Georgia State University Oral History Symposium Happening September 25

Interested in oral history? Georgia State University is hosting the first ever Oral History Symposium, Uncovering Hidden Narratives, on Saturday, September 25th from 9am to 5pm. The symposium was organized by oral historians from Atlanta History Center, Center for Civil and Human Rights, Emory University, Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University, National Park Service, Oral History Association, Storycorps, University of Georgia, and We Love Buford Highway. The symposium will kick off with keynote speaker Althea Sumpter with her talk centered on trauma in oral histories. Throughout the day attendees can choose sessions that best suit their needs and interests for those that are just beginning or thinking about starting an oral history project to those that are part of established programs. We will wrap up with a meet and greet where attendees can network with other attendees and organizations who support and manage oral history projects.

Maximum capacity for this event is 75 registrants. Masks are strongly encouraged to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Register here.

We need a minimum of 25 registrations by September 10th in order for the program to proceed. All registrants will be notified by September 15th if the event cannot be held as planned and will be reimbursed for their registration costs.

Also, if you are knowledgeable about oral history yourself and would like to help, we are still looking for presenters in these areas:

Intermediate 

People with some experience in oral history (e.g. may have done interviews but may have not coordinated a project). They know what they don’t know. Sessions should present a skill that participants can begin practicing and perfecting. 

  • Funding (grants, Foundations, Federal) 
    • Creating a fundraising plan 

Advanced 

Experienced in oral history. Done many interviews and maybe some projects in the past. Don’t know what they really know (i.e. have lots of oral history practice but not much reflection on the process). Sessions should present a question for discussion. 

  • Beyond the University 
    • Use of oral history in non-academic efforts (e.g. corporate and community) 
    • Combination of academic, corporate, and/or community projects 
    • How much should funders control or have input into project design? 
    • How do you engage both interviewees and stakeholders in a project? 
    • What worked? What didn’t? What should be the takeaway from these efforts? 

A President in our Midst documentary will air on Tuesday, September 21st at 7 pm

A President in our Midst will air on Georgia Public Broadcasting on Tuesday, September 21st at 7 p.m. This compelling new documentary describes the mutual benefits that the friendship provided to both the President and the people of Georgia. 

Historic photos from the Little White House, Roosevelt Warm Springs Archives, the FDR Library, and archives across Georgia are featured in the documentary.  Additionally rare film footage from the Brown Media Archives at UGA Libraries and footage from the FDR Library are used.

In January, 2019, author and screenwriter Kaye Minchew of LaGrange and executive producer Dan White of Yatesville and Atlanta approached Georgia Public Broadcasting with a proposal to create a documentary about FDR’s life in Georgia based on Minchew’s book, A President in our Midst. With the assurance of a broadcast platform, efforts began to secure the financing and technical resources necessary to complete the film.

In January of 2020, Georgia Humanities agreed to be the official sponsor of the documentary and Georgia State University TV agreed to provide the technical expertise necessary to create the film. Filming began in September, 2020, in locations throughout Georgia.  LaGrange, Gainesville, Athens, Atlanta, Warm Springs, Thomaston, Barnesville as well as Harris, Meriwether and Upson County are all featured in the film. Using drone photography and location shooting, combined with archival photos and historical film clips, A President in Our Midst brings to viewers a contemporary image of life during the period 1921 to 1945.

Financing for the film was privately raised through public donations. In addition, the combined talents of over 70 Georgians helped create the finished product. Carol Howington Cain, James Fowler and Bill Murray are featured performers in the documentary. Oral history narratives from a variety of Georgians whose lives and institutions were profoundly shaped by FDR and the New Deal in Georgia are also featured. This most consequential of stories will be presented to a new generation of Georgians. 

The documentary recently received two awards from the Southern Film Festival, held in LaGrange. The documentary was named the best feature documentary and received the People’s Choice Award.