Oral History Training Opportunity

The Appalachian Foods Storybank, a program of Slow Food Asheville (information below), would like to extend an invitation to a one-time, half day oral history training on Thursday, June 23rd from 12:00 to 5:00 PM.  This workshop is intended to be the preliminary training for volunteers working with the AFS, however the material covered will be informative for all who participate.  Although involvement as an interviewer for the AFS is not required to attend this training, we encourage applicants to consider becoming an active member of our group.

The description of the workshop, facilitated by Travis Williams, follows:

The Appalachian Foods Storybank workshop will provide an introduction to the theory and process of oral history projects.  Oral history is a field that combines the arts and sciences of anthropology, storytelling, journalism, and academic history.  The oral historian is a listener and an archivist, tasked with interviewing individuals about their lives, memories, and experiences, usually focused on a certain topic.

In this workshop we will provide an overview of the field of oral history and the basics that one needs to know before they consider beginning a project.  We will discuss practical concerns, such as equipment and planning, as well as topics of ethics, legalities, and interview etiquette.  We will use some examples of existing projects to outline these ideas.  This workshop is intended to cover the rudimentary concepts and procedures that one should know when preparing to get involved with an oral history project.

Travis Williams was educated in anthropology at The Evergreen State College in Washington State and has organized several related projects.  His most recent project was entitled Stewards: Stories and Perspectives On American Agriculture, in which he interviewed over 160 agriculturalists across the USA, gathering a wide diversity of perspectives on farming, past and present.  He was a radio interviewer for several years in Bend, Oregon; other projects include interview-based explorations of the ideas of “community” in Oregon and on “what it means to be foreign” in Indonesia and Australia.(http://www.portraitofafarm.blogspot.com/)

The workshop will begin with a potluck, and will be located in Haw Creek of East Asheville.  The fee is $20.00.  Please send an attachment or an email with 1.) your name, phone, and email, 2.) a brief paragraph about your background and interests, particularly relating to the southern appalachian region and/or food, and 3.) another brief paragraph about why you would like to attend this training.  Narratives should be limited to 150 words.  The deadline for application is Monday, June 20th.

Please contact Susannah Patty for more information about the AFS program and training or to apply:  appalachianfoodstorybank@gmail.com

We feel very fortunate to have this opportunity for a collaborative, small group training with Travis Williams.  We hope you will consider joining us for what will be a fun, experiential, and informative workshop!