In Our Own Words: Deaf Perspectives in Oral History and Public History

Tuesday, December 8, 2020 | 6:00 – 7:00 PM EST

The program recording can be viewed on YouTube.

On May 12, 2020, five Deaf New Yorkers participated in a panel to share their experiences during the beginning phases of the pandemic (available here). This discussion was important for capturing and sharing their experiences as Deaf (and women, BIPOC, etc) individuals during that time. It also offered ways in which Deaf cultural life in particular can be helpful during this ongoing global crisis. Public historians are some of the people documenting and seeking to engage the public with diverse experiences of the pandemic and the renewed protests for racial/social justice. This program – a 1 hour Zoom conversation – brings Deaf people into this conversation, both as individuals sharing their experiences and as collaborators throughout the curation/interpretation process. In particular, the panelists will address how oral history interviews should be handled when interviewing Deaf community members. What are some considerations when planning and conducting Deaf oral histories? How can Deaf perspectives, storytelling culture, and interviewing practices push oral history beyond the approaches that bias the hearing/aural? How can oral historians and public historians incorporate or center Deaf narratives in public engagement, particularly when documenting and creating programming about this current moment?


Nicki Pombier


Carlos Aponte-Salcedo
Brianna DiGiovanni
Alexandria Pucciarelli

Sponsored by the National Council on Public History, the Drs. John S. & Betty J. Schuchman Deaf Documentary Center at Gallaudet University, the Public History Program at American University, and the Oral History Association.