Oral History Class Preserves History, Promotes Community

Arizona State University News (Phoenix, AZ) , May 21, 2009


Save Our Stories (SOS) is a new Communication Studies degree course in Arizona State University’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. Designed to preserve the stories of a diverse community while teaching students communication skills and research applications, the SOS course is directed by Meg McConnaughy, who is also the director of the Department of Communication Studies’ Communication Assessment Learning lab (CALL) at ASU’s West campus.

“Community embeddedness and community support are effective only when there is an understanding its members, including those who have come before,” says McConnaughy. “By connecting our students with Valley residents to share and record inspiring stories and personal histories that offer insight and hope for the future, we become more deeply involved with the community.

“Students develop an appreciation for the variety of stories available throughout the community.”

“Storytelling is an ancient tradition of human interaction and interpretation of events that reflect perceptions, sensibilities and values,” says McConnuaghy, who is working to build partnerships throughout the Valley that will help provide a source of storytellers. “Oral history is a significant part of human interaction and ensures cultural survival.”

Subjects Covered: diversity, education

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