New Workshops: Oral History Winter School 2019

Sabine Frid's picture
Oral History Summer School was established in Hudson, New York, in 2012, as an immersive training program to help students from varied fields––writers, social workers, radio producers, artists, teachers, human rights workers––make use of oral history as an ethical interview practice in their lives and work.
We have three new workshops in January and February of 2019. Workshops are open to all levels of experience. Read more about the workshops below, or click here for more information. Questions? Contact
Shaking the Family Tree: Oral History, Family History and Insider Interviews
Dates: Jan 11 - 14
Location: Drop Forge & Tool, Hudson New York
Instructors: Suzanne Snider
Tuition: $575 ($500 for friends/family members who apply together)
For many of us, family is the obvious—and sometimes most complicated—place to start our work as oral historians. In this workshop, participants will learn how to use oral history to document and preserve their family stories. We’ll discuss common challenges: convincing your family to participate, delving into sensitive subjects and secrets, and working with interviewees who may suffer from memory loss. We’ll also discuss the potential for oral history to repair and transform relationships. Optional evening activities include a mini family-themed movie fest and an evening of embarrassing family stories, of course!
This workshop is a good fit for novices or advanced oral historians embarking on a family history project, broadly defined—or for those exploring the nuances of “insider” interviews. Also welcome: those working on projects about constructed families or constellations of people intimately related.
Oral History for Educators
Dates: January 19 - 21
Location: 1 North Front Street, Hudson, New York
Instructor: Suzanne Snider
Tuition: Sliding Scale ($475 to $700. See here for more details)*
This workshop is designed for educators who want to bring oral history into their classrooms and learning spaces. We’ll begin with a rigorous introduction to oral history theory, methods and practice before reviewing existing curricula as a jumping off place to design our own curricula/projects.
We’ll think about how oral history’s best practices dovetail with a range of learning objectives, seizing upon the field’s potential to support active listening, ethical documentary practice along with considerations of: primary sources, myth, memory, the archive as a future history, silence, talking across difference, problem solving, shared authority, collaborative analysis and historiography. Participants will be guided through a design process with a chance to workshop their emergent ideas with the group.
Oral History and Project Design
Dates: February 2 - 7
Location: Solaris, Hudson, New York
Instructors: Suzanne Snider with Alex Kelly and Liza Zapol
Tuition: $725
Project Design is a dynamic phase of oral history practice, giving oral historians a chance to discipline their thinking, address ethical challenges, identify sites for potential collaboration, assess their resources, define “success,” and brainstorm potential future uses beyond the archive.
Project Design, which we can think of as our projects’ “superego,” stands in contrast to the wild and woolly nature of narrative, itself--presenting with coherence, rules and potential problems. Working on our Project Designs at the front end can be enlivening, inspiring and revelatory when developed in chorus with peers and collaborators, as “problems” become our guides, and part of our projects’ ultimate resolution. Participants will have the option of signing up for a 30-minute project consultation.