Veterans Oral History Project


Explore methods of oral history, specifically focusing on interviewing U.S. military veterans who have served during times of conflict. Weekly readings concerning ethics of oral history work and the particulars of interviewing veterans. Learn techniques for conducting successful oral history interviews and master technical skills involving recording equipment. Conduct multiple interviews with veterans throughout semester. Discuss interviews and transcriptions with classmates. Assignments include written responses and a final presentation on conducted interviews. Includes a service-learning component involving work in the community.

Learn more about the class in this Duke Magazine article.

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About the Instructor:


Michelle Lanier has been an instructor at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University since 2000. Growing up in a family that includes veterans of five American wars has inspired her current work, training students to collect veterans' narratives. Michelle also serves as the director of North Carolina's African American Heritage Commission and the Heritage and Traditions section of the NC Arts Council. Michelle uses her background as an oral historian and folklorist to connect communities around personal narratives and cultural expression. With countless hours of oral history interviews under her belt, Michelle considers her most sacred work the act of bearing witness to the transformative power of story.

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