Mary Marshall Clark and Amy Starecheski spoke at the Brown Bag Lunch series on Wednesday, February 24, 2016, from 12–1:30 pm. Their talk was entitled “The Art, Praxis, and Power of Oral History.”

At Bard Graduate Center, Clark and Starecheski discussed oral history as a research method, a mode of public engagement, and a field of inquiry. Clark shared her insights on oral history vis-à-vis her work on issues of history, memory and trauma, the body, and the arts. Starecheski presented a case study of oral histories with former Lower East Side Squatters, framing their buildings as material culture and illustrating anthropological uses of oral history alongside ethnography.

Mary Marshall Clark Clark is the Director of the Columbia Center for Oral History Research, located in the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE) at Columbia University. She is also the Co-Founder and Co-Director of Columbia’s Oral History Master of Arts program. Clark has been involved in oral history since 1991. Formerly, she was an oral historian and filmmaker at the New York Times. She was also the co-principal investigator, with Peter Bearman, of the September 11, 2001 Oral History Narrative and Memory Project, and has directed projects on the Carnegie Corporation, the Atlantic Philanthropies, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Japanese Internment on the East Coast, the Apollo Theater, and Women in the Visual Arts. Clark also writes on issues of memory, the mass media, trauma, and ethics in oral history. She is an editor ofAfter the Fall: New Yorkers Remember September 2001 and the Years that Followed (The New Press, 2011). Her current work focuses on the global impact of torture and detention policies at Guantánamo Bay.

Amy Starecheski is an anthropologist and oral historian, and is the Associate Director of the Oral History Master of Arts program at Columbia University. She consults and lectures widely on oral history education and methods, is co-author of the Columbia Center for Oral History’s Telling Lives Oral History Curriculum Guide, and was a lead interviewer on Columbia’s September 11, 2001 Oral History Narrative and Memory Project. Starecheski is a member of the Core Working Group for Groundswell: Oral History for Social Change, where she facilitates the Practitioner Support Network. She received her PhD in cultural anthropology from the CUNY Graduate Center. Her book, Ours to Lose: When Squatters Became Homeowners in New York City, is forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press.