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UW-Eau Claire to Host Wisconsin Oral History Day April 26-27

RELEASED: April 1, 2009

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will host the 2009 Wisconsin Oral History Day April 26-27.

This will be the second of three planned WOHD events highlighting oral history at campus and community levels.

"I'm trying to publicize the state's fine oral history work," said Troy Reeves, creator of WOHD and head of the oral history program at UW-Madison. "I designed Oral History Day to bring together interested folks to learn the steps to conduct quality oral histories, to discuss extent projects, to network regarding future collaboration, and to strengthen the guild of current and future oral historians."

The event will begin with an opening session from 6-8 p.m. April 26 at the Chippewa Valley Museum. During the opening session, Dr. Jim Leary, director of the folklore program at UW-Madison, will present "Oral History and Public Folklore: Working with Joua Bee Xiong." The opening session is sponsored in part by the Wisconsin Humanities Council.

All of the April 27 events will be held on the UW-Eau Claire campus.

Most of morning activities on April 27 will focus on oral history project planning. Reeves will start the day by leading a mini-workshop.

UW-Eau Claire students then will discuss an oral history project they are doing through the UW-Eau Claire women's studies program. The project is directed by Dr. Katherine Rhoades, interim coordinator for the women's studies program, in collaboration with Dr. John Mann, public history program director at UW-Eau Claire, and Tiffany Gerber, a UW-Eau Claire public history graduate student.

The morning session will conclude with a presentation on community planning in diverse settings given by Dr. Stephen Sloan, director of the oral history program at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

Barb Sommer, an independent oral historian and author from St. Paul, Minn., will give the keynote address on April 27. Her presentation is titled "The Story Behind the Manual: The Creation of The American Indian Oral History Manual: Making Many Voices Heard." The Wisconsin Humanities Council will sponsor her address.

Additional April 27 activities will include sessions with students, teachers and professors, including Dr. Charles Lee, UW-La Crosse's oral history program director.

To discuss the program, contact program chair Troy Reeves at 608-890-1899 or or Kate Lang, chair of the UW-Eau Claire history department, at 715-836-5501.

-30-

JB/JP

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