Brooke Bryan Co-leads Trans-disciplinary Oral History & Digital Humanities Initiative
Antioch College is proud to announce that Brooke Bryan, instructor of cooperative education, is co-directing a new Oral History in the Liberal Arts (OHLA) project. The project was recently awarded a significant three-year grant by the Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) Expanding Collaboration Initiative, which is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Bryan is co-directing the project with Dr. Ric Sheffield, legal studies and sociology professor at Kenyon College. With a steering committee of 10 GLCA faculty and instructional staff, they will provide faculty resources like micro-grants and training opportunities to GLCA-affiliated institutions. Their mission is to support and inspire innovative, community-engaged undergraduate teaching through oral history and digital storytelling, using open source tools that visualize, sync and provide search mechanisms for online collections of audio and video narrative.
“Integrating tools from the digital humanities into undergraduate research and collaborative projects brings immediacy, relevance and a real audience for student work,” Bryan said. “It’s an exciting and meaningful way to engage the themes of our curriculum.”
Bryan said framing oral history as a turn-key qualitative research method allows instructors to activate key aspects of critical thinking and integrative learning, through an emphasis on ethical practice, development of careful questions, and careful interpretation and sharing of people’s stories.
“It’s a tactical approach to broad liberal arts learning,” she said.
The OHLA steering committee first gathered in 2014 as a response to calls for more participatory and experiential ways of learning on the small, teaching-focused campuses of GLCA. Along with future OHLA-affiliated faculty, they will curate best practices, technology stacks and theory for faculty seeking replicable “high impact” models for “undergraduate research, scholarly and creative activities” (URSCA).
Greg Wegner, GLCA’s Director of Program Development, said OHLA represents “an extraordinary convergence of vision and experience” that will bring the practice of oral history to GLCA member colleges.
“The combined strengths of this team exhibit a strong potential for creating a signature program of lasting impact that will provide opportunities for faculty professional development,” he said, “and offer students an important avenue for experiential education in a liberal arts context.”
About the Great Lakes Colleges Association
Founded in 1962, the GLCA is a non-profit organization governed by 13 selective liberal arts colleges in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Its purpose is to strengthen and extend education in the tradition of the liberal arts and sciences. GLCA often works conjointly with similar associations of liberal arts colleges to enhance the strength and vitality of member institutions. In addition to Antioch, the members of GLCA are Albion, Allegheny, DePauw, Denison, Earlham, Hope, Kalamazoo, Kenyon, Oberlin, Ohio Wesleyan, Wabash and Wooster.