We’ve asked creators of non-print and media projects reviewed in the pages of Oral History Review to answer 5 questions about why we should explore them. In our next installment of this series, Patrick Daglaris discusses the Amplified Oklahoma podcast, produced by the Oklahoma Oral History Research Program at Oklahoma State University.
Read Hope Shannon’s review of the Amplified Oklahoma podcast, from the Summer/Fall 2019 issue of OHR, available online.
What’s it about and why does it matter?
The Amplified Oklahoma podcast is about using oral history to explore Oklahoma’s diverse history and culture. The goal is to package our oral history interviews in ways that are more easily consumable for a general audience, reducing 1-2 hour long interviews into roughly 20 minute episodes. It is a public engagement tool that allows us to publicize a variety of our projects and collections for public or scholarly use. By utilizing the power of narrators speaking for themselves, we strive to engage, contextualize, and complicate the popular history of our state. Primarily a student production, Amplified Oklahoma also provides opportunities for undergraduate students to gain experience in oral history methodology, audio production, and storytelling.
How does oral history contribute to your project?
We created this podcast with the primary intention of featuring our oral history collections. Each episode is built around a theme or collection, and the narrative is completely dependent on the content of our oral history materials. This makes it a great storytelling process and helps us identify blind spots or absences in our collections (i.e. we can’t tell a story if we don’t have a narrator who tells it first).
What do you like about using oral history as a methodology?
Oral history is an incredible exercise in listening and shared human experience. I value the opportunity to engage with diverse communities, share their stories, and adequately preserve them. I am often humbled and awed by this responsibility.
Why will fellow oral historians be interested in the project?
I think oral historians are always interested in finding new ways for larger audiences to engage with their materials. While Amplified Oklahoma may not be the first or largest oral history podcast, I hope we can serve as another example of how to condense and contextualize oral history materials for public consumption as well as how to incorporate undergraduates into the oral history and storytelling process. Also, as one of the only oral history podcasts focused on Oklahoma, I hope we can meaningfully contribute to the oral and public history fields nationwide.
What is the one thing that you most want the audience to remember about the project?
I want them to remember that while this may be an Oklahoma-specific podcast, the stories and themes often relate to broader human experiences and events. Oral history is great at bringing larger movements and events to very individualized, personal experiences, and I would encourage the audience to seek these stories out regardless of their geographic or personal connection to them.