Favorite readings on oral history methods written by Black, Indigenous and people of color authors?

Amy Starecheski's picture

Dear colleagues-


I am, as I do every summer, revising and updating the syllabus for the foundational Oral History Fieldwork, Production and Archiving class I teach every fall for OHMA students. I have done and am continuing to do my own research on this, but also wanted to reach out and ask if you all have favorite readings on oral history methods written by Black, Indigenous and people of color authors. Feel free to add suggestions here or email them to me. I will share the gathered suggestions. Thank you!


Here are the topics I plan to cover in the class, FYI:


Simple Remote Audio Recording

What is Oral History?


In-person Audio Recording

Project Design


Advanced Remote Audio Recording

Legal and Ethical Issues

Discussion of project designs; field notes; interviewing protocols. IRB.


Transcribing and Indexing

Interviewing Strategies: Self-Care


Interviewing and Audio Recording Troubleshooting

Sharing and discussion of audio recordings; fine-tuning our recording and interviewing skills.


Doing and Teaching Oral History from an Anti-Oppression Standpoint

Decolonizing Oral History


Digital Archiving

What is metadata? What are the archiving best practices for oral history, and how can we plan to meet them?


Transcribing, Indexing and Archiving: OHMS

Beyond the Seated One-on-One Interview


 Sustaining Our Work: Fundraising and Developing Support for Oral History

Balancing Research and Life History; Using Research in Interviews


Becoming an Interviewer: The Oral History Relationship


The Iterative Process of Project Development

The Embodied Interview


Oral History and Anthropology: Fieldwork and Ethnography of Oral History

Discussion of relationship between participant observation and interviewing and between anthropological life histories and oral histories. Discussion of anthropological approaches to the study of oral history as a social practice.


Amy Starecheski, PhD (she/her)


Columbia Oral History MA Program  


212-851-4395  aas39@columbia.edu

Office: @ home!


--NYC Covid-19 Oral History, Narrative and Memory Archive, Co-Director

--Mott Haven Oral History Project, Founder

--Ours to Lose: When Squatters Became Homeowners in New York City, University of Chicago Press. (And in podcast form, via 99% Invisible)


Amy, the author is not, to the best of my knowledge, an Indigenous person, but the article is an excellent assessment of how a project went terribly off the rails because it don't take care to understand approaches to knowledge within and internal politics of an Indigenous community (or communities):
• Shell-Weiss, Melanie. “Good Intentions: Grappling with Legacies of Conflict and Distrust Surrounding a Native American Oral History Project One Generation Later.” Oral History Review 46, no. 1 (Winter/Spring 2019): 104-133. --Linda Shopes