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What are the roots of your radical oral history practice?

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Oral history is not just something that historians do to create sources for archives. As part of a larger collective research project to document the radical roots of oral history and begin a process of decolonizing oral history practices, we invite you to join this video chat to share the roots of your radical oral history practice. What inspired you to do this work? How did you learn? Who are your oral history ancestors and mentors?


Fernanda Espinosa is a Brooklyn-based Ecuadorian New Yorker. She is a cultural organizer, language justice worker, and oral historian. Currently, she is a Master of Arts candidate at Columbia University’s Oral History Program and she holds a BA in Anthropology and in Latin American Literature. Fernanda has been generating, listening, and interpreting oral histories to inform creative public interventions that bring visibility to social justice issues and that aspire to act as platforms for resistance and dialogue. Most recently she was a national Smithsonian Latino Museum Studies fellow. She is a co-founder and active member of People’s Collective Arts/Colectivo de Arte Popular, a collective of artists and cultural organizers, and of Cooperativa Cultural 19 de enero (CC 1/19), an art and oral history collaboration.

Amy Starecheski is a cultural anthropologist and oral historian whose research focuses on the use of oral history in social movements and the politics of urban property. She is the Co-Director of the Oral History MA Program at Columbia University. Amy is a member of the Core Working Group for Groundswell: Oral History for Social Change, where she facilitates the Practitioner Support Network. In 2016 she was awarded the Sapiens-Allegra “Will the Next Margaret Mead Please Stand Up?” prize for public anthropological writing. She received a PhD in cultural anthropology from the CUNY Graduate Center, where she was a Public Humanities Fellow. Her book, Ours to Lose: When Squatters Became Homeowners in New York City, was published in 2016 by the University of Chicago Press.

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