Linda Shopes

self employed
Phone: 717-448-9544
I have been involved in oral history, one way or another, for nearly 50 years, since taking Martha Ross's course in oral history at the University of Maryland in 1974. I'm familiar with all phases of oral history work from initial project planning to doing interviews to archiving and using interviews, primarily in publications. I've written widely in the field; edited Palgrave's Studies in Oral History series for more than a decade; and taught oral history in settings ranging from 2-hour community workshops to 14-week graduate courses. I especially like the interpretive aspects of oral history: working with narrators to get underneath superficial responses and addressing issues of meaning in publications and other forums. I was initially drawn to oral history as an outgrowth of involvements in the social movememnts of the 1960s & 1970s, as a way to democratize our common history; a belief grounded perhaps in my own personal history as the granddaughter of immigrants and the daughter of striving lower-middle class parents. That impulse remains, but more recently I have been trying to practice and think about oral history within a decolonizing frame. i"m especially interested in community based work, and I I like to think I bring a strong sense of ethics to that work, placing narrators' inerests and concerns at the center of the enterprise. I consider oral history a social practice moreso than a research tool and interviews as a civic resource.


Mostly addressed in my first response. I have an MA in American Studies from the University of Maryland. I work pretty hard to stay current with the oral histoy literature.


Regions Available for Work

    Other Regions: I have easy access to the mid-Atlantic region in the US. I am available to provide services remotely anywhere in the world and in person assuming payment of travel costs.

    Purpose of Contact

    • I am available to answer questions, or provide mentorship to other oral historians
    • I am available for hire - as an oral historian, consultant, presenter, educator, or related services
    • I am available to collaborate - on research, community projects, artistic endeavors, or other joint undertakings with peers
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