Your Research Essay is due no later than Wednesday, May 12 at 8:00 p.m. PDT. Please turn it in to our Sakai Drop Box. The file should be saved as a PDF named “YourLastName(s)-FINAL.pdf” (mine would be “SummersSandoval-FINAL.pdf”).

The essay should meet the specifications as described in the updated “Writing Guidelines” and in the posted “Citations” document.

After you turn in your essay, please submit one more journal assignment (no later than Thursday, May 13 at 8:00 p.m. PDT. This is a short journal entry, one you may label “FINAL Journal.” All I ask you do is respond to the following prompt:

A year after taking a class, we lose most of what we learned. Assuming you could only retain one thing from this class, what would it be? Why?

It’s been a pleasure working with you this semester. I hope you all have a healthy and relaxing summer, and I hope to see you on campus in the fall.

WEEK 15 (el fin)

Welcome to the last week of the spring 2021 semester. That means we’ve also made it to the FINAL week of teaching & learning exclusively online. You are bearing witness to history–history that is also your story. May it never come to pass again…

Broadly speaking, the below work is all you need to do to wrap-up the semester:

• complete your interview transcripts and quote journal write-up
• complete and mail your paperwork (in the provided envelope)
• write and turn in your Research Essay (due Wednesday, May 12)
• write your final journal assignment (to be posted Monday)

We’ll have a workshop on the draft introductions to our paper when we gather together on Monday. Between now and Friday morning at 8:00 a.m. PDT, you should email your draft introduction to the two other students in your group. Then, read the two drafts sent to you and prepare your thoughts completing the following two sentences:

1. I think your argument is _________.
2. One thing I like about your introduction is _______.

You’ll share your thoughts with the authors (and listen to them share theirs with you) in the structured workshop on Monday.

REMINDER: Instead of using Zoom, we’ll meet using SpatialChat. You’ll find your group assignment for the workshop AND the SpatialChat link for class in the email titled “Citation attachment (and intro groups),” sent to you on 4/28.

For our last class we’ll gather to play a game and complete course evaluations. We’ll meet using our regular Zoom meeting ID.

Be well until then!

WEEK 14???

Can it be week 14 already? Indeed it is, and while that might cause your stress levels to elevate a bit, let’s stay focused on the fact that this massively different and challenging academic year is but a small handful of assignments away from ending. You got this!! Now let’s help each other wrap it up.

For class on MONDAY, I am making one small change to our schedule. Instead of two readings, please just read “Whose Public? Whose History? What Is the Goal of a Public Historian?,” by Ron Grele [15_Grele.pdf]. This will be our last course reading, and it’s a chance for us to talk about some of the things I think are very important to the intersection worlds of oral history and Chicanx/Latinx Studies.

We’ll discuss the reading a bit and use the remainder of our time to talk about the papers. We’ll start with looking at some new links to resources posted to our Schedule page (they will be posted by Sunday night). We’ll also workshop how to approach the history paper, how you might write an introduction, and how you footnote.

On WEDNESDAY, we’ll do more work on our papers. We’ll try to connect each other to useful work contained within the oral histories we recorded, and we’ll help each other with the introductions to our essays. You should try to have a rough draft of your intro, even if it’s very rough.

• Finish processing your 2nd oral history interview
• Mail your paperwork to profe in the provided stamped envelope
• Type up your 2 pages of quotes from interview 2
• Check out the new resources posted in the Schedule page (by Sunday night)

WEEK 13 (one-one-one)

We won’t have any regular class meetings this week so that I can meet individually with each of you to talk about your Research Essay assignments.

Please consult the posted schedule of meetings (I emailed you a link to it on Tuesday, April 13) to remind yourself what time you chose, and to get the login information. You can prepare by diving into some of the oral history research you’ve done and see what provisional ideas you have for a research question and thesis. As we discussed in class, let the oral histories be the source of your ideas–think “bottom up.”

WEEK 12 (interview 2)

Your main responsibility right now is to complete your second oral history interview. That includes all of the following:

• writing a journal entry on the interview experience (technically #6)
• complete interview paperwork (save to mail later)
• write and SEND your “thank you” card
• upload the audio file to the Dropbox account link
• prepare and turn in the transcript of your interview
• write up a sample of quotes with one paragraph of analysis

The same formatting and processing rules we followed for the first go around for each of the above tasks are the same this time around.


Monday, April 12: regular class meeting
Wednesday, April 14: optional class meeting

As reflected above, this week we’re making a change the schedule that is posted on our syllabus. We will meet on Monday at our regular time and place. We’ll spend that time having a workshop on our final papers.

On Wednesday we will have an optional class meeting at the regular time and place. During that time you can work on any work you have to complete, related to our class. We’ll practice a special timed work strategy for the 75 minute period. If you need it, you’ll also have an opportunity to have a one-on-one meeting with profe.

If you are completed with all the work related to you second interview, your only remaining task is to write a journal entry providing a selection of quotes from the transcript of your interview and one paragraph (at the end) providing some general analysis. Just as before, the entire entry should be no more than 2 pages (with double spaces between each excerpt and again before your paragraph).


The next few weeks are all about our research process. We’ll be working to complete the “work” of our second oral history and prepare all the necessary documents to make them archivable and usable to us in the present. While the work we do might seem individual, we are working as a collective. Keep that in mind as you need help or as others might need help from you.

Once you have your oral histories completed, then what? This week we’ll do some reading and workshopping on the interpretation and analysis component of our oral history work. This is the work that takes an oral history “document” and brings it into a historical discussion so that we (and others) can learn from and with it.

We’ll start on Monday by reading two articles that can help us with the process. The first is “Learning to Listen: Interview techniques and analyses,” by Kathryn Anderson and Dana C. Jack [13_AndersonJack.pdf]. The second is Mark Feldstein’s “Kissing Cousins: Journalism and Oral History” [14_Feldstein.pdf]. Come prepared to discuss your thoughts on both.

On Wednesday we will work as a group and do some “learning by doing.” We’ll listen to some oral history clips and–as a class–practice interpreting and analyzing meaning from them.

And be sure to email me when you feel you’re ready for your second contact!

WEEK 10!!

Double digits! Welcome to week 10. Your spring semester is finally a tween!

This week we will do the same thing on Monday and Wednesday as we devote an entire week to researching the economic profile of Latinx America. This should also give you some time to catch up and complete the work of your first oral interview. (See last week’s post for more details.)

To conduct this research, each of you has been assigned an issue of Hispanic Economic Outlook. (If you forgot the issue you were assigned, visit our password-protected Schedule page and scroll down to this week.) Your job is to read the issue and to pull out any important or useful information that might impact or inform our collective research.

You will write up your findings as your Journal Entry 7. This entry doesn’t have to have any narrative or analysis–you don’t even have to use complete sentences! Think of it as the notes you take from each article in the issue you cover, notes that will be shared with your classmates. In bold, provide the full citation of the article, including the complete page range. Then, underneath the citation, provide a list (you can even use bullet points) of quotes or short (one line) paraphrases of information from the reading. Be sure to note the page number where the information comes from by simply putting the page number in parentheses at the end of each line of notes.

In class, we will spend most of time learning from each other as you present your findings to the colectiva. This doesn’t have to be a super rehearsed kind of presentation. That is, you don’t have to read it from a script or anything like that. You might want to share your notes or a slide version of them for reference, but you can basically talk us through your findings. We’ll save time for the rest of us to ask you questions, too, so be ready for that.

We’ll use a random number generator to decide who goes when. Whoever we don’t get to on Monday will go during Wednesday’s class. We’ll also use some of the class time on both days preparing for our second interviews by distributing contacts to those that do not yet have them.

Please continue to share advice on how we can have a better second interview by posting a comment to this post. We become better oral historians the more we do it as we learn from our experience. Right now we have the chance to learn from each other as well as ourselves. So share!


We’re firmly in the research process now, conducting our first interviews and processing them for archival storage. That right there is your main goal right now: to record and process your first interview.

What should I be focusing on right now?

• write Journal Entry 4 on the interview experience
• complete interview paperwork (save to mail later)
• write and send your “thank you” card
• upload the audio file to the provided link
• prepare and turn in your transcript
• prepare and turn in Journal Entry 6 (see below)

Wait, what did you say about transcription again?

• follow the format of the posted sample
–single space with extra space between paragraphs
–bold your voice and titles
–use punctuation consistently to represent the speech
–use [brackets] to say things that are not verbal
• check out Express Scribe (free version) to help
• save your transcript as a single PDF
• name the PDF the last name of the interviewee
• turn in the PDF to Sakai Dropbox

We’ll use Monday’s class time to catch up with the work we’re doing. During class, I will meet with each of you one-on-one using the breakout rooms.

If you’re done with your transcript, the next assignment task you have before you is Journal Entry 6. That is no more than 2 pages of quotes from your transcript and one paragraph of general analysis of them. Select quotes that you find especially rich, complex, interesting, powerful–whatever! In your paragraph of analysis, try t give us some sense of what we can learn through and from this oral history.

On Wednesday we will read and discuss just two parts of a much larger 2020 report, State of Immigrants in LA County. The two sections are titled “Demographics” and “Civic Engagement” and they’re provided to you as 12_USC.pdf.

I’ll also pass out your contact information for your second oral interview.

Be safe, be well, and take care until then…

WEEK 8 (after break)

Happy spring break! I know it might not be a typical break, but I hope it’s a safe and restful one nonetheless. Whatever you do, I hope you find the time to recharge and refocus for the remaining half of the semester.

If you have any questions about the interview process, or if you have any advice for your classmates related to any aspect of the process, feel free to share either as a comment to this post.


I have mailed a large envelope of things to each of you at the address you provided. Please read the directions I’ve enclosed very carefully.
You’ve each been assigned a person for your first oral interview. Your goal is to complete all the following by March 22:

• contact your interviewee and schedule an interview;
• add their address and other info to the CONTACT sheet;
• conduct your oral interview;
• do some rough journaling about the interview;
• complete the Bio Data form;
• create and save the archival quality audio file;
• transcribe the interview;
• complete the Recording Log;
• return the forms to me (in the provided stamped envelope); and
• complete your Journal Entry 4 (on the interview experience).

Of course, you will also turn in the audio file and the transcript. We’ll review all of this when we meet again on Monday, March 15.

When we’ll return from the break, we’ll start learning a little more about the economic lives of Latinx Americans in 21st century.

For Monday’s class, we’ll read and discuss two online readings. The first is “Economic Progress of the Hispanic Community During the Obama Administration,” a 2016 issue brief written by Council of Economic Advisers (Obama Administration). It can be found here. The second is from the Center for American Progress, a policy and advocacy. Titled “When a Job Is Not Enough: The Latinx-White Wealth Gap,” the 2018 report can be found here.

For Wednesday, we’ll focus in on the impact of COVID on Latinx households and workers. We’ll do so by reading two pieces of economic research from Hispanic Economic Outlook, a regular publication from the American Society of Hispanic Economists.

The two pieces we’ll read are both provided to you as PDFs. They are Alfredo A. Romero’s “A Look into the Effects of COVID-19 on Hispanic Employment Expectations from the Household Pulse Survey,” [10_Romero.pdf] and “The differential impact of COVID19 on Latinas’ labor market experience” [11_Blanco-etal.pdf], by Luisa Blano, Mónica García-Pérez, and Marie T. Mora

Also for Wednesday, write a short journal entry (#5) on the two COVID studies. What is important in what they have to offer? What are some takeaways? How does this impact our work (if at all)?

WEEK 6 (Mar. 2 & 4)

Here we are, a week away from spring break and at the start of the research phase of our class. Between now and March 22 each of you will conduct an oral history; prepare it for archiving; transcribe it; journal about it; and turn everything in.

I’m sure you are feeling and will feel many emotions along the way. I hope one of them is an immense sense of reverence for the opportunity to learn about how another person makes sense of our world, and to preserve that record for posterity.



  • If you haven’t already, please email me with your preferred Google account so I can give you access to our shared “CONTACT” sheet.
  • Please complete the form (linked here) to share your mailing address with me.
  • While we have enough people to interview overall, you are more than welcome to identify and invite a person you think would make a good interview. Identifying folks to interview in relation to a larger project is a fun part of the oral history process. So I’d be remiss if I didn’t give you an opportunity to participate in that way.


On Monday we’ll read and discuss three readings: “Oral History Interviewing: The Good Interview,” by Ron Grele [07_Grele.pdf]; “Conducting Interviews,” by Donald Ritchie [08_Ritchie.pdf]; and “Why Call It Oral History? Some Ruminations From the Field,” also by Grele [09_Grele.pdf]. We’ll use these to talk a little more about what it is we are preparing to do, and how we can do it well.

We’ll also spend time workshopping our individual “interview guides.” Please work on yours more between now and Monday, identifying and organizing your topical areas and writing questions that inspire story on those topics. As we discussed, pay some attention to creating two or three “concluding questions,” a final question you can ask that gives one parting opportunity for meaning-making and sharing.

To help you with your interview guide I’ve shared the one from last class with you. A link to it and other important documents can be found in our Schedule page.

On Wednesday, we’ll learn how to do some basic functions using Audacity. Audacity is free (and open-source) audio editing and creation software. You can download it here. Please do so and install it on your computer.

We’ll spend the rest of our time finalizing our interview guides and, of course, giving each of you the contact information for your first interview.