Back to All Events

Apr. 5 | Push Play

  • Knox Hall Room 509, Columbia University 606 West 122nd Street New York, NY, 10027 United States (map)

WHEN: Thursday, April 5, 2018, 6:00 - 7:30 pm

WHERE: 606 W 122nd Street, Knox Hall 509, Columbia University

This participatory workshop will be based on the ongoing research of Push Play. We explore the embodied experience of interviewing as a way of examining how we remember, how we ask narrators to engage in memory, and what is, or is not, included in the archive. We draw on creativity and sense of play as a way of pushing through limits in the practice of oral history. Underpinning this work is an engagement -- intellectually and in practice -- with the concerns of critical performance ethnography and performance studies, especially the work of Dwight Conquergood and Della Pollock. As Pollock states, “words shimmer with what may be unsaid, felt, withheld, stammered, introduced in a pause, caught up in a breath, a sigh, an expressive rhythm, a physical or tonal gesture.” We explore these shadow narratives, resisting narrative resolution. Push Play is a collaboration between OHMA alums Liza Zapol and Nicki Pombier Berger. It is a series of workshops, a friendship, and an ongoing performance.


Nicki Pombier Berger is an oral historian, artist and educator. She brings an oral historical approach to work with artists across disciplines, with a particular interest in how the process and products of these collaborations reflect, and enact, desires for change. Nicki’s specific areas of inquiry include Water Art, disability, and art-making in the Anthropocene. She is the Founding Editor of Underwater New York, an artist resident with the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, and is collaborating with playwright Suli Holum on a play about the Bakken shale. Nicki is a professor at the New School for Drama, where she teaches Narrative Analysis, Playwriting, and Writing & Orality, and offers workshops and presentations to a wide range of audiences on applying oral history in diverse contexts.

Liza Zapol is an artist and an Oral Historian. She creates sound, multimedia and performance on the themes of memory and place, using documentary methods. Liza manages the oral history program at the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, where she is the Robert and Arlene Kogod Secretarial Scholar. Liza has also worked with the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture. She has collaborated with theater director Julie Kline, scenic designer Cameron Anderson, and Elevator Repair Service Theater. Liza is a professor at the New School for Drama, and lectures on the intersection of oral history and art.

This event is part of a yearlong series on Oral History and the Arts.

INFORMATION: For more information, please email Amy Starecheski at

This event is FREE and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

No registration is required, but RSVPs on the event Facebook page (to be posted) are appreciated to gauge attendance.