The Columbia University Center for Oral History (CCOH) is one of the world’s leading centers for the practice and teaching of oral history. CCOH achieves its mission from the union of the Columbia Center for Oral History Research (CCOHR) and Columbia Center for Oral History Archives (CCOHA).

CCOHR is housed at the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE), where it administers an ambitious research agenda with the goal to record unique life histories, document the central historical events and memories of our times, provide public programming, and to teach and do research across the disciplines.

The Columbia Center for Oral History Archives is housed at the Rare Book & Manuscript Library in Butler Library and is open to all. At over 10,000 interviews, the CCOH Archives is one of the largest oral history collections in the United States.


Oct. 19 | From Field to Performance: Adapting Oral History and Ethnographic Field Research for the Stage

E. Patrick Johnson is the chair of African American Studies, Carlos Montezuma Professor of Performance Studies and African American Studies at Northwestern University. Drawing on his research on black queers of the South, Johnson will discuss how he adapted oral history narratives and field research to the stage and then to film. The lecture will also engage questions of ethics, advocacy and aesthetics.

Oct. 26 | A History of Echoes-Part 1: Memory and Militant Sound Investigations

Robert Sember is a member of the international sound-art collective, Ultra-red, which helped establish the Arbert Santana Ballroom Archive and Oral History Project, an initiative by and for members of the African-American and Latino/a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community in New York City. Ultra-red will present on different aspects of its work and methods in two different sessions, the first focusing on the history of the collective, specifically its roots in the HIV/AIDS social movements of the 1990s, and its investigation of listening practices within community organizing initiatives. Ultra-red will draw on materials from long-term investigations in Los Angeles, New York, and London that are part of the “School of Echoes” phase of its work.