Center for Oral History

Celebrating Community Knowledge for Social Change

The Center for Oral History (COH), in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, collects, documents, preserves and highlights the recollections of Native Hawaiians and the multi-ethnic people of Hawaiʻi. It produces oral histories and interpretive historical materials about lifeways, key historic events, social movements and Hawaiʻi’s role in the globalizing world, for the widest possible use.

COH was first established in 1976 by the Hawaiʻi State Legislature as a part of the Social Science Research Institute in the College of Social Sciences at UH Mānoa. COH also develops books, articles, podcasts, and videos based on oral histories, serves as a resource center for oral history materials, and trains groups and individuals in oral history research.

Save the date: On February 27 we will presenting some of our most recent oral histories!

Ethnic Studies Spring 2020 Event Schedule now online @ !!

In this episode, Native artists from around the Pacific Northwest not only share tales of folklore, but their thoughts on how #storytelling is another "information tool" for the modern world. "

Tradition is the key to progress for these Native storytellers

In an age of technology and speedy progress, traditions can even be seen as a roadblock towards change and societal growth. But according to the speak...

In this article, environmental historian K. Jan Oosthoek reflects on the importance of #oralhistory unconvering complete narratives of #environmental histories that include individual voices and stories ignored by dominant narratives.

The Role of oral history in environmental history

Article discussing the oral history as a research tool for environmental historians.

Catherine Cruz mentions a call-in during our women in pineapple🍍oral history program as her most memorable moment. It was a powerful moment and also the most memorable for us listening in. Listen here:

UHM students! Please consider enrolling in this online course for the Spring 2020 semester! Both undergraduate and graduate students, from artists to coders are welcome. Previous projects have resulted in a national award and a peer-reviewed journal article. Build your portfolio!

Today is National Hard Candy Day & we have an #OralHistory for you. Entrepreneur & bartender Jennifer Colliau compares making hard candy to developing new cocktails. Read about the rise of Bay Area #cocktail culture, bar community & more. #History

Important: Groundswell Needs Your Help! We are in the midst of a major transition & we may close our doors. We turn to you, our #oralhistory community, for ideas on how to move forward. Please fill out this short survey and share your thoughts: Thank you!

An interdisciplinary team at UH Mānoa was recently awarded a NSF grant to address sea level rise in Hawaiʻi. Part of the research involves ORAL HISTORY and other ethnographic methods. Position from Jan 15, - Dec. 31, 2020. Contact us for more information!

Feeling festive this Aloha Friday!

TODAY from 12 NOON to 1:15 in Kuykendall 409A. #BrownBagBiography Tom Coffman with discuss his book Tadaima! I Am Home: A Transnational Family History. See you there.

You are also invited to work on a digital oral history project in this course!

UHM students - consider taking this hands-on, make-your-own Internet type of class that explores the way digital media create, maintain, and socially mediate race and ethnicity in both old and new ways. No coding or web development required!

Native communities around the world are indispensable #storytellers, paving the way for oral historians today. We want to celebrate scholar Dr. Nepia Mahuika on his new book, Rethinking Oral History and Tradition: An Indigenous Perspective

Rethinking Oral History and Tradition

Indigenous peoples have our own ways of defining oral history. For many, oral sources are shaped and disseminated in multiple forms that are more cult...

TOMORROW Justyn Ah Chong, ʻĀina Paikai, and Richard Hamasaki are coming to Brown Bag Biography with their wonderful and award-winning short film "Down on the Sidewalk in Waikīkī" - Don't miss it! Kuykendall 410, Noon to 1:15, Tuesday, November 26.

Oral history provides the opportunity to explore intersubjectivity and positionality. Here, @danielcfisher shares his work with the @CJOHPdotorg centered in Toronto. The moving video excerpts from interviews below demonstrate shared authority in practice

Voices from the Chinese Jamaican Oral History Project

Oral history provides the opportunity to explore intersubjectivity and positionality. Here, Daniel Clarkson Fisher shares his work with the Chinese Ja...

Tiffany Lani Ing joins us this week to talk about her book "Reclaiming Kalākaua: Nineteenth-Century Perspectives on a Hawaiian Sovereign"--out now from @UHPRESSNEWS. Brown Bag on Thursday, Nov. 21 at noon

We're thrilled! Professor J. Kēhaulani Kauanui, American Studies & Anthropology, Wesleyan University will discuss: “From Identification to Disavowal: Engaging Feminism in the Work of Haunani-Kay Trask” at this Thursday's Brown Bag Biography, 11/14, noon to 1:15 in Kuykendall 410