UCR Gambles on Oral History

A large contingent of UCR’s History Department attended the 42nd annual Southwest Oral History Association (SOHA) conference in Las Vegas, held April 1-3, 2022. SOHA California co-delegate Daisy Herrera led the effort, bringing UCR students, alumni, and Public History program director, Dr. Catherine Gudis, to their first SOHA conference. Their presentations offered different oral history perspectives and methodology while highlighting the exciting work everyone is accomplishing for their studies.

Saturday morning began with a roundtable discussion between Dr. Gudis and alumni Steven Moreno-Terrill and Dr. Audrey Maier’s, “Public and Oral History Practicums of Underrepresented Stories at the College/University Level: Methodology, Interpretation and Insights.” They discussed hands-on classes they led with undergraduates at UCR and Riverside City College, which encourage students to gain tangible experience while earning course credit. Herrera, the newest member of Drs. Gudis and Maier’s practicum team, briefly spoke on her experience with oral history and working with students as her parents smiled from the audience. In the evening, the “Community-Based Oral Histories from Northern to Southern California: Collective Memory and Healing, Bottom-top Methodology and Counternarratives” featured Antone Pierucci’s work on highlighting Lake County’s communal healing after the deadly Valley and Rocky Fires; Dr. Meier’s work on grassroot commemorative filmmaking for Bryn Mawr; Carlos Cruz’s methodology to build bridges and trust with residents of Casa Blanca; and Herrera’s demonstration of the power of transnational counternarratives within Greater Mexico’s student movements. The following day, the “Native Voices, Stories, and Knowledge Matter: Conservation, Repatriation, and Interpretation throughout the U.S.” panel featured Danny Archuleta’s work on the repatriation of ancestral remains; Josh Little’s focus on Lakota water knowledge, and Rocio Gomez’s efforts to highlight Native on-site interpretations.

The UCR group celebrated their involvement with SOHA’s conference over a shared meal, rather than a blackjack table. Cheers to a successful 2022 conference, and to the next 40 years of SOHA!

Danny, Josh, and Rocio