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. Curriculum Vitae
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 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.
Collections and Editorial Assistant
Emily Chilton received her B.A. from Meredith College in 2018, having majored in English and history. Prior to joining SOHP, she worked as an intern and editorial assistant for Duke University Press. Emily’s research interests include Southern literature, particularly the literature of the changing South, Southern history, and North Carolina history. Her undergraduate honors history thesis focused on the reactions within North Carolina to Confederate policy. She is originally from the community of Shoals, NC and understands firsthand the value of listening to and preserving Southern stories. She is enthusiastic about combining her interests in editing and historical research here at SOHP.
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.
Nick is a second-year Literature, Medicine, and Culture graduate student in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. 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. Along with his work at the SOHP, Nick serves as the coordinator for the HHIVE lab (Health Humanities Interdisciplinary Venue for Exploration) and the graduate advisor to the Health Humanities Journal of UNC-Chapel Hill.
Ina is a second-year PhD Student in American Studies at UNC Chapel Hill. She works on the Stories to Save Lives: Health, Illness and Medical Care in the South project. Before attending UNC, Ina taught high school and college history and led a place-based public history program in Danville, Virginia with Virginia Humanities, a state humanities council. With an undergraduate degree from St. John’s College in Annapolis and a master’s from the University of Chicago, Ina’s current research explores memory, labor, and revitalization in former textile towns of the American Piedmont South.
Isabell is a PhD candidate in the department of history at UNC Chapel Hill. 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, as opposed to small-scale or accommodationist reform efforts. At the SOHP, Isabell facilitates workshops on oral history methods, conducts and processes interviews, and supports a class related to the New Roots/Nueva Raices Project. She lives in her hometown of Greensboro, NC with her four 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.
Jennifer is a PhD student in the history department at UNC Chapel Hill. Raised in St. Paul, MN and a graduate of the University of Chicago, her research, focusing on the U.S. civil rights movement and Southern labor history, has taken her to down south. Her master’s thesis, completed in the spring of 2018, 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. For the last two summers, Jennifer has worked at the SOHP with 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. Outside of her work at the SOHP, she is an active member of the Workers Union at UNC, an avid co-rec softball player, and a dog enthusiast.
Sophia is a junior at UNC Chapel Hill. She is majoring in communication studies and anthropology with a minor in art history. Sophia is excited to work with the SOHP and help share people’s life stories, develop her research skills, and plan community events.
Emma is a junior 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 third semester working with the Southern Oral History Program. Outside of the SOHP, Emma is also the co-president of UNC’s chapter of the Roosevelt Institute, where she helps enact local policy change within the Orange County area.
Fall 2018 Intern
Ellie is a junior from Greensboro, NC, working on her BA in advertising and American studies with a minor in Hispanic studies. She hopes to study the roles of media in how public school students receive and interpret stories. Ellie also serves as the vice president of the UNC Women’s Rugby Football Club.
Fall 2018 Intern
Mitra is a junior at UNC Chapel Hill studying journalism and Southern studies. She is in her third year of working as an editorial assistant for the award-winning journal Southern Cultures and also writes for The Daily Tar Heel on the investigations team. Mitra is interested in combining traditional news reporting and oral history practices to tell rich, honest stories of the American South.
Fall 2018 Intern
Caroline is a senior from Fairfax, Virginia. She is studying psychology and minoring in medical anthropology. This past summer Caroline interned on Capitol Hill where she had the opportunity to attend hearings and briefings while learning more about the legislative process. Caroline hopes to earn a Master of Public Health upon graduation. She has an interest in health disparities, community outreach, and ethnographic research.