Capturing Oral History

For generations, people have passed on their stories, histories, legends and traditions by means of oral narrative. Before pen was put to paper, these narratives were shared and memorized and passed down again and again. Sharing our experiences is how we deepen our connection with one another as humans. 

APH students were tasked with discovering the history of a topic of their choosing, and conducting an interview with someone who shares an experience from that particular topic. Then, they would present their interviews in front of the class. 

The one-semester elective course Capturing Oral History introduced students to the techniques and practices of the oral history interview, including: the background research, drafting the interview questions, and planning the interview with awareness of the ethics and etiquette of oral history. 

Each student produced a well-researched, professionally conducted, transcribed, and contextualized oral history interview of people with diverse backgrounds, ethnicities and life experiences. Some of the topics included: animal ethics, the changing role of women in the workplace, and education on the dangers of substance addiction. Students presented their interviews during the Academic Showcase of APH’s Spring Symposium: Express Yourself!

Alex L. ‘21– Animal Ethics

The purpose of Alex’s interview project was to educate the public on issues involving animal ethics and be a voice for all the animals who suffer at the hands of humans and cannot speak for themselves. Her interviewee shared her perspective on the global effects of animal industrialization and her experience with the ill-treatment of animals in research facilities.

Peyton M. ‘23 – Women in the Workplace

In her interview project, Peyton set out to study and bring perspective to the change of gender roles and expectations in recent generations. She interviewed two women – one in her 60s and one in her 40s – specifically about their experiences in the workplace and found marked differences in society’s expectations on each of them.

Alexa P. ‘23 – What is Addiction?

The purpose of Alexa’s project was to educate the public, especially young people, about the dangers of substance addiction. Toward this goal, she interviewed several members of her family about their experiences with a variety of addictions. She discussed the different types of addiction and their effect on the development of the brain.