Graduate assistant Julie Maresco traveled to Long Beach, CA from October 11-October 16, 2016 to present a poster at the Oral History Association (OHA) 2016 conference. Here she describes her work and experience:
“I was very fortunate to attend OHA’s 2016 conference in Long Beach, CA. I was really excited to present the work that I and other graduate students have done on our veterans oral history podcast Veterans Voices: Stories of Service. This was my first time presenting at a conference and my first time to OHA’s annual meeting.
Presenting this poster was important because this podcast means a lot to me. I believe these veterans have many interesting stories to tell. These veterans share stories not just about their military experience, but also stories about race, gender, class, PTSD, life before and after service, among many other topics. Creating these podcasts highlight these stories and allow students and the public to engage with these compelling oral histories. I was very happy to create a poster about this project and get the opportunity to share it with the OHA community.
During the conference, I was able to exchange ideas with historians, journalists, teachers, radio professionals and many others in the field of oral history.
I attended the 3 hour workshop Podcasting and Oral History by Molly Graham from Rutgers University. In this workshop, I learned a lot about successful podcasts and the equipment and software used to create them. I also learned how to become a better story teller and how to write scripts for the ear, not the eye.
I also attended the panel Reflecting and Shaping: traditional and new techniques in oral history to collect and share the military experience with Robert Paul Wittemann from the USAF Academy, Eriko Yamamoto from Aichi Mizuho College in Japan, David R. Siry from the West Point Center for Oral History, and Jason Higgins from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. This panel discussed ways to collect various military oral histories and how to share them using digital technologies and social media.
Networking is a critical component of conferences and I was able to attend the speed networking session where I met so many great people who gave me advice and feedback on our podcasts and where I learned how other professionals use oral history in the field. The celebration dinner at the Aquarium of the Pacific was a wonderful event where I got to tour the Aquarium’s exhibits, attend the award ceremony, and socialize with other conference attendees.
I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Long Beach. The conference was amazing and Long Beach is a fun city with a lot to do. In addition to attending the conference, I went bike riding along the boardwalk on the beach, ate at local restaurants, visited the Long Beach Museum of Art, visited the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden at California State University, Long Beach, and attended the Dark Harbor event aboard the historic SMS Queen Mary. It was a wonderful conference and trip overall. I am very grateful for this experience and encourage all students to attend conferences whenever possible.”
Julie hopes that the online podcast will reach a broad audience and make these incredible stories more accessible to the public. She also wants the podcast to help promote the work of the Albert Gore Research Center and Middle Tennessee State University’s public history program.
To listen to Veterans Voices: Stories of Service, click the link below:
Written by graduate assistant Julie Maresco