Meet the SOHP
Rachel F. Seidman
Director and Adjunct Assistant Professor of History and Women’s and Gender Studies
Rachel Seidman is a U.S. historian specializing in women’s history. With a B.A. from Oberlin College and a Ph.D. from Yale, Seidman’s current research project is an oral history of feminist activism in the U.S. between 2000 and 2015 (under contract with UNC Press). She is the author of The Civil War: A History in Documents (Oxford University Press) and the co-editor of Our Documents: 100 Milestone Documents from the National Archives. Seidman served as the Associate Director of the SOHP from 2011-2017, and before that was Associate Director of the History, Public Policy and Social Change program at Duke University.
Prior to joining SOHP in Fall 2017, Sara Wood traveled the American South collecting stories of the region’s diverse cultures as the oral historian for the Southern Foodways Alliance, based at the University of Mississippi. She’s produced stories for National Public Radio and sound installations for museums and cultural sites such as the Whitney, the New York Public Library, and the National Park Service.
Research Specialist and CSAS Program Assistant
Taylor is a medical anthropologist specializing in health disparities. She is a recent PhD in Anthropology from UNC Chapel Hill. Her research examines the intersections of race, class, and gender in the South through the lens of motherhood. A former Field Scholar, Taylor currently is the project manager for the “Stories to Save Lives” collaboration between the SOHP and the SUDDEN Team at UNC’s School of Medicine, Cardiac Division. She also works on the “Mapping the Voices of NC” resource for teachers.
Jacquelyn Dowd Hall
Founder and Senior Research Fellow
Professor Hall’s research interests include U.S. women’s history, southern history, working-class history, oral history, and cultural/intellectual history. She served as president of the Organization of American Historians in 2003-04 and of the Southern Historical Association in 2001-02. She was also the founding president of the Labor and Working Class History Association. She was awarded a National Humanities Medal in 1999 for her efforts to deepen the nation’s understanding of and engagement with the humanities, and in 1997, she received UNC’s Distinguished Teaching Award for graduate teaching. Her publications include Revolt Against Chivalry: Jessie Daniel Ames and the Women’s Campaign Against Lynching (1979, 1993) and Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill World (1987, 2000), which she co-authored with James Leloudis, Robert Korstad, Mary Murphy, Lu Ann Jones, and Chris Daly. She is currently working on a collection of her articles and on two book projects: Writing a Way Home, about women writers and intellectuals and the refashioning of regional identity in the twentieth-century South; and a study of the social movements spawned by the civil rights campaigns of the 1960s and of the ideological, political, and structural factors that blunted their force.
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Melissa is a PhD student in American Studies. She earned her B.A. in American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and her M.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles in Moving Image Archives Studies. For over a decade prior to pursuing her Ph.D. she was a librarian, audiovisual archivist, consultant, intern, volunteer, adjunct faculty, exhibit developer, and researcher for a variety of commercial and public institutions (Pacific Film Archive, Women In Film Foundation, UCLA, Academy Film Archive, Discovery Communications, Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University, State Archives of North Carolina, and North Carolina State University). She has presented at numerous conferences, written short pieces for The Moving Image and a chapter on privacy and home movies in Amateur Movie Making: Aesthetics of the Everyday in New England, 1915-1960 (Indiana University Press, 2017). She is on the board of directors for the Association of Moving Image Archivists; and at SOHP she is a field scholar assists with the SUDDEN project, research, and creating digital projects.
Danielle is a reproductive justice activist from the mountains of western North Carolina. Her research considers how practices of reproductive wellness resist colonizing systems in southern Appalachia. Using critical race theory, Danielle aims to challenge narratives that foreclose on the region’s diversity and modernity. While earning an M.A. in History from American University, Danielle trained as a public historian and oral historian. She is now an oral history field scholar at the Southern Oral History Program where she coordinates student-led research projects. In addition to collaborative oral history projects, Danielle is excited about research projects with outcomes in sound art and experimental film. She currently lives in Chapel Hill with her partner and two cats and serves on the Board of Directors at the Carolina Abortion Fund. You may reach her here: email@example.com
Isabell is a PhD Candidate in the Department of History at UNC. She received her BA in History-Sociology from Columbia University and her MA in Women’s and Gender Studies from UNC Greensboro. Her dissertation research examines Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) organizing in North Carolina in the 70s, 80s and 90s. She is particularly interested in how those involved in coalition efforts across lines of race, class, and gender, attempted to do large-scale organizing focused on transformation, rather than either small-scale transformational organizing or large-scale accommodationist reform efforts. At the SOHP, Isabell supports the Black Communities conference being planned for Spring 2018 (http://blackcommunities.unc.edu/) and assists with workshops on oral history methods. She lives in her hometown of Greensboro, NC with her partner and three year old son. She has been involved in activism for racial, economic and queer justice for many years. She seeks to connect historical research on social movements with the activism of today.
Abigail is a second-year graduate student in Folklore. Her MA thesis is a music-based interactive web application for fourth grade classrooms, designed to supplement the NC Common Core Social Studies Standards for teaching North Carolina’s history and cultural heritage. She holds a BFA in Sound Design from the School of Drama at Carnegie Mellon University. Currently, Abigail produces the SOHP’s podcast, Press Record.
Emma Miller is a sophomore undergraduate student from Sylva, North Carolina majoring in Public Policy and History. Her interests are primarily focused in American south, with a concentration in Appalachian history and the Civil Rights Movement. She is also interested in education policy, and advocating for public schools across the nation. Emma is excited to gain more experience in the diverse field of oral history, and to be able to preserve people’s stories in the most authentic way possible.
Paola Gilliam is a senior undergraduate student from Kannapolis, North Carolina. She is majoring in Media and Journalism and minoring in Anthropology. She specializes in public relations and is interested in using public relations as a tool to better connect the public with academic and non-profit organizations. Paola is excited to learn more about oral history, and especially how to accurately portray people’s histories and experiences.
Stella Shon is a sophomore from Chapel Hill, NC majoring in Media and Journalism with a minor in Entrepreneurship. She is passionate about oral history because it projects people’s unique stories, giving those who are often forgotten a chance to have their voices heard. To her, oral history means diversity, inclusion, and humanity.
Shannon is a senior from Cary, North Carolina majoring in English and Southern Studies. Her English course work has focused on Southern Literature which lead her to pursue a study of the American South. In the SOHP internship she has been able to combine her love of a good story with her interest in the culture and history of the South. She looks forward to discovering the stories of individuals who have lived the experiences she has only read about, and preserving them for future generations. At the SOHP Shannon is serving as a collections intern and expanding her knowledge of archival and research methods, as well as furthering her understanding of oral history and its importance.