Oral History Section’s 75th Anniversary Project

In August 2009, SAA’s Oral History Section launched a new Oral History Project. For several years, section members explored opportunities to conduct organizational interviews. In Austin it garnered enthusiasm for and promoted the idea with the inaugural interview, carried out live during the section meeting. The standing-room-only program featured James Fogerty interviewing David Gracy on camera about his career and longtime participation in SAA. Following the interview, the Oral History Section Steering Committee announced it would initiate this project as a 75th anniversary activity. As an energetic SAA Task Force, in collaboration with staff members, vigorously plan for its 2011 anniversary celebrations, the Oral History Section is coordinating logistics for a series of SAA interviews with members, including video interviews of SAA leaders. The videos will be conducted onsite at the SAA Annual Meetings in both 2010 and 2011. They will query people about our profession, their future directions, and SAA.

This project seeks to honor women and men who have contributed to the shaping of SAA by documenting their stories and experiences, and to conduct multiple interviews that supplement the “official” record of SAA. The video interviews and their transcripts will be deposited in the SAA Archives at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Excerpts of interviews will be shared with members during Annual Meetings, on YouTube, and in other SAA spaces. As most SAA projects are, this is a volunteer-driven effort. If you are interested in contributing as a volunteer (e.g., to recommend interviewees, conduct interviews, transcribe, etc.), please contact Lauren Kata. All SAA Sections and Roundtables have been asked to submit recommendations for two to five past leaders of their groups for the onsite video leadership interview series. The deadline is June 15; please e-mail suggestions to lauren.kata@gmail.com.