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Superstorm Sandy Oral History Workshop December 7

The largest collection of Superstorm Sandy Oral Histories was released recently at Monmouth University, in West Long Branch, NJ.  Anthropology Professor Edward Gonzalez-Tennant and his students collected and transcribed nearly 30 oral histories from residents impacted by the worst natural disaster ever to hit New Jersey.

Dr. Gonzalez-Tennant is presenting an oral history workshop focusing on the recording of personal histories. The recording of personal histories is increasingly viewed by researchers and members of the public as a vital source of information regarding the past. Everyone has a story to tell and oral history recognizes the importance of personal experiences in understanding our shared past.

This workshop will introduce participants to the standard methods of oral history and will  include a discussion of interviewing techniques, pointers for collecting personal stories, and a discussion on  the use of digital recorders in oral history. An overview of the transcription process will also be presented.

When:  Saturday, December 7 from 11am to 1pm

Where:  Upper Shores Library, 112 Jersey City Avenue, Lavalette, NJ

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About the Superstorm Sandy Oral History Project

The recording of personal histories is increasingly viewed by researchers and members of the public as a vital source of information. Everyone has a story to tell and oral history recognizes the importance of personal experiences in understanding our shared past. The purpose of this project is to document personal testimonies related to Hurricane Sandy.

Our primary research question seeks to contextualize extreme weather within the daily lives of New Jersey residents. This type of research recognizes that disaster is a complex process. Risk and vulnerability are concentrated in specific locations and locally-based research is required to fully understand its lingering effects.

Oral histories provide an important response to regional and national coverage of the event for several reasons. They provide in-depth accounts of everyday individuals and their strategies for preparing and surviving such events. In addition, our project continues to collect interviews as a way to showcase the long-term effects of these kinds of events.

If you have any questions or would like to participate in the project, please contact Dr. Edward Gonzalez-Tennant via email at egonzale@monmouth.edu or phone at 732-571-4458.

To access a sample of the oral history interviews, please click here.

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