Oral History Jukebox Workshop

Call for Proposals: The Oral History Jukebox Workshop

Saturday, January 6, 2018, 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Omni Shoreham, Palladian Ballroom

The Oral History Jukebox is an open, informal exchange where oral historians of all experience levels and backgrounds come together to listen and learn. This workshop will turn an open ear to the granularity of oral history recordings, searching the medium for key insights into the field.

Interested participants are asked to submit a 1-2 minute excerpt from an oral history interview that they find particularly fascinating or instructive, and to briefly explain what this particular moment has taught them about their approach to oral history – whether that be an insight into interview technique, processing, archiving, crowd-sourcing, or program management.

For example, this could be a short exchange where you built rapport, effectively used silence, or asked a question that opened up the interview in an exciting new direction. Or it could be an exchange that shifted your understanding of the archive or impacted the way your project developed.

Participants might discuss their excerpt in light of the following questions:

  • How does this clip best represent the work that you do?
  • What does it reveal about interview technique or oral history methodology?
  • What challenges or ethical conundrums does this clip open for discussion?
  • How does it contribute to your research topic or perspective?
  • What impact did this clip have on your project, program, and/or procedures?
  • How do you use it as a model in the classroom or meeting room?

The facilitators of this workshop will then select approximately a half-dozen participants to present their clips in an opening lightning-round to frame the discussion. These clips will be uploaded to a SoundCloud playlist and added to the Jukebox CFP page ahead of the conference. Participants will then break into smaller groups to consider additional excerpts and contemplations.

The session will conclude with reflections on where the Oral History Jukebox can go next, as we think through ethical considerations for crowdsourcing an online repository of interview excerpts and self-reflections created for and by oral historians.

To be considered as a presenter, please fill out this Google form by December 1, 2017. We welcome all to apply: instructors of every level; students; local researchers; novices and hobbyists; and public history professionals in community organizations, businesses, government agencies, and non-profits. Participants will be notified by the end of November whether they have been selected to present in the lightning round.

All are welcome to the workshop, whether they choose to submit an interview clip or simply contribute to the conversation. Please be sure to RSVP to the workshop in your 2018 AHA Annual Meeting registration.

Questions? Contact Pat Nugent and Erica Fugger of the Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College via story_quest@washcoll.edu.


  • Patrick Nugent, Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College
  • Erica Fugger, Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College
  • Kristina Giannotta, Naval History and Heritage Command

Additional Facilitators:

  • Jessie Kratz, National Archives and Records Administration
  • Joel C. Christenson, Office of Secretary of Defense
  • Megan Harris, Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress