Stephen F. Austin State University

Oral History & Memory

The Public History program has had numerous opportunities to work on oral historians and in the field of memory studies. This section presents individual student's work and class's project(s) as they pertaining to respective partner institutions and/or projects.

African American Community (Lufkin)

During the summer of 2012, Lufkin community leader Reverend Bettie Kennedy graciously agreed to work with graduate students enrolled in an SFA Public History graduate seminar on oral history taught by Dr. Paul J. P. Sandul by providing interviewees and support. The project also represents a unique opportunity for oral history to play a role in fostering a broader community identity for the Lufkin African American community in general and for all East Texas residents regardless of race. To hear the interviews, read transcripts, and learn more, go to the project hosted by the Center for Regional Heritage Research.

African American Heritage Project (Nacogdoches)

The Nacogdoches African American Heritage Project (AAHP) began in 1988 as a collaborative project by the Center for East Texas Studies and the Department of History at SFASU and the Black Heritage Association of Nacogdoches. The AAHP received a Texas Oral History Association Community Award for its work in 2006. Since then it has continued to expand and grow and the oral history segment is now supported by the Center for Regional Heritage Research (CRHR). The project's archival materials relating to the project are housed at the East Texas Research Center.

African American Education, Archives, and History Program (Dallas)

The African American Education Archives and History Program is a project of the African American Museum of Dallas. As a part of a collaborative effort from summer 2009 through summer 2013 between the African American Museum in Dallas, the Center for Regional Heritage Research, and the Department of History, History graduate assistants transcribed interviews conducted with educators and activists in Dallas County between 2004 and 2013. Dr. Beisel worked with the museum's Archives and Oral History Program committee to create develop a website using Omeka to make these primary sources available to the public. Special thanks go out to Dr. Alfred Roberts for his support and making this a successful collaboration. In April 2010, we received an award for this work.
African American Museum Award, April 2010

Dr. Bobby H. Johnson Oral History Collection, ETRC

Housed in the East Texas Research Center, the Dr. Bobby H. Johnson Oral History Collection represents a career of historic research and tenacious interviewing by the former History Department Professor. Dr. Johnson's interviews have been an excellent collection to utilize as we introduce students to the successes and failures of interviewing and the transcribing process. The topics include World War One, the Great Depression, World War Two, Stephen F. Austin State University, the timber industry, East Texas, and the New London School Explosion. Please note that this collection includes over two hundred interviews and we have been transcribing a few more each year since Spring 2006.

City of Nacogdoches Preserve America Grant & Dept. of History Workshop

The following materials were compiled by Dr. Sandul and Dr. Beisel for an Oral History Workshop on June 25, 2010 at SFASU that was free and open to the public. Dr. Bobby H. Johnson, oral historian extraordinaire, gave a very well received mid-day talk. We had 32 attendees. This workshop was co-sponsored by the Department of History and the City of Nacogdoches's Preserve America Grant.

Charlie Wilson Oral History Project, ETRC

U.S. Representative Charlie Wilson served in Congress from 1973 until 1996. Best known for his support of the Afghan Mujahideen against the Soviet Union, Representative Wilson was a popular politician in his home region of East Texas. Wilson's official papers are available at the East Texas Research Center and they served as the basis of journalist Geroge Crile III's 2003 biography of Wilson, Charle Wilson's War. The official Charlie Wilson Oral History Project is hosted by the Center for Regional Heritage Research.

Collections Management Spring 2012 - Charlie Wilson Exhibit
Charlie Wilson OH Project March 25, 2011
All photographs by Dr. Perky Beisel

Texas Oral History Association

We are proud supporters of the Texas Oral History Association. Dr. Beisel has served on the board of TOHA for several years. In 2014 we hosted the annual conference here at SFA. In 2015, thanks to the support of the East Texas Historical Association, Dr. Sosebee and Dr. Beisel took several students to the TOHA annual conference in Commerce. We look forward to seeing you in Waco for 2016!
Texas Oral History Association Annual Conference April 2015
Dr. Scott Sosebee and Dr. Perky Beisel took students in their undergraduate Texas History and Introduction to Public History courses to attend the TOHA Conference at Texas A&M - Commerce in April 2015. Special thanks to the East Texas Historical Association for the van and dinner!