The Kentucky Oral History Commission, a program of the Kentucky Historical Society, will host the “Kentucky Conference on Oral History: Accomplished Past. Challenging Future.” on September 8-9 at the historic Brown Hotel in downtown Louisville. In celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the Kentucky Oral History Commission, the two-day event will showcase some of the world’s leading oral historians discussing the accomplishments of the past and challenges facing the future of oral history.
Internationally prominent oral historians Alessandro Portelli, Donald Ritchie, Charles Morrissey, John Neuenschwander, Rebecca Sharpless, Terry Birdwhistell, Anne Ritchie, Albert Broussard, Kim Lady Smith, and Doug Boyd will take part in dynamic discussions on various issues pertaining to the field, both in Kentucky and internationally. Panel discussions will showcase several of Kentucky’s prominent oral history projects, including The Family Farms Oral History Project, The Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky Oral History Project, various veterans oral history projects, and several projects which highlight the relationship between folklore and oral history.
On Friday evening, the commission will host a dinner recognizing the contributions of early leaders in Kentucky’s oral history efforts, including Kim Lady Smith, former director of the Kentucky Oral History Commission, and Lynwood Montell, folklorist and author retired from Western Kentucky University. Other honorees will include oral history pioneers William Berge, Terry Birdwhistell, the late James Hammack, and the late Carl Ryant.
Saturday morning will feature in-depth lectures by three prominent oral historians. Alessandro Portelli, of the University of Rome—Sapienza, will lecture on issues pertaining to oral history and memory. John Neuenschwander, of Carthage College, a scholar as well as a judge, will discuss legal issues pertaining to the practice and archiving of oral history. Doug Boyd, director of the Kentucky Oral History Commission, will lecture about oral history technology and digital archives.
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