The Ethnography and Oral History Initiative is a transdisciplinary forum for scholarship and community activism that examines the poetics and politics of producing knowledge about our own and others’ lived experience. Through our speaker series and ongoing working group, the Initiative brings graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, faculty, and invited scholars/practioners together to explore genre-defying modes of narrating, representing, and enacting our desire to understand the lives we live in common with others.
By conjoining oral history and ethnography, we trouble the rigid disciplinary, geographical, and historical boundaries that have traditionally divided these approaches to intersubjective research. We are especially attuned to the affective dimensions of encounters that are structured by conflicting materialities, temporalities, and ontologies. Our aim is to develop analytical frameworks and aesthetic sensibilities that enable us to both critique and practice oral history and ethnography as forms of social justice within and beyond the academy.