IUP's Oral History Summer Field School
Homer City PA at the Millennium: Reflecting on the Past, Present, and the Future
The IUP Oral History Field School will focus on the documentation of everyday life of local citizens in and around Homer City, a small coal mining town in rural Indiana County PA. It will feature one week of intensive classroom training at IUP and three weeks of supervised on-site field work in the community.
FIELD SCHOOL STRUCTURE: The Class Room
The project will be based upon three modules: classroom training, fieldwork, and the processing of information. The one-week classroom component will emphasize five separate morning and afternoon sessions featuring presentations, practicums, and question and answer periods on the following topical areas: globalization and the global economy, deindustrialization, Appalachian Studies, race, ethnicity, gender, oral history methodology, visual documentation, and archival research. Each invited faculty member will present a 45 minute lecture on one subject, facilitate a 30 minute question and answer period, and conduct a 60 minute follow up practicum connected to a major point or issue related to their initial presentation.
CURRICULUM OUTCOMES: The Documentation Process
Students will learn how to collect ethnographic field notes, index audio and video tapes, compile black and white and color slide logs, gather biographical data information, and administer release forms. In correlation with each session, students will be given a list of required book chapters and journal articles to read.
While in the field, participants will conduct five audio or video recorded interviews, take two rolls of color slide and black and white film, compile documentation materials, and assemble their data into a final report.
EVALUATION: The Documentation Process & A Final Report
The final report should consist of the following: a comparison of one's own identity, class background, and perspective with the local people they interview and document. And secondly, the inclusion of how the globalization process has impacted on the identities of local residents.
The reports will also feature an integration of the reading materials, faculty presentations, supplemental data from the IUP Archive on Industry and Society, and secondary sources. Each student's final grade will be based upon an evaluation of their field notes, documentation of collected materials, and the final report.
EXPECTED FIELD SCHOOL OUTCOMES:
80 interviews with associated field notes, indexed audio and video
tape, black & white and color slide photographic logs, biographical data of each informant, and release forms.
768-960 color slides of informants and the local community.
1152-1440 black & white photographs of informants and the local
16 final reports from student participants. The reports will embody
various forms including term papers, photo exhibits, poetry, and art.
A booklet of selected proceedings and reports will compiled by the
Data will be processed into the IUP Archive on Industry and Society.
A selected black and white photographic exhibition will be produced
by the project photographic coordinator.
Those interested in Appalachian Studies, oral history, Pennsylvania history, interviewing techniques, ethnography, visual ethnography, qualitative methodology, folklore, rural studies, labor and working class studies will find this field school valuable. For more information contact James Dougherty at the address below.
This project is cosponsored by the Homer Center PA Local Historical Society.
Department of Sociology
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Indiana, PA 15705
Phone: 724.357.2734 (w); 724.349.6592 (h) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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