Documenting Veteran Histories

A United States flag fliesTo help tell the stories of American veterans, Carolina undergraduate students will combine archival research and future-forward technical skills in a hands-on history course.

Hooper Schultz, history Ph.D. student and UNC Southern Futures Townsend Fellow, instructs the Undergraduate Oral History Internship and Seminar, a class presented by the Southern Oral History Program (SOHP) in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Each semester, Schultz’s students are immersed in oral histories — audio interviews focused on personal accounts of historical events. In class, students explore oral history theory, methodology and ethics alongside technical skills needed to share the histories with the public, including website coding.

They then put their course knowledge into practice by contributing to a public humanities project.

Next spring, that project will be “After the War,” a digital exhibition highlighting veterans’ experiences once they have returned home from serving their country.

Schultz’s students will shed light on that question through their coursework. They’ll start by familiarizing themselves with the SOHP’s existing oral history archives, one of the largest in the country.

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