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Research-Based Interviewing and Interpretation

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Columbia University, Knox Hall

606 West 122nd Street

New York, NY 10027

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Research-Based Interviewing and Interpretation, Mary Marshall Clark

This workshop will focus on how to develop interviewing strategies for historical projects, based on project designs, research questions, and goals. We will use sample project blueprints, or designs, to look at ways to combine analytical interviewing with life history interviewing, in which personal narrative is balanced with asking our narrators to reflect on and interpret their experiences. As Ron Grele has written in his article “The Good Interview,” oral history is ideally a balance between a well-told tale, or anecdote, and the explanation and interpretation of that narrative. We will look at examples of interviews (and projects) that achieve that balance, and are considered valuable historical sources as a result. Please bring examples of your own interviews and projects, and we will workshop them with you. The workshop will contain an interviewing component.

Mary Marshall Clark is the director of the Columbia Center for Oral History Research (CCOHR). Mary Marshall is also the co-founder and co-director of Columbia’s Oral History Master of Arts degree program. Mary Marshall has been involved in the oral history movement since 1991, and was president of the Oral History Association in 2001-2002. She was a founding member of the International Oral History Association.

Mary Marshall teaches and writes on issues of memory, the mass media, trauma, and ethics in oral history. She was the co-principal investigator, with Peter Bearman, of the September 11, 2001 Oral History Narrative and Memory Project, and directed related projects on the aftermath of September 11th in New York City. Mary Marshall’s current work focuses on the global impact of U.S. torture and detention policies, focusing on Guantánamo. Mary Marshall is an editor of After the Fall: New Yorkers Remember September 11, 2001 and the Years that Followed, published by The New Press in September 2011.

*For our oral history workshops, please pay what you can. We suggest $25 for students, recent graduates, or others who are financially constrained, while we suggest that professionals and those with more resources should pay more. All profits from these events go towards our annual merit scholarship for an OHMA students.

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Columbia University, Knox Hall

606 West 122nd Street

New York, NY 10027

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