Oral History Summer Institute

The 2023 Oral History Summer Institute

The Oral History Summer Institute is designed for participants to get hands-on experience with oral history project design, recording technology, and interview techniques. Whether you are starting your first oral history project, or you are ready to enhance your skills as an oral history interviewer, the Summer Institute’s combination of instructional, workshop, and feedback sessions has something to offer participants at a variety of levels and interests. The Institute welcomes anyone interested in oral history, including family historians and genealogists, public/community historians, researchers, community organizers, students, and academics.

Registration Opens January 15, 2023 and closes May 10, 2023

Adults $395
Seniors & Students* $295
Audit options are not available for this course

Note: For community members, if you are having difficulty registering please contact customer service at the University of Lethbridge 403-317-2878, or Dr. Jodie Asselin 403-317-2878

“I gained knowledge from my peers, shared my knowledge, and together we were able to connect the dots between us and find a true connection to our roots. My peers and instructor nurtured me to be a better interviewer and listener. Sometimes I listen so well and forget pauses are meant for deeper connections to be made; it’s not always a beacon signal that the interview is heading south. So much empowering came from my course peers.” – Anonymous

Participants will meet once weekly to learn about oral history methods and theories, workshop practical oral history skills, and engage with practicing oral historians and esteemed guest speakers on a variety of contemporary topics. The Oral History Summer Institute engages with many oral history approaches, such as Indigenous and queer oral history methods.

The Summer Institute offers participants the opportunity to receive feedback on interview questions, consent forms, project organization, and many other skills that are part of conducting oral history.

All participants will receive a digital certificate of completion from the Oral History Summer Institute.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course each student should be able to:

  • Design a small oral history project from start to finish; or refine an existing project
  • Understand foundational oral history theory about memory, narrative, and researcher-narrator relationships;
  • Understand and engage  foundational ethics requirements of oral history interviewing;
  • Create a consent form that protects both your project and the interviewee;
  • Learn how to record an interview on a variety of platforms including a digital recorder, a cell phone, or via online video chat software (e.g. zoom);
  • Identify ideal interview environments;
  • Thoughtfully apply oral history theories and methods to address a variety of narrators’ needs, requests, concerns, and backgrounds;
  • Effectively and professionally transcribe an interview;
  • Create and use a metadata spreadsheet;
  • Understand how to donate interviews and transcripts to an archives;
  • Develop a publication or dissemination plan for your oral history project.

Each participant will need

  • Access to a recording device, such as a digital recorder or smartphone with a recording app. 
  • Equipment necessary for online access (internet connection, computer, webcam, speaker).