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.
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.
For more information about our Faculty Affiliate program, click here.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Blake Hite is a sophomore from Pembroke, North Carolina majoring in Anthropology and American Indian and Indigenous Studies. As a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and a descendant of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, oral history is one way he is able to express his identity. He is excited to learn more about how to effectively use oral history to show how American Indians are not only surviving but also thriving.
Lily Lou is a sophomore undergraduate student from Greensboro, North Carolina. She is majoring in American Studies and Computer Science. She is interested in student activism and the role technology plays in modern day interactions. Lily is excited to help people—especially those whose stories are often let out of mainstream narratives—tell their stories through oral history and to learn more about the South and the people living there.
Kimberly Oliver is a junior undergraduate student double majoring in History and Anthropology and minoring in American Indian and Indigenous Studies. Originally from Greensboro, North Carolina, she grew up visiting endless museums and historic sites, developing a love of history that she now plans to turn into a career in public history. She is passionate about history as a collection of stories and looks forward to learning about the preservation of personal experiences through oral histories.
Mina Yakubu is a first-year undergraduate student from Wilmington, North Carolina. She intends to double major in Political Science and African, African-American, and Diaspora Studies. Mina was first introduced to oral history in a seminar taught by Professor Rachel Seidman called Oral History and Women’s Activism in the South. She has since become interested in oral history because of its ability to give individuals a platform to share and preserve their history. Mina is excited to learn about the process of collecting oral history and looks forward to gaining experience in the field.