Course Schedule

This course will be fully remote and “hybrid” in the sense that it will involve both synchronous (where we all meet together via Zoom) and asynchronous (where you work independently or in pairs). Each week will have a similar structure, as follows:

Mondays: Theory Day – on Mondays we will meet synchronously via Zoom to discuss the relationship between oral history as a method and queer and trans theory and politics.

Tuesdays: Asynchronous Listening/Viewing Session – we will NOT have synchronous class on Tuesdays, but instead each week you will be assigned to listen to or view an oral history in its entirety, making notes on the interview techniques, question style, approach to issues of identity, and overall effect, and flagging clips to share with the class on Thursday.

Wednesdays: Community Experts – on Wednesdays we will meet synchronously via Zoom and will be joined by community experts, who will present on their work and be available for our questions.

Thursdays: Praxis Day – Fridays will be our practice-focused day, where we meet briefly together via Zoom to learn about oral history methods and then move to asynchronous practice, in pairs, where you will work on aspects of oral history collection, from preparation to execution to transcription and description of interviews.

Week 1

DateModeIn ClassDue
Wed Oct 28thSynchronous ZoomIntroduction to the Class     
Thurs Oct 29Synchronous Zoom   Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy, “Telling Tales: Oral History and the Construction of Pre-Stonewall Lesbian History. Radical History Review 1 May 1995 (62): 59–79.   Nan Alamilla Boyd, “Elizabeth Kennedy’s Oral History Intervention,” Feminist Formations (Winter 2012)

Week 2

11/2/20Synchronous ZoomQueer Theory and Oral HistoryKevin Murphy et al, “What Makes Queer Oral History Different?” Oral History Review, 43 no. 1 (April 2016)

Nan Alamilla Boyd, “Who is the Subject?: Queer Theory meets Oral History,” Journal of the History of Sexuality, vol. 17 no. 2 (2008): 177–189.  
11/3/20AsynchronousListening/Viewing Queer and Trans Oral History 
11/4/20Synchronous ZoomGuest Speaker: Aisling Quigley and Brooke Schmolke, Macalester Digital Resource Center   
11/5/20Synchronous ZoomThe Scope of the Project   Researching Potential Narrators   Introducing the TTOHP WorkflowValerie Yow, “Introduction to the In-Depth Interview”

Week 3

11/9/20Synchronous ZoomQueer of Color Critique, Performance Studies, and Oral HistoryE. Patrick Johnson, “Put a Little Honey in My Sweet Tea: Oral History as Quare Performance,” WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly vol. 44 no. 3-4 (2016): 51-67.
11/10/20AsynchronousListening/Viewing Queer and Trans Oral HistoryListen to Transcripts, a podcast of the Tretter Trans Oral History Project
11/11/20Synchronous ZoomGuest Speaker: Rachel Mattson, Curator of the Tretter Collection in GLBT Studies at the University of Minnesota 
11/12/20Synchronous ZoomResearching Potential Narrators   What Constitutes “Trans Activists” for the TTOHP   Preparing the Interview GuideValerie Yow, “Preparation for the Interviewing Project,” in Recording Oral History   Due: Initial Ideas for Narrators    

Week 4

11/16/20Synchronous Zoom Anne Cvetkovich “AIDS Activism and the Oral History Archive,” Scholar & Feminist Online   Jennifer Brier, “I’m Still Surviving: Oral Histories of Women Living with HIV/AIDS in Chicago,” Oral History Review, vol. 45 no. 1 (April 2018).    
11/17/20AsynchronousListening/Viewing Queer and Trans Oral HistoryListen: ACT/UP Oral History Project   Explore: I’m Still Surviving
11/18/20Synchronous ZoomGuest Speaker: Katie Batza, Oral Historian and Associate Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at the University of Kansas 
11/19/20Synchronous ZoomCommunication and transparency   Consent   Technology   Researching the narrator  Yow, “Interviewing Techniques” from Recording Oral History     Due: First Practice Interview   Due: Contact Potential Narrators  

Week 5

11/23/20Synchronous ZoomChallenging “The Trans Narrative” and Trans Narrative StorytellingDean Spade, “Mutilating Gender”   Michael David Franklin, “Calculating Risk: History of Medicine, Transgender Oral History, and the Institutional Review Board,” from Queer Twin Cities
11/24/20Synchronous ZoomGuest Speaker: Myra Billund-Phibbs, Project Assistant for the Tretter Trans Oral History ProjectRead the NYC Trans Oral History Project Interviewer Handbook   Due: Second Practice Interview   Due: Begin Conducting Interviews
11/25/20 No Class 
11/26/20 No Class 

Week 6

11/30/20Synchronous ZoomThe Politics of InvisibilityDarnell Moore et al, “A Community’s Response to the Problem of Invisibility: the Queer Newark Oral History Project,” QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking, vol 1 no. 2 (Summer 2014)   Syrus Marcus Ware, “All Power to All People? Black LGBTTI2QQ Activism, Remembrance, and Archiving in Toronto,” TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly vol. 4 no. 2 (2017): 17-180.    
12/1/20AsynchronousListening/Viewing Queer and Trans Oral HistoryListen: Queer Newark Oral History Project  
12/2/20Synchronous ZoomGuest Speaker: Blu Buchanan, Founder of the b. trans oral history project, PhD Candidate at UC Davis 
12/3/20Synchronous ZoomSilence and Self-Determination   Traps in Trans InterviewingKathryn Anderson and Dana C. Jack, “Learning to Listen: Interview Techniques and Analyses”   Due: Conduct Interviews This Week  

Week 7

12/7/20Synchronous ZoomChallenging the Progress NarrativeJason Ruiz, “Queering Oral History: Reflections on the Origins of the Twin Cities GLBT Oral History Project,” from Queer Twin Cities   Kevin Murphy, “Gay Was Good: Progress, Homonormativity, and Oral History”
12/8/20AsynchronousListening/Viewing Queer and Trans Oral History 
12/9/20Synchronous ZoomTBATBA
12/10/20Synchronous ZoomTranscription, Controlled Vocabulary, Description, and Trans Politics  Katherine Fobear, “Do You Understand? Unsettling Interpretative Authority in Feminist Oral History,” Journal of Feminist Scholarship 10 (Spring 2016): 61-77.   Readings TBA   Due: Finish Conducting Interviews

Week 8

12/14/20Synchronous ZoomNeoliberalism and the Visibility TrapTourmaline, Eric Stanley, Johanna Burton, Introduction to Trap Door: Trans Cultural Production and the Politics of Visibility   Alexander Freund, “Under Storytelling’s Spell? Oral History in a Neoliberal Age,” Oral History Review, 42 no. 1 (2015)  
12/15/20Synchronous ZoomLast Class!Last Class!   Due: Final Blog Post   Due: Final Metadata and Description