Eastern Shore News on the web

well – here’s the front page article from the Eastern Shore News re: the farm life oral history project – promoting the talk I gave last Saturday.

Farming Spoken Here

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on memory and oral history research

I’m reading some oral history theory these days … glad that I started interviewing and recording oral histories before I started reading about it.  Mostly my observations are being articulated and confirmed.  The three best resources I’ve found so far are Studs Terkel – especially the “biography” that oral historian Tony Parker published in 1996 – and writing by Alessandro Portelli and Michael Frisch.

So – I was reading this morning about how the real subject of oral history may be the study of memory, not history – and then I heard this interesting story on NPR re: emotions and memory.  
NPR: Emotions Outlast The Memories That Drive Them

It occurs to me that neuroscience research on memory might be helpful when it comes time to pull this dissertation research project together.  I think what I’m doing is truly trans-disciplinary in nature – which will make it harder, but ultimately more rewarding for me.

on adrenaline and the preparation of presentations

I’m writing the third of three presentations I’ve had to give in about two weeks.  This one’s on the Eastern Shore Stories oral history project.  I feel more pressure with this one, simply because so many people I know and people whom I’ve interviewed will be there.

But I also have a lot to say, and the writing of this presentation is going quickly.  I’ve decided to write down and time out everything I’m going to say and share … and to limit my tech needs to using my laptop to play edited sound clips through portable speakers.  Keep it simple and less can go wrong.

The best presentations I’ve given, I’ve read aloud at academic conferences.  I don’t want to read aloud here, but I’m not going to speak from notecards or bullet points. I want to know exactly what I want to say and practice so much that I’ve got it memorized.  Then I can relax and concentrate on connecting with the audience during the talk.

Adrenaline aids public speaking, right?  I’ll be glad when the season of presentations and occasional adrenaline rushes are ended.