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.

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

Watch Dr. Aluli on Long Story Short tonight on PBS Hawaiʻi. We are also interviewing Dr. Aluli for our Kahoʻolawe Aloha ʻĀina Movement oral history project.

PBS Hawai‘i on Twitter

“Dr. Aluli admits his personal mission to restore the health of Kahoʻolawe, and the health of Molokaʻi’s people. Hear more by watching L...

Hear from Mauro Plateros who was recently featured on @hiconversation on a segment discussing the Hanapepe Massacre. Here Plateros recounts the early tensions between Visayan and Ilocano plantation workers during the 1924 strike that led to 16 Filipino laborers being killed.

#Oralhistory results from interactions btw interviewee & interviewer, & intersubjectivities of that relationship. Liz Strong experienced variations of this dynamic over 9 months of pregnancy, which she shares in this post about interviewing while pregnant

The Intersubjectivities of Interviewing and Pregnancy

All oral history interviews result from the interaction between interviewee and interviewer, and the intersubjectivities within that relationship. Ora...

I learned last night that a wonderful, kind soul I was scheduled to interview has passed away. Please collect your family stories now before it’s too late. RIP Mr. DeCabooter #oralhistory

Happy Halloween, spoopy friends! Marion Lee Loy was interviewed about her experiences as a public school teacher in Hawaiʻi. She recounted an encounter with night marchers while teaching at Kohala. 👻 Read more here:

Publish or perish...or #podcast? We know there are many people passionate about history who aren’t researchers. Our interpretive materials enable us to share pivotal moments in #history that our collection can illuminate. Read the director’s column.

OHC Director's Column, October 2019

by Martin Meeker @MartinDMeeker Recording, transcribing, and making oral histories accessible represents only a portion of the work that we do a...

Also in featured is a story on the Hanapepe Massacre with excerpts from an oral history we conducted in 1978. If you missed it yesterday, you can listen here!

The Conversation on Twitter

“If you've ever made it to the House or Senate Chambers at the State Capitol, you likely noticed one of two massive tapestries hanging in either...

2 great talks this Thursday, October 31! "Competing Images of Four Nineteenth Century Native Hawaiian Pastors," Nancy J. Morris, Librarian Emerita at UHM Library, at Noon in Kuykendall 409A and "Translating Palestine," YOUSEF ALJAMAL in Kuykendall 410 from 3-4:15 pm

Applications are due in two weeks! This may be the final round for the north shore field school, so please consider applying! "New narrators, and perhaps some of our previous narrators, have much more to share," as the oral histories wrap up. Donʻt miss this opportunity!