About this call for participants

Application Deadline: Wednesday, August 15, 2018, 11:59 pm.

The Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center, CUNY, in collaboration with The Laundromat Project (The LP) are seeking participants for "The Impact of Listening and Being Heard: Oral History, Archives, & Advocacy," a free 8-week interdisciplinary workshop. Open to artists and the CUNY community, the workshop will use a lens of radical empathy to deepen our oral history practice and culminate in a publication and public event. The workshop will be led by Sady Sullivan during the 2018 Fall semester at the Graduate Center, CUNY and is part of The City Amplified: Oral Histories and Radical Archiving research team, generously supported by the Mellon Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research.

The Impact of Listening and Being Heard: Oral History, Archives, & Advocacy:

With our eyes on the prize of a more equitable and peaceful future, we will focus on oral history as a tool for exploring the dynamic relationships of identity, voice, embodied knowledge, belonging, and becoming. This workshop will be useful to people at all levels of experience with oral history who want to reflect on self-care, care for our narrators/interviewees, and the role that sharing life histories plays in caring for our future. Through shared experiences such as Deep Listening (both Buddhist and in the spirit of Pauline Oliveros) and sound therapy exercises, we will strengthen our intuitive listening skills and explore collective (un)consciousness.

As a culmination of this course, we will collaborate on a publication that will inform oral history praxis and a public Listening Party that will engage a broad community of oral history practitioners in thinking about care and collaboration in their work.

Qualifications, and Areas of Interest:

Prior experience with oral history is useful but not necessary. This workshop will be responsive and adaptive to the interests of the group over the course of the 8 weeks, and depending on the needs of the group, we will cover the practical nuts and bolts of conducting digital audio/video oral history interviews, as well as designing an oral history project, and culminating in a public Listening Party where the group will present our work.

Selected readings will include works by Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Saidiya Hartman, Zora Neale Hurston, Michelle Caswell, Lyn Mikel Brown, Walidah Imarisha, adrienne maree brown, Ursula K. LeGuin, Thich Nhat Hanh, Sherna Berger Gluck, Margaretta Jolly, Mary Field Belenky, Walter J. Ong, The Crunk Feminist Collective, and Carolyn G. Heilbrun. Archival explorations will include NYC Trans Oral History; Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations Oral History; Densho Digital Repository; Voices of Feminism Oral History; VOAHA: Chicana Feminists Oral History; Nindibaajimomin: Intergenerational Digital Storytelling on the Legacy of Residential Schools; Montreal Life Stories; South Asian American Digital Archive; and more.

Workshop Dates and Details:

Time and Day: Wednesdays from 6pm - 8pm

Workshop Dates:
September 12
September 26
October 3
October 17
November 7
November 14
December 5
*Please note that attendance is required for all workshops.

Location: The Graduate Center, CUNY, 365 5th Ave, NYC.

Course cap: 12 participants (6 CUNY Community, 6 Artists)


CUNY Community (students, faculty and staff), and Artists.

We define artists as visual, media, literary, and performing arts makers as well as curators, scholars, educators, healers, community organizers, and other cultural producers.
For CUNY community participants we will prioritize CUNY students, but CUNY faculty and staff are also eligible.

Application Deadline:

Wednesday, August, 15, 2018.

How to Apply:

Please click here to fill out the google application form to apply.

For further questions, please contact Prithi Kanakamedala at Prathibha(dot)Kanakamedala(at)bcc(dot)cuny(dot)edu

Instructor Bio:

Sady Sullivan is an oral historian with over a decade of experience building community-engaging oral history projects, revitalizing interest in legacy oral history collections, and establishing digital strategies for oral history as an outreach tool for libraries, archives, museums, and movement building. She was Curator for the Columbia Center for Oral History Archives at Columbia University, 2014-2016; and Director of Oral History at Brooklyn Historical Society, 2006 - 2014. Sady revitalized a dormant oral history program at Brooklyn Historical Society, promoting access to ground-breaking collections created in the 1970s and 1980s. Also at Brooklyn Historical Society, Sady created Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations, an award-winning oral history project, racial justice dialogue series, and digital humanities site exploring mixed-heritage identity. Sady writes about this nonhierarchical and collaborative project in "Public Homeplaces: Collaboration and Care in Oral History Project Design," a chapter in the collection Beyond Women’s Words: Feminisms and the Practices of Oral History in the Twenty-First Century (Routledge 2018) edited by Katrina Srigley, Stacey Zembrzycki, and Franca Iacovetta. In addition, Sady is an active member of the Oral History Association and served on Groundswell's founding Core Working Group, 2011-2013. Her work is influenced by the Buddhist practice of deep listening, and formative experiences at three feminist institutions: The Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies, Babeland, and Wellesley Centers for Women.

About The City Amplified: Oral Histories and Radical Archiving:
The City Amplified: Oral Histories and Radical Archiving research team brings together oral history practitioners, artists, archivists, and scholars to examine, engage, and reassess how radical archiving practices can amplify the rich range of oral history and place-based research projects occurring across the city. The research team is fueled by three critical questions: what does radical archiving look like in practice; how do oral historians and place based researchers engage with issues of reciprocity, transparency, and accessibility when we engage with a community or neighborhood (community: broadly defined); and, in what ways can CUNY act as a space and connector for future collaborations, resources, and other forms of public engagement?

This research team’s faculty coleader is Prithi Kanakamedala, Assistant Professor of History, Bronx Community College, CUNY.

About The Laundromat Project (The LP):
Founded in 2005, The Laundromat Project (The LP) brings art, artists, and arts programming to community spaces, thus amplifying the creativity that already exists within communities to build networks, solve problems, and enhance their sense of ownership in the places where they live, work, and grow. In its first decade, The LP has directly invested nearly $700,000 in 150 multi-racial, multi-generational, and multi-disciplinary artists, 62 innovative public art projects, three diverse anchor neighbors, one creative community hub, and 34,000 New Yorkers, equipping and emboldening them as creative change agents in their own communities. The LP is committed to communities of color and those living on modest incomes, and while it is active citywide, its work is most deeply anchored in three diverse NYC neighborhoods: Bedford-Stuyvesant, Harlem, and Hunts Point. Over the long-term, The LP looks to foster and support creative community leaders who are empowered by, committed to, and fully conversant in community-attuned art practices.

Sponsored by The City Amplified: Oral Histories and Radical Archiving research team as part of the Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research from the Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center, CUNY; and the Laundromat Project (The LP).