral History Archives, Center for Oral History Research and Oral History M.A. Program, Columbia University
  • Chao Center for Asian studies, Rice University
  • Chemical Heritage Foundation
  • Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso
  • Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
  • The MediaPreserve
  • Middle Tennessee State University: Albert Gore Research Center, Center for Popular Music and Department of History
  • Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity, Williams College
  • Oklahoma Oral History Research Program, Oklahoma State University
  • Oral History Center of the Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley
  • Oxford University Press
  • Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, University of Florida
  • Southern Oral History Program, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • UMass Public History Program and the UMass Oral History Lab
  • University of North Texas Oral History Program


  • Center for Oral History Research, UCLA Library
  • Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, UGA Libraries
  • The Randforce Associates
  • Sweetwater Sound
  • The Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project

Anniversary Contributors

  • American University
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Oral History Program

50th Anniversary Task Force recognized

It takes a lot of work to pull off a big birthday party.

In addition to OHA Interim Executive Director Kristine Navarro-McElhaney and Program Associate Gayle Knight, a volunteer 50th Anniversary Task Force headed by past OHA president Mary Larson did some heavy lifting.

Volunteer task force members included: Terry Birdwhistell, Sarah Blanc, Mary Marshall Clark, Jennifer Abraham Cramer, Rose Diaz, Diana Dombrowski, Ercia Fugger, Alphine Jefferson, Lu Ann Jones, Joan Mandell and Todd Moye.         

Also on the task force were: Irene Reti, Anne Ritchie, Anna Sheftel, Jason Steinhauer, Alva Stevenson, Sady Sullivan, Jessica Taylor, Cameron Vanderscoff, Claytee White and Stacey Zembrzycki.

Kudos to local arrangements group

When OHA members descend on an unfamiliar community for their annual conferences, efforts by local arrangements committee members can help smooth the way. Special thanks to local arrangements chair Karen Harper and her volunteers, including: Kaye Briegel, Stephanie George, Jennifer Kell, Genevieve Maxwell and Al Stein.

Remembering Cliff Kuhn, 1952-2015

Laughter and tears characterized a memorial tribute conference session for Cliff Kuhn, who died Nov. 8, 2015, after two years as the Oral History Association’s first executive director...
Continue reading

Sherna Berger Gluck seen as mentor, collaborator for feminist historians

A panel of women scholars whose paths have crossed that of oral historian Sherna Berger Gluck described a woman who inspired them, challenged them and permanently affected their lives...
Continue reading

Scholars, admirers detail oral history contributions of Ron Grele

Ronald J. Grele’s career as a historian took him from a position as a young faculty member at California State University Long Beach to Columbia University in New York City...
Continue reading

National Park Service uses oral history to document traditions, guide transitions

The National Park Service was already 50 years old when the Oral History Association was in its infancy, and park service employees had been conducting oral history interviews for years...
Continue reading

Roundtable offers perspectives on Studs Terkel as oral historian

Louis “Studs” Terkel was 96 years old when he died in 2008. And in his nearly century-spanning lifetime, he confounded biographers...
Continue reading

Remember to renew!

If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to renew your Oral History Association membership for continued access to the Oral History Review, the OHA Newsletter, conference discounts and other membership benefits.

Membership categories include:

  • $75 for regular membership
  • $35 for student membership
  • $1,000 for life membership
  • $450 for organization partner

To renew your membership online, click Membership.



Copyright © 2017 Oral History Association, All rights reserved.
Mary Kay Quinlan, Editor

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp