Webinar: Fieldwork and Digital Audio Technology: What to Know before You Go

The Oral History Association and the American Folklore Society present the next in their series of webinar:

Fieldwork and Digital Audio Technology: What to Know before You Go

May 1, 2020
1:00pm-2:30pm EST

Leaders: John Fenn (American Folklife Center) and Andy Kolovos (Vermont Folklife Center)

This interactive webinar will provide beginning and seasoned fieldworkers alike with strategies and approaches for integrating digital audio capture technologies into their cultural documentation efforts. Given the rapid rate at which digital technologies and equipment change in the consumer world, it can be challenging to figure out what you want versus what you need. From complex jargon to varying definitions of “quality” and “resolution,” there can be a lot to know—and it is easy to get lost in the world of audio recording options.The webinar leaders will emphasize some of the key factors to be aware of when planning for the use of digital fieldwork equipment, and will offer a range of tips and questions to consider. We hope to demystify the process of choosing and using digital audio equipment for ethnographic fieldwork and oral history interviewing, so in addition to discussing some of the basic technological aspects we will discuss a few recording scenarios common to this type of work.

Social distancing complicates face-to-face interviewing and fieldwork activity that involves audio recording, so in light of the risks posed by the coronavirus/COVID-19 to fieldworkers and participants alike we will explore options for remote audio capture. We will try to account for smartphone-based options as well as those available via personal computers, including both asynchronous and real-time interviewing.​

Free to OHA and AFS members. Nonmember fee is $75.

AFS Members can get the discount code and registration instructions here.

Seating is limited so sign up soon! Register Here: oha.memberclicks.net/fieldworkdigitaltechnology-webinar

Please email oha@oralhistory.org with any questions.

“Protect Our Elders”

Jo Overton is a Mormon Feminist Sicangu Lakota who is leading an effort to get supplies directly to on-the-ground health care workers at Navajo, which has been disproportionately impacted by this pandemic. She is sourcing PPE, sanitizer, and other needed medical supplies.
We invite folks to:
1.) consider a modest donation;
2.) share the Go Fund Me “Protect Native Elders” and site links with your networks or on your platforms;
3.) interview Jo Overton for your podcast or other efforts
Overton is a wonderful interviewee, with an amazing legacy of women activists in her family. She has written for Femwoc (Feminist Mormon Women of Color). She wrote the Foreword for Lakota lawyer and legal advocate Viola A. Burnette’s autobiography Confessions of an Iyeska (2018). She is also featured in Peggy Fletcher Stack’s 2015 article “Message from Mormon Blogger to Scouts: Drop the Native American Symbols.”
In Native culture, elders are the keepers of all the wisdom and knowledge of our people. Without them, we lose some of the very things that make us who we are.
COVID-19 is rapidly spreading through the Native American people and they have very few resources to fight the spread. This could decimate an entire culture and generation of Native Elders.
Native Americans are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 in across America.
Among the 51% of deaths for which data on race and ethnicity are known, Native Americans make up 15% of deaths.
As of April 17th, the Navajo Nation alone had 1127 cases and 44 deaths. These numbers are accelerating.
Lack of running water and infrastructure makes the situation even more difficult.
Please help us preserve the native elders, native wisdom and support us in providing PPE essentials and supplies to these communities!
“Protect Our Elders” are committed to 100% transparency for all funding. You can find more details on https://www.protectnativeelders.org.

Spotlight: Sarah Moorhead, SOHA member of 20 Years

SOHA is featuring our members and presenters of SOHA 2020. This week, our spotlight is on Sarah Moorhead, who wrote the following piece about her experiences with SOHA. Sarah has been a dedicated SOHA member for about 20 Years. She has served as the SOHA President (2008-2009), and she received the SOHA Life Achievement Award (2013).

Sarah Moorhead
Sarah Moorhead, Past SOHA President (2008-2009)


By: Sarah Moorhead

In the 1980’s and 1990’s SOHA would send experienced oral historians to other cities to provide workshops. Sylvia Arden and Rose Diaz gave two workshops in Arizona which I attended, but it wasn’t until the Museum Guild President and retired Assistant Librarian, Mary Olive Mott, asked me to restart the Mesa Historical Society’s (MHS) oral history program, which had been in hiatus since 1985, that I actually began oral history work in 1998.

Continue reading “Spotlight: Sarah Moorhead, SOHA member of 20 Years”

Every Day-Teaching in the COVID-19 Era

Dr. Summer Cherland, SOHA 2nd Vice President, has worked on launching a blog about Every Day-Teaching in the COVID-19 Era with the South Phoenix Oral History project. See the blog and updates about this incredible work on the South Phoenix Oral History site.
Here is Summer Cherland’s update about this work:
“Over the past few weeks, you’ve shared photos of your new work spaces with us. It appears that we are taking full advantage of dining tables, kitchen counters, and guest rooms. Some of you are teaching outside, others have designed at-home studios, and many of you are figuring out how to teach and parent in the same space. Take a look at our photo gallery of your creativity! Be on the lookout for an ‘after hours’ pic that cracked me up!
Do we miss our too-hot classrooms and our teeny offices now?
Here’s one of our favorites [attached]. Dr. Farina King of Northeastern State University signals her office hours to the rest of the family with a simple door hanger. Brilliant.
Looking ahead:
Are you proud of your new work space? Send it our way! We’ll do another photo gallery soon.
Next week, we will spotlight four student interviews.
Our podcast is going live on Friday [April 3]!”
Insta: SMCCHistory
Sign up for daily emails: https://forms.gle/DrdptAY1dzgaTB6T6
Podcast: More and More Every Day

In Remembrance of Louis Manuel, Jr.

SOHA Honors Life and Service of Former Ak-Chin Indian Community Chairman Manuel

SOHA is deeply saddened at the untimely death of former Ak-Chin Indian Community Chairman Louis Manuel, Jr., who passed away at the age of 57 on April 6, 2020.   Under Chairman Manuel’s leadership, the Ak-Chin Community has sponsored the Eva Tulene Watt award for Native Americans to attend the SOHA conference for years. Native Americans historically have been oral historians and are a valued part of SOHA.

Ak-Chin Indian Community Former Chairman Manuel

Chairman Manuel was named chairman of the tribe in 2009 and served until January 2016.  During his tenure, Harrah’s Ak-Chin Hotel and Casino expanded and the UltraStar Multi-tainment Center at Ak-Chin Circle was constructed.  He helped guide the Community through a period of rapid growth and economic diversification.  He was an advocate for Indigenous education, services for elders and accessibility to social and health services for tribal members.  The mayor of Maricopa, the adjoining town, Congressman Tom O’Halleran and fellow tribal leaders were among those who praised him.

SOHA will respectfully tell our membership of Honorary Chairman Manuel’s role in the Watt award and have a moment of silence for him at our awards ceremony at our upcoming annual conference.

#SOHA2020 at UNLV

Las Vegas
Postcard from UNLV Special Collections

Join #SOHA2020 at UNLV from March 27-29, 2020 for our annual conference. The conference features a keynote address from Alexander Aviña, ASU Associate Professor on Friday, March 27 and plenary session with oral historian, teacher, writer, and performance artist J. Patrick Johnson on Saturday, March 28. We offer workshops, a documary screening, roundtables, diverse panels, a student lighting round, and a welcome and student reception. You don’t want to miss out on this annual meeting. Register here: https://squareup.com/store/southwest-oral-history-association

See our Local Arrangements guide for places to dine and visit during your stay.

We recommend that you stay at the
Embassy Suites by Hilton Las Vegas
4315 University Center Drive
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89119
USATEL: +1-702-795-2800

We are offering a group rate here:

Register now for the 2020 SOHA conference

SOHA Winter 2019-20 Newsletter

Happy Holidays! Thank you to our generous SOHA members and donors! We hope you enjoy our SOHA Winter 2019-20 Newsletter.

SOHA’s Annual Conference, March 27-29, 2020, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Follow #SOHA2020 conference & news updates on social media with @SWoralhistory! You can register today to ensure your early bird rate.

Register now for the 2020 SOHA conference

Please see bit.ly/2020panels for sample submissions and to organize a panel. Call for Proposals is due January 6th, 2020.

We appreciate the support of individual new members, renewing members, and donors, especially the Ak-Chin Indian Community and the HL Boyer Charitable Foundation. Your contributions make our oral history education and outreach possible!

Please consider making your year-end donation via our website, southwestoralhistory.org.

SOHA is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization and donations are very much appreciated. Such donations are tax deductible in accordance with IRS Tax Code Section 170(c).

Donate to SOHA link at Eventbrite


SOHA 2020 Awards, Scholarships & Mini-Grants

The Purpose of SOHA is to provide a vehicle for communication among persons, programs, and institutions using oral testimony; to encourage cooperation among its members; to promote standards among oral historians, to foster an understanding of and use of oral history; to provide guidance to projects; to create educational programs and resources; to aid in securing financial funding for members’ projects. Apply for the 2020 SOHA awards for the March 27-29, 2020 conference at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Deadline for Applications: January 31, 2020. Award Notifications: February 28, 2020. See our Call for Proposals for additional details.

Eva Tulene Watt Scholarship for Native American Scholars:
Named in honor of Apache author and oral historian Eva Tulene Watt, who shared the story of her family and her people’s past through recounted events, biographical sketches, and cultural descriptions (Don’t Let the Sun Step Over You: A White Mountain Apache Family Life, 1860-1975, with Keith Basso, University of Arizona, 2004), this SOHA scholarship enables indigenous oral history practitioners to attend and participate in the Annual SOHA Conference. As part of the award, the SOHA conference registration fee is waived and travel and hotel expenses are reimbursed up to an amount of $500. Recipients are not eligible for the Eva Tulene Watt scholarship two years in a row. A one-year SOHA membership will be included in the scholarship award. 2020 Application

General Scholarship:
SOHA awards two General Scholarships to oral historians and practitioners to attend and participate in the Annual SOHA Conference. Students, teachers, independent oral historians and individuals associated with nonprofit organizations in the general SOHA region are encouraged to apply. Funding includes one cash award of $300 per recipient and should be applied toward travel and hotel expenses. The SOHA conference registration fee is waived. Recipients are not eligible for the General Scholarship two years in a row. A one-year SOHA membership will be included in the scholarship award. 2020 Application

SOHA awards up to three mini-grants each year totaling up to $1500. Funds may be used for interviewing, equipment, transcription, editing, publishing, and other oral history related expenses. Students, teachers, and independent researchers, historical societies, archives, museums, and non-profits in the general SOHA region are encouraged to apply to conduct research on the Southwest. Recipients may be invited to present their work at a SOHA conference within two years of receiving the Award. We also ask that recipients prepare a written report on their work for inclusion in SOHA’s newsletter within six months of receiving the award. 2020 Application

Visit www.southwestoralhistory.org/awards.html for more information.

Northeastern State University

Dr. Farina King, SOHA 1st VP, teaches oral history methodology at Northeastern State University. She hosted a conversation with Sarah Milligan, Head, Oklahoma Oral History Research Program and Julie Pearson-Little Thunder at Oklahoma State University. View their digital collections here that are hosted by CONTENTdm and Omeka: https://library.okstate.edu/oralhistory/digital/. You will learn about Oklahoma Conservation Heritage, Married for Life, Oklahoma Native Artists, OSU and OK Diverse Sexuality and Gender, Spotlighting Oklahoma, and other collections. Jennifer Keil, SOHA President, provided feedback about her role as a digital historian for her company 70 Degrees. She is working on California community oral history projects for cities, governments, and non-profit organizations. View some of the Orange County interviews with the public library here: ocstories.org.

Our discussions about preservation and access emphasized the changes in technologies. We discussed migration to new platforms and metadata structure like XML files. To learn more about project management and receive workshop training, we encourage you to attend oral history conferences. Sarah is the American Folklore Society, Annual Meeting Local Arrangements Co-Chair (2020) October 13-17, 2020 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Farina and Jennifer are organizing the Southwest Oral History Association meeting March 27-29, 2020 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.