Nora Moosnick

Phone: 8593384065
I am a sociologist and for nearly three decades, I have conducted interviews to make invisible lives visible and to render hyper-visible lives more complicated than popular imaginings. I interviewed African American activists representing multiple generations from Lexington, KY, exploring the often-fraught relationship between the Black community and the University of Kentucky. During welfare reform, I interviewed rural Kentucky women on public assistance about their lives because they were envisaged in a way that did not reflect their lived experiences. My first book, Adopting Maternity: White Women Who Adopt Transracially or Transnationally (Praeger 2004) was based on interviews with white adoptive mothers deciphering whether maternal identities altered depending on the race of the adopted child.Since these early interview projects, I have moved away from social scientific research and transitioned into oral history work. Concretely this has meant that I am less concerned with sampling size and use real names when interviewees agree. In the early 2010s, I assisted the Sisters of Loretto in chronicling the Sisters' stories to help them build their archive and capture rapidly disappearing narratives (a collection archived at the Kentucky Oral History Commission). I also have used interviews to bridge divides, appreciating the power of stories which was apparent in my book, Arab and Jewish Women of Kentucky: Stories of Accommodation and Audacity (University Press of Kentucky 2012). This was also true in my most recent focus on the rural/urban divide on college campuses, Campus Candor: Students Stories Unmasked (Cognella 2023), which was created in collaboration with three former students, Victoria Cruz-Falk, Emily Keaton, and Saturn Star-Shooter. It is this freshly completed work that has been especially challenging, and bears witness to my commitment to oral histories as a transformative practice.


I am a sociologist and have a Ph.D. in sociology. For nearly thirty years, I have been conducting interviews and managing qualitative projects that seek to cross divides.


How to use narratives to overcome divides and how to use the process of collecting oral histories as an exercise in building empathy.

Regions Available for Work

Other Regions: I am in Kentucky and I am available to meet in-person in the Southeast and much of the Midwest. I will be in England January 2025-June 2025.

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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