Dr. Brenda Sendejo, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, talks about oral history methods and best practices in the context of the Austin-based Latina Spiritualities Project and the student-driven Latina History Project at Southwestern University.
Here are a list of the questions participants asked:
- In the context of multilingual oral history projects, sometimes meaning and words get lost in translation. Do you recommend a translator to help mediate this? And does that change the dynamic of the interview?
- Do you tend to provide questions in advance for any of your interviewees who might feel they need to prepare themselves for the interview?
- What about using photos or newspaper clippings as “conversation starters“? Is that influencing the interviewee’s recall too much, or, alternatively, does it serve to lead the discussion in a productive direction?
- Is it effective to capture the interview on video as well as audio, since an oral history can be an emotional journey for the interviewee their emotional responses can be a critical piece of their story? Or, does a video recorder tend to make people too self-conscious or even uncomfortable?
See how Dr. Sendejo responded to these questions during the Q and A by watching the video in full (above) or clicking on the individual chapter links in the far left corner of the video viewer. The slides and audio from this presentation are also available separately at the links below.