CCOHR Contact & People

The Columbia Center for Oral History-Research is directed by Mary Marshall Clark.


To learn more about the Columbia Center for Oral History contact

CCOHR Active Projects

Summer Institute

Each summer in New York City, CCOHR sponsors an annual Summer Institute, which brings together oral historians, scholars, activists, and others for two weeks of advanced training in the theory and practice of oral history. Participants work with world-class instructors, network with oral historians from around the world and go to exhibits in New York City. Each year we focus on a different theme.

The 2015 Summer Institute will be held June 15 to June 26, 2015. The Application will open on January 15 and priority acceptance will be given to those who apply prior to February 28, 2015. More about the 2015 theme, which connects oral history to population health, will be provided when the application opens.   

The 2015 Application Opens January 15, 2015


2014, Second Generation Memories and Stories
This program explored the ways in which memories are formed and transmitted through family, cultural, political and social frames and experiences. Other areas of exploration included were how communities are reshaped and strengthened by oral traditions of telling stories about the past.

2013, Telling the World: Indigenous Memories, Rights, and Narratives
This year’s institute explored the political, cultural, psychological, ethical and personal dimensions of documenting urban injury and recovery.

2012What is Remembered: Life Story Approaches in Human Rights Contexts
This year’s institute s explored the methodological and theoretical implications of doing life story research with individuals who have suffered human rights abuses and other forms of discrimination. 

2011Rethinking 9/11: Life Stories, Cultural Memory and the Politics of Representation
This year’s institute s explored the political, cultural, psychological, ethical and personal dimensions of documenting urban injury and recovery.

2010, Oral History from the Ground Up: Space, Place, Memory.
This year’s institute examined the meaning that space, place and memory hold in producing individual, social, cultural and political narratives.

2009, Narrating the Body: Oral History, Narrative and Embodied Practice
This year’s program explored issues, stories and performances tracing the history of the body, as well as oral history as an embodied practice.

2008, Oral History, Advocacy and the Law
This year’s program explored the parallel uses of oral history and legal testimony in the classical definition of advocacy as “finding and giving” voice, and looked at human rights commissions, tribunals and oral history documentation.

2007Telling the World: Oral History, Struggles for Justice and Human Rights Dialogues
This year’s program explored how oral history theory and method contribute to an understanding of the political, historical and personal dimensions of human rights dialogues. Joining us in the creation of this year’s program was the International Center for Transitional Justice.

2006, Women's Narratives, Women's Lives: Intersections of Gender and Memory
This year’s program featured presentations on such topics of gender and memory in illness and activist narratives.

2005, Living to Tell: Narrating Catastrophe through Oral History
This year’s program focused on the challenges of using oral history to document catastrophe in its immediate aftermath and beyond.

2004, Constructions of Race and Ethnicity from Past to Present: Negotiating Collective Memories through Oral History
This year’s program focused on the role of oral history in creating and critiquing representations of race and ethnicity in collective memory, popular culture and individual life narratives.