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Bi-Annually, the Columbia Center for Oral History Research sponsors a Summer Institute in New York City, which brings together oral historians, scholars, activists, and others for two weeks of advanced training in the theory and practice of oral history. Participants work with world-class instructors, network with oral historians from around the world and go to exhibits in New York City. Each year we focus on a different theme.

2019 Summer Institute: Oral History from the Margins to the Center: Narrating the Politics of our Times
June 17 – June 28, 2019

The 2019 Summer Institute in Oral History will focus on the challenges we face in documenting the political present when secrecy and distortions of truth threaten the most vulnerable in open societies.  What role does public memory and the search for meaning  play in rescuing and preserving the stories that we most need to hear?  Specifically, we will explore what journalists, oral historians, advocates and scholars of the present can learn from each other, as we sharpen our skills and awareness of how to document the stories that we most need to record and disseminate. The overarching goals are to explore the role of oral history in opening up multiple accounts of truth, and to search for meaning that otherwise may remain marginal – moving them to the center of our political discourse.

This summer’s institute is co-sponsored by the Columbia Journalism School and The American Assembly. Applications closed on April 1, 2019.