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College of Social Sciences

Oral History Summer Institute

oral history

The Institute will be held at Fresno State July 15-19 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.  

Thanks to a grant from the Luso American foundation and the support of Fresno State's newly launched Portuguese Beyond Borders Institute, Fresno State will offer the first ever summer oral history institute to community members.  

The institute seeks to train community historians in the techniques of oral history.  A strong university oral history program draws heavily on the stories of the community around the university. Thus, Fresno State seeks the participation of community members as we begin recording and writing the rich and diverse history of California's Central Valley. Oral historians often speak about creating the archive.  Creating an archive is especially important in our Central Valley region which has long been overlooked in the historical literature. 

Students who participate will learn about interviewing techniques, the ethics of oral history, and why oral history matters. Participants will receive all materials needed including books, articles, and supplies such as a loaner machine to record oral histories. A variety of scholars will present different types of oral histories and why they are important.  

July 22 to 26 students will work on their own schedule with the help of mentors to work on curating one or more oral histories. Presentations and an exhibit will occur in early August.

We hope you can join us this summer (and beyond the summer) as we work to uncover the amazingly rich and diverse history of our Central Valley.

Space is limited and is first come first serve. Please fill out the registration form here and submit to Dr. Michelle DenBeste no later than June 17, 2019. 

For any questions, contact Dean Dr. Michelle DenBeste at or Dennis Borges at