The Sonic South: The Southern Oral History Program's New Audio Competition

Rachel Seidman's picture

Students, scholars, and public history practitioners, as well as audio professionals, are encouraged to submit to the Southern Oral History Program's new audio competition, The Sonic South.  All levels of expertise welcome.  Deadline has been extended until March 19th.

The Southern Oral History Program (SOHP) collects interviews with southerners from all walks of life. Since 1973 the SOHP has preserved the voices of the region, capturing compelling personalities and poignant stories under our motto “You don’t have to be famous for your life to be history.” In order to introduce wider audiences to this treasure trove of Southern narratives, and to support a growing community of audio producers, we are thrilled to announce our new audio competition, The Sonic South.

This year we are highlighting women’s voices, which have always been central to SOHP’s collection. Women’s stories help us understand the social and economic changes that people across the South have experienced and initiated. Women’s leadership and activism—their persistence in the face of authority—have been key to the political movements of our time. Of course, not all women have embraced change; persistence can also mean the ongoing power of old traditions and ways of thinking. No matter what our politics or our outlook, all our lives have been indelibly shaped by these stories.

We want audio producers of all levels to use the SOHP archive to create new and innovative audio stories, documentaries, sound art, or sonic experiments. The finished work must focus on this year's theme: persistence—interpreted however the producer may wish—and must use the voices of southern women from the SOHP’s archive of more than 6,000 interviews. Producers are encouraged to think creatively about format, structure, and style.

Submissions due March 19th.  For more information, including competition rules, see