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During her forty years of teaching oral history methodology, Jacquelyn Dowd Hall developed a pedagogy that brings the richness of oral history methods to the classroom, encouraging students to work in collaboration with their interviewees and with each other to create historical evidence and contribute to the SOHP’s archive. Some of the SOHP’s most celebrated research projects grew from Hall’s classes, including the Piedmont Industrialization Project, which provided the basis for the award-winning book Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill World. Student research also laid the foundation of The Long Women’s Movement in the American South; and, since 2007, the SOHP’s Long Civil Rights Movement Initiative has attracted undergraduate and graduate students who care deeply about history told from the bottom-up.
The SOHP’s legacy includes dozens of SOHP alumni who now teach their own oral history courses, produce scholarship using oral history methods, and direct oral history programs around the country.
Since Fall 2012, the SOHP has offered an undergraduate internship program that provides UNC-Chapel Hill students with experiential education in the intellectual, organizational, and practical work of oral history. In partnership with the Carolina Women’s Center, the History Department, and the Women’s Studies Department, the SOHP also sponsors The Moxie Project at UNC: Women and Leadership for Social Change, in which students interview women activists and intern in community organizations.
Professors across UNC’s campus have collaborated with SOHP staff to incorporate oral history into their own classes. Current, ongoing partnerships include projects with Raul Necochea in the Department of Social Medicine and Hannah Gill at the Center for Global Initiatives and the Institute for the Study of the Americas.
Special thanks to Jessie Wilkerson for contributions to this text.