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From the Southern Oral History Program, this is Press Record: a podcast about the joys and challenges of learning history by talking to those who lived it.

Our final episode for this summer explores the complex world of emotions and oral history. How can we better understand the feelings that surface during life history interviews? What are some ways we can learn to listen for less obvious emotional cues? Why is vulnerability such an important part of doing oral history?

Episode 6 tackles these questions and more in three segments. First, Charlotte Eure talks to Taylor Livingston about listening for emotions that sometimes get lost in transcription. Next, Carol Prince conducts Press Record’s first phone interview with Professor Natalie Fousekis, director of the Center for Oral and Public History at California State University at Fullerton, who discusses the role of of emotion in her research. Finally, Professor Rachel Seidman recounts an intense moment in her interviewing career and offers some tips for students new to navigating emotion and oral history.

Find the SOHP’s twitter page here. Feel free to tweet your feedback or share your thoughts on oral history and emotion or email your comments, questions, or ideas to us at!

You can listen to Episode 6 below through SoundCloud and please subscribe and rate us on iTunes here!

James Womack, pictured left holding a cheerleading cone and bottom left of group photo as co-president of Everett Dorm. Source: Yackety Yack, 1966.
James Womack, pictured left holding a cheerleading cone and bottom left in group photo as co-president of Everett Dorm. Source: Yackety Yack, 1966.


Supplemental Materials

Find more information about Professor Natalie Fousekis’ work, at California State University at Fullerton’s Center for Oral and Public History  here.

Find the entire excerpt of the interview with Vennie Moore here.

The interview with James Womack has not yet been processed. However, you can find more information about the Black Pioneers project and the upcoming performance of these interviews as part of the Process Series in early November here.


Episode 1: Silence Speaks Volumes

Episode 2: Back Ways

Episode 3: Feminism and Oral History

Episode 4: LGBTQ Southern Oral History and Activism

Episode 5: Pet Sounds

Episode 6: Sweet Emotion: Vulnerability and the Oral History Process

Episode 7: Oral History for Movement Building

Episode 8: Voices From Charlotte

Episode 9: Veterans and Oral History

Episode 10: Women and Politics in the South

Episode 11: Oral History and the ERA

Episode 12: Revisiting “Back Ways”

Episode 13: New Roots/ Nuevas Raíces