[True] Stories Webinar on Oral History Methods, Dr. Brenda Sendejo

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.

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Click here to watch the video recording of Dr. Brenda Sendejo’s webinar

Here are a list of the questions participants asked:

  1. 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?
  2. Do you tend to provide questions in advance for any of your interviewees who might feel they need to prepare themselves for the interview?
  3. 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?
  4. 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.

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“In Conversation: The Zora Neale Hurston I Remember”

In a recording from just a few weeks back at the 27th Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts in Winter Park, Florida, Zora’s friends and relatives offer amazingly personal stories about the time they spent with the talented writer and folklorist who called Eatonville her home.

Sights, sounds, and smells play a critical part in their recollections as they recount what it was like to visit Hurston and her home. In one heartfelt comment, Mrs. Ella Johnson Dinkins (daughter of Hurston’s Eatonville friend, Addie G. Johnson), remembered Zora’s affection for her and the other children of Eatonville even after many years of notoriety and success – “Zora comforted us as children […] She came to us as a mother would, […] she would always cover us, [and] love us children, because that was just her way.”

[This video recording was provided by the organizer of the 27th Annual Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities — The Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community, Inc. (P.E.C.) — and supported by the [True] Stories grant as well as Rollins College.]