Announcing the 2017 Jeffrey H. Brodsky Oral History Award Winner

Amy Starecheski's picture

The Columbia University Oral History MA Program invites you to join us in congratulating the winner and the runner-up for the 2017 Jeffrey H. Brodsky Oral History Award.

In November of 2015, Jeffrey H. Brodsky, OHMA alum, announced a generous cash prize of $3,000 for an outstanding thesis. The criteria for receiving the award is that the thesis must “make an important contribution to knowledge and exemplify the rigor, creativity, and ethical integrity we teach our students.” For his own thesis Jeffrey conducted over 60 hours of videotaped interviews with politicians on their memories of their first campaigns. He created a video documentary based on his interviews, one of the first multimedia theses in our program, and was advised by OHMA co-founder Peter Bearman.

We had two excellent candidates this year whose work exemplifies the creative and intellectual contributions to oral history that inspired the Jeffrey H. Brodsky award. We are proud to announce the winner: Nyssa Chow, and Ellen Coon, the runner-up. In her extraordinary thesis, Intersecting Histories: The Story of Her Skin, Nyssa Chow embraces visual mediums of film and image, still-life portraits, and embodied stories as a way of telling the stories of the family of Trinidadian women who formed her. Ellen Coon's Dil Maya Aji: Narratives of a Traditional Newar Midwife breaks new ground in several areas: work at the intersection of oral history and ethnography, and work that provides insight into the intersubjective relationships that are at the heart of oral history, particularly via innovative combinations of creative and scholarly writing. We invite you to consider the resonances between these two theses: in the recreation of the literal voices and memories of powerful women who tend to the living and the dying and all the attendant rituals in between, and who translate the stories that enliven the next generation.

Read more here: