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Meet the SOHP

Rachel F. Seidman | Director and Adjunct Assistant Professor of History, American Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies

Rachel F. Seidman is a U.S. historian specializing in women’s history. She holds a BA from Oberlin College and a PhD from Yale, and was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Turku, Finland, in spring 2019.  Seidman’s newest book is Speaking of Feminism: Today’s Activists on the Past, Present and Future of the U.S. Women’s Movement (UNC Press, 2019).  She is also author of The Civil War: A History in Documents (Oxford University Press) and 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. Curriculum Vitae.


Sara Wood | Project Manager

Prior to joining SOHP in 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 walks and installations for museums and cultural sites such as the Whitney, the New York Public Library, and the National Park Service. She has an MFA in creative writing from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and she attended the radio program at The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine.


Nick Allen | Research Associate

Nick received his master’s in literature, medicine, and culture from the department of English and comparative literature at Carolina. His research focuses on aging and how Americans craft the last chapters of their lives, from growing old to death and dying. His interests in storytelling and narrative take many forms, but they center in on oral history and virtual reality as powerful tools for fostering empathy, increasing dialogue around difficult issues, and empowering individuals to live and die well. Nick is currently working on analyzing and presenting oral histories from our Stories to Save Lives project and increasing the number of intergenerational interactions in the Chapel Hill community through the humanities.


Emily Chilton | Collections and Editorial Assistant

Emily Chilton received her BA in English and history from Meredith College in 2018 and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in English literature at North Carolina State University. Her research interests include interdisciplinary studies and transatlantic Romanticism. At SOHP, Emily works with the print materials for each oral history interview, finalizing and depositing them with the Southern Historical Collection at Wilson Library. She enjoys the detail of this work as well as the opportunity to engage with a wide variety of interviews and narrators’ stories, which are endlessly surprising and educational.


Jacquelyn Dowd Hall | Founder and Julia Cherry Spruill Professor Emerita of History 

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. Her most recent publication is “The Good Fight,” in Mothers and Strangers: Essays on Motherhood from the New South, edited by Samia Serageldin and Lee Smith (UNC Press, 2019). Her next book, Sisters and Rebels: A Struggle of the Soul of America, which is forthcoming from W. W. Norton in May 2019, grew out of some of the earliest interviews she did for the Southern Oral History Program.

2019-2020 Field Scholars


Ina Dixon is a PhD candidate in American studies. Before UNC, Ina received a BA from St. John’s College in Annapolis in the liberal arts and a MA from the University of Chicago in the social sciences.  She works on Stories to Save Lives: Health, Illness and Medical Care in the SouthIna’s current doctoral research explores community memory and urban revitalization in the former Dan River Mills textile mill village of Schoolfield, near Danville, Virginia.





David Dry is a second-year PhD student in the department of history and an enrolled member of the Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma. His research examines the 20th century history of the Ottawa Tribe and the impact of the termination and restoration of federal recognition on Ottawa identity and tribal sovereignty. He previously worked as a history instructor at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, and for the 2016-17 academic year, he taught at the International University of Kyrgyzstan as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar. David’s oral history fieldwork has been supported by the Jacquelyn Dowd Hall Summer Research Fellowship from the SOHP.



Caroline Efird is a PhD student in the department of health behavior at Gillings School of Global Public Health. Her research centers on health equity, social determinants of health, and anti-racism praxis. She works on Stories to Save Lives: Health, Illness and Medical Care in the South, and has a special interest in exploring the social and structural factors that influence health for North Carolinians in rural communities. Prior to her graduate studies, Caroline was an elementary school teacher in North Carolina and southern California.


Jennifer Standish is a PhD student in the history department at UNC Chapel Hill working under Dr. William Sturkey. Her master’s thesis, called GROW: Grassroots Organizing Work, was completed in the spring of 2018. Her thesis examined an interracial labor organizing project in Mississippi in the wake of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, led by white former members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Her dissertation project is on the passage of Right to Work laws in the South, and their impact on working-class social movements. At the SOHP, Jennifer teaches the undergraduate oral history internship, guiding students through a project interviewing womxn involved in the commemoration of the centennial of the 19th (women’s suffrage) amendment. She has also spent two summers working with the SOHP to support the  Carolina Oral History Teaching Fellowship, which brings K-12 teachers from across the state to UNC to explore ways to incorporate oral history into their classroom teaching.


Sophia Hutchens | Program Assistant

Sophia Hutchens (she/they) is a fourth year undergraduate student double majoring in communication studies and anthropology with a concentration in interpersonal and organizational communication. Through her independent research and her work with the SOHP, Sophia is able to explore their interests in social movements, community organizing, and queer studies. This is Sophia’s second year working with the Southern Oral History Program.




Emma Miller | Research Assistant

Emma Miller is a senior undergraduate student from Sylva, North Carolina double majoring in Public Policy and History, with a minor in Education. Emma’s interests are in Southern Appalachian history, public education disparities in the state of North Carolina, and the intersections between policy and history. Emma’s interests in oral history began when she was in high school, where she had the opportunity to work with the Appalachian Oral History Program through Western Carolina University. Emma is interested in oral history because it is one of the only opportunities for people who have been traditionally been forgotten by history to share their story. This is Emma’s second year working with the Southern Oral History Program. In addition to being a research assistant, Emma also worked as a field scholar for the Stories to Save Lives: Health, Illness and Medical Care in the South project.

Fall 2019 Interns


Calissa Andersen is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying sociology and public policy. They are interested in the role policy making plays in shaping lived experience, with a focus on education and criminal justice policy. Prior to moving to the state of North Carolina, Calissa was born in raised in Tampa, Florida. This past summer, Calissa worked at the Durham-based nonprofit, MDC, as their 2019 Dan Broun Intern. There they worked on two projects centered on job quality of early childcare workers in the South and the construction of southern identity.


Siani Antoine is a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill, majoring in U.S. history with minors in African American diaspora studies and Southern studies. She is interested in researching providers, patients, and healthcare infrastructure in the history of medicine. This past summer she interned with the Moore Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program where she examined the black physician’s role in the integration of healthcare during the Civil Rights Movement, and how their advocacy negatively impacted black hospitals and black medical schools. In the future, she hopes to be a professor in the history of medicine while pioneering diversity initiatives in history and education.


Flannery Fitch is a history and American studies major with a focus on women during the American Civil War and an end goal of a master’s in library science. Born and raised on the Monterey Bay in California, Flannery has been driven by her love of books and history. After nine years working at an independent bookstore, she returned to college to complete her associate’s degrees and was thrilled to be accepted to UNC. Despite her California roots, Flannery is loving life in the South and looking forward to continuing her education and expanding her knowledge of the region.


Kyende Kinoti is a senior Morehead-Cain Scholar at the UNC-Chapel Hill. She is a global studies major with a concentration in global economics, trade, and development with a focus in Africa. She is particularly interested in neo-colonial systems in the aid and development sectors and will be writing her senior thesis on how to decolonize and democratize development projects and aid. During summer 2019, Kyende interned at Feedback Labs where she learned the importance of NGOs collecting feedback from their constituents. While, the previous summer she carried out an independent research project in France on the Negritude Movement where she interviewed 15 members of the black and African community in Paris. These two experiences have solidified her passion for collecting oral histories as a way to empower communities.