Winter 2017 Note from the Chair

Note from the Chair

Happy 2017 to everyone! Our new year brings with it a new newsletter editor, and I would like to start by welcoming and thanking Melissa Lindberg, who volunteered to take over the reins of Dialogue. We are all looking forward to working with her and getting out the news on section and member activities.

On a more somber note, the new year has also brought with it fresh concerns, including the potential impacts of recent Executive Orders. As oral historians and archivists, we value an array of perspectives and work to preserve the histories of a wide variety of communities, so anything that unnecessarily threatens that diversity also jeopardizes our ability to maintain a full record of our country’s cultural heritage.

To that end, on January 31st the SAA Council released the “SAA Statement on Executive Order Restricting Entry into the United States by Individuals from Seven Muslim-Majority Countries.” You can find that document at 

SAA has also added the organization's signature to a letter to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, requesting that OMB remind federal agencies "that they are required under the Paperwork Reduction Act to give public notice before removing online government information." You can read that document here: .

In the meantime, the work of the section continues on. Those of you who were at the section meeting this past August not only got to hear Sam Robson discuss the incredibly interesting oral history work he does for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but you also had the opportunity to listen to Treshani Perera present on the final stages of the SAA Oral History Project. Since the conference, the last of the interviews have been deposited in the SAA archive at the University of Wisconsin, and the work of a number of years has been largely completed. Many thanks to all of the volunteers who have contributed their time and efforts to this project!

In spite of the fact that it is only February, we are already starting the planning for the 2017 section meeting. If you have any ideas for speakers or topics of discussion, please email vice chair Amanda Pellerin ( with your thoughts as soon as possible, since our initial abstracts for the program will soon be due. Portland is a wonderful city with great energy, exciting regional oral history projects, and fantastic bookstores, so I think there will be something for everyone there, and I look forward to seeing all of you! 


Mary Larson