2018 SOHA Conference

Greetings SOHA Members and Supporters!

We are currently accepting proposals for presentations at the 2018 Annual SOHA Conference in Fullerton, California. This year, we are partnering with CSU, Fullerton and they have graciously allowed us to use their hi-tech classrooms for the conference. So far, we have received proposals for many outstanding presentations, but there is still plenty of room for more. I know most of you are in the middle of projects that we all would love to hear about! Proposals are due to soha@unlv.edu by November 20, 2017.

Not sure what to present? We’re looking for a number of unique presentations to highlight the versatility of oral history. The conference is open to performances, documentary films, digital projects, posters, discussions, round tables, and anything else you can think of. 

If you have any questions at all about the conference or the submission process, please contact us at soha@unlv.edu or at 702-895-5011.

Hope to see you in Fullerton!



University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Box 455020

4505 S. Maryland Parkway

Las Vegas, NV 89154-5020  


The Oral History Center at UC, Berkeley

Introductory Workshops

Our next introductory workshop will be held on Saturday, February 24, 2018. We are now accepting applications.

The one day introductory workshop tuition is $125 and is designed for people who are interested in an introduction to the basic practice of oral history and serves as a companion to our more in­-depth Advanced Oral History Summer Institute held in August.

OHC historian Shanna Farrell leading the Spring 2015 Intro to Oral History Workshop

This workshop focuses on the “nuts-­and-­bolts” of oral history including methodology and ethics, practice, and recording. It will be taught by our seasoned oral historians and include hands­-on practice exercises. Although space is strictly limited, everyone is welcome to attend the workshop, including community-­based historians, teachers, genealogists, public historians, and students in college or graduate school.

If you have specific questions, please contact Shanna Farrell at sfarrell@library.berkeley.edu. Visit http://bit.ly/IntroWorkshop2018 for more details.

ASU Exhibit Opening

“Our Stories” Exhibit Opening

You’re Invited! RSVP here: 


The students of HST 325: Immigration and Ethnicity in the United States cordially invite family, friends, and faculty to the opening of their exhibit “Our Stories” at Hayden Library, Room C2 at Arizona State University in Tempe on Thursday, November 16 at 6pm.

Come hear students discuss their migration/immigration histories, listen to the oral history interviews they conducted with family members, and explore their family history research discoveries!

Refreshments will be served. RSVPs are appreciated but not required.

All are welcome!

¡Está invitado!

Los estudiantes de HST 325: Inmigración y Etnicidad en los Estados Unidos invitan cordialmente a la familia, amigos, y profesores a la apertura de su exhibición “Nuestras Historias” en la Sala C2 de la librería Hayden en Arizona State University, en el campus de Tempe el jueves, 16 de noviembre a las 6 p.m.

Vengan a escuchar a los estudiantes hablar sobre sus historias de migración/inmigración, escuchar las entrevistas de historia oral que realizaron con los miembros de la familia y explorar las pruebas que descubrieron a través de la investigación de historia familiar.

Se servirán refrescos. Los RSVPs son apreciados pero no requeridos.

¡Todos son bienvenidos!

Adigu waad ku casuumayaa!

Ardayda HST 325: Qaxoontiga iyo Qowmiyadaha ku nool Mareykanka ayaa si xushmad leh ugu martiqaaday qoysaska, saaxiibada, iyo macallimiinta furitaanka bandhiggooda “Sheekooyinkeena” ee Hayden Library, qolka C2 ee Jaamacadda Arizona State University ee Tempe Khamiistii, Noofambar 16 waqdiga markuyahay 6pm.

Kaalay maqal ardayda ka sheekee taariikhdooda socdaalka / soogalootiga, dhagaystaan ​​wareysiyada taariikhda ee afka ah ee ay la sameeyeen xubnaha qoyska, iyo sahamiyaan baadhitaanada taariikhda qoyskooda!

Cabitaan iyo cunto ayaa lakenaya naah. RSVPs waa la qiimeeyaa looma baahna.

Dhammaan waa la soo dhoweynayaa!

Community Voices: Celebrating the Hands that Feed Us

  • By Gabriel Thompson

  •  via 


    Gabriel Thompson

    In August of 1936, a young writer named John Steinbeck set out in an old bakery truck to capture the lives of California’s migrant farmworkers. With a notebook in hand, he toured the San Joaquin Valley, spending much of his time in the Bakersfield area, which would lead to his classic 1939 novel, The Grapes of Wrath.

    Steinbeck’s book shocked the country. He revealed the hardships faced by migrant farmworkers, who made just enough money to keep moving along, and who struggled with one crisis after another — from having their wages stolen to being unable to find safe housing.

    As I learned last year, many of those crises continue. For several months, I traveled the state to meet with current and former farmworkers, who told stories about their lives in the field. “The world needs to know us better,” one farmworker, Roberto, told me. “No one comes out here; no one knows what we go through.”

    Roberto has worked in the fields for 20 years, much of it spent following the grape harvest between Coachella and Bakersfield. In 2005, after his 16-year-old son nearly died of heat stroke while harvesting grapes, Roberto became an advocate and traveled to Sacramento to testify in support of new heat regulations. Today, California is the only state with such rules, which protect not just farmworkers but everyone who works outdoors.

    Roberto is one of 17 people featured in my new book, “Chasing the Harvest: Migrant Farmworkers in California Agriculture.” It is an oral history collection from the fields, allowing people — farmworkers, advocates and growers — to tell their stories in their own words, making each entry both intimate and engrossing. The narrators, who are aged 17 to 77, live as far south as the border city of Calexico all the way up to Stockton. Several, like Roberto, have spent years harvesting crops around Bakersfield.

    It is a punishing occupation that doesn’t pay much: the median annual income for California farmworkers is $14,000. Farmworkers contend with wage theft, pesticide exposure and sexual harassment. A study of seven agricultural communities in California found that 10 percent of farmworkers lived in what researchers called “informal dwellings” like garages, sheds, barns and abandoned vehicles. Formal dwellings aren’t always much better. Families double or triple up in apartments, stuff into sweltering trailers, and make homes out of primitive labor camps.

    The narrators in the book talk frankly about such challenges. But they also share stories of hope and triumph. This might seem strange to readers who think of farmworkers only as exploited, vulnerable and miserable. Statistics do a good job of painting that picture, and they are indeed real. But the statistics miss a lot, too. They miss the joys that farmworkers also have: the pride in their work, the camaraderie of a crew, the tight-knit families, the feeling of deep satisfaction that comes, as one narrator put it, from being in “a beautiful struggle.”

    “Look at my hands,” Roberto told me, an hour into our conversation. Two fingernails were busted, there was a cut on his hand, and the calluses on his palms were hard as bricks. “These are the hands that feed this country.” He had a wide smile on his face. His is an important occupation, and he knew it.

    There are 800,000 farmworkers in California, who make up one-third of the nation’s agricultural workforce. We rarely get the chance to hear from them, but this book allows you to invite 17 people into your living room and listen to them share details about their hopes and fears, their joys and hardships.

    Even better, next week you can meet some of the farmworkers in person in Delano. On Wednesday, Oct. 25, from 6 to 8 p.m., we will host a panel discussion with farmworkers from “Chasing the Harvest,” which will also celebrate the legendary UFW organizer Larry Itliong. The event, which is sponsored by the Social Justice Institute of Bakersfield College, will be held at Robert F. Kennedy High School, located at 1401 Heitt Avenue. And if you come at 5 p.m. with a family historical artifact — whether a photo or letter — Digital Delano will record your story.

    Gabriel Thompson is a freelance journalist and author, whose most recent book is Chasing the Harvest.

    South of Pico: African American Artists in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s

    University of California, Irvine

    DepartmentFilm and Media Studies

    Date and Time: October 24, 2017 – 4:00 PM

    Event Location: Humanities Gateway 1030

    Event Details

    South of Pico: African American Artists in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s

    Lecture by Dr. Kellie Jones, Associate Professor of Art History at Columbia University, and MacArthur Genius Fellow.   Dr. Jones will read from and discuss her forthcoming book South of Pico:  African American Artists in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s.  She will delineate how the artists in Los Angeles’s black communities during the 1960s and 1970s created a vibrant, productive, and engaged activist arts scene in the face of structural racism. Integrating histories of African American migration, as well as L.A.’s housing and employment politics, Dr. Jones describes the work of black Angelino artists such as Betye Saar, Charles White, Noah Purifoy, and Senga Nengudi in order to discuss the dislocation of migration, L.A.’s urban renewal, and restrictions on black mobility. Dr. Jones characterizes their works as modern migration narratives that look to the past to consider real and imagined futures.  With this lecture drawing from South of Pico, Dr. Jones delves into the histories of black arts and creativity in Los Angeles and beyond.

    After the lecture, Dr. Jones will have a question and answer period, as well as a reception.

    Sponsored by Illuminations: The Chancellor’s Arts & Culture Initiative, the Department of Film and Media Studies, and the Department of African American Studies. Free and open to the public.


    Dr. Kellie Jones is Associate Professor in Art History and Archaeology and the Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS) at Columbia University. Her research interests include African American and African Diaspora artists, Latinx and Latin American Artists, and issues in contemporary art and museum theory.

    Dr. Jones has received numerous awards for her work from the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, Harvard University; Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant and a term as Scholar-in-Residence at the Terra Foundation for American Art in Europe in Giverny, France. In 2016 she was named a MacArthur Fellow.

    Dr. Jones’s writings have appeared in exhibition catalogues and such journals as NKA, Artforum, Flash Art, Atlantica, and Third Text.  She is the author of two books published by Duke University Press, EyeMinded: Living and Writing Contemporary Art (2011), and South of Pico: African American Artists in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s (2017).

    Dr. Jones has also worked as a curator for over three decades and has numerous major national and international exhibitions to her credit.  Her exhibition “Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles, 1960-1980,” at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, was named one of the best exhibitions of 2011 and 2012 by Artforum, and best thematic show nationally by the International Association of Art Critics (AICA). She was co-curator of “Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the 1960s” (Brooklyn Museum), named one the best exhibitions of 2014 by Artforum.

    Visit http://www.humanities.uci.edu/visualstudies/calendar/events.php?recid=6644&dept_code_val=74-2&event_cat=current&file_name=events for more details.

    OHA Webinar

    Documenting Your Community: Planning Skills for Oral History Projects

    Event Date: Friday, November 3, 2017
    Event Time: 10 a.m. Pacific, 12 p.m. Central, 1 p.m. Eastern Time
    Event Length: 60 minutesPresenters: Jeff D. Corrigan, California State University Monterey Bay
    Mary A. Larson, Oklahoma State University

    Host: Kristine Navarro-McElhaney, Arizona State University

    Questions may be directed to: jcorrigan@csumb.edu

    Description: The purpose of this webinar is to help people who are at the very earliest stages of planning community oral history projects determine what work will be required and what resources they will need. This one-hour session will cover the basics of project planning and give participants a sense of what skills and resources are necessary for developing and sustaining a community oral history project. The webinar will include sample planning templates that participants can customize.

    Visit https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdia888ePBisX-txzY0MNEejOtf4aqKsFKGXPHwZQy-IoNGdA/viewform to register.

    Eva Tulene-Watt 2017 Awardees

    Eva Tulene-Watt awardees Angelo Baca and Teresa Montoya discuss ongoing efforts to save Bears Ears sacred land in southeastern Utah
    Eva Tulene-Watt awardees Angelo Baca and Teresa Montoya discuss ongoing efforts to save Bears Ears sacred land in southeastern Utah.

    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. Apply today with the link below:
    2018 Eva Tulene Watt Scholarship Application

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