Sound in Theory, Sound in Practice

I'm running a short workshop ("interlude") at Bard College's Sound Symposium, Sound in Theory, Sound in Practice

April 8, 2016, 2:30 PM. Register here and come say hello!


The procession was 23 cars long and took a full 46 minutes to loop through town, listening to the voices of six narrators. We landed at Basilica Hudson where Jeremy played the horn and we ate popsicles, talking to friends and loved ones of those who died. Thank you to everyone who made this possible.

Automotive Archive: a Roving Memorial

On August 23, I'll be producing a mobile sound installation in the form of a procession in Hudson, New York, in collaboration with Lauren Kelly, Robin Vachal, Sara Kendall, and Oral History Summer School participants.

You can read more, here.
Register your car, here.


I'll be speaking on Wednesday night (5/27), with Quintin Cross and Dorothy Heyl, as part of HQTBD's Talks #1 (Arts and This Place). 7:30 PM, Wednesday, Basilica Hudson's back gallery.

NEW WORKSHOPS! Oral History Summer School

OHSS is accepting applications for summer sessions. This summer, we're offering three workshops: Oral History Intensive, Collecting and Composing, and Memory Loss and Mixed Ability Interviewing. We'll be joined by a host of incredible guest instructors, whom you can read more about, here.

Oral History Winter School 2015

Eighteen winter school students braved January in upstate New York for two workshops: Shaking the Family Tree and Oral History & Radio. These workshops marked our first winter session. We visited Wave Farm, where the radio group broadcast their documentaries in-progress.

OHSS & Bard Human Rights Project

Oral History Summer School and Bard Human Rights Project present:
Agnes Umunna, at Bard on December 2, 6 PM

I'll be introducing Agnes, who will discuss how she uses radio and oral history in Liberia to broker conversations between victims and perpetrators and to begn the process of forgiveness and reconciliation

John DeLorean on Longreads

Longreads republished my article on John DeLorean, last week.

Oral History Winter School: 2 New Workshops!

Come sit by the fire at Oral History Winter School. Radio Doc workshop with Michael Garofalo (Storycorps Senior Producer) and Shaking the Family Tree with Oral History Summer School Founder/Director Suzanne Snider:
Early Bird registration price until November 25

Third Coast Audio Festival

Just got back from the Third Coast International Audio Festival in Chicago. I met a lot of talented radio producers and podcasters, and had the chance to facilitate an "unconferencing" session on oral history and radio: what can they offer one another?

Oral History Association Conference 2014

I'll be moderating a round table discussion about the use of storycircles in museum settings and community-based oral history projects, at the annual oral history conference in Madison, WI, on Oct 10

The Who The What The When

My essay, "Horace Wells" will appear in The Who, The What and the When, eds Julia Rothman and Jenny Vovolski, Chronicle Books, Fall 2014

Social Hall: an Oral History Exhibit

I worked with graduate students at Columbia University Oral History Masters program, to develop multimedia and performative approaches to oral history. We exhibited our work on May 1, 5 to 8 PM

Movement Research Performance Journal

My primer on oral history for performers is out in this month's Movement Research Peformance Journal, a happy marriage for me of two great loves.

Oral History Summer School 2014

OHSS 2014 Workshops are open for registration! Come all ye budding oral historians and those interested in advanced issues in the field. Guest artists and instructors include:
Michael Garofalo
Radio Producer, Storycorps
Sarah Kramer
Journalist, New York Times, NPR, HBO, PBS
Jen Karady
Artist/Photographer, Soldiers’ Stories From Iraq and Afghanistan
Eugenie Mukeshimana
Founder/Director, Genocide Survivors Support Network
For more information:

Fieldwork II

I'm pleased to be teaching at Columbia University, this semester, as a guest lecturer in the OHMA (Oral History Masters Program), which is part of INCITE: Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics.

Oral History Summer School 2013

We had 53 students come through our summer school, in June! Here are our fabulous Oral History Intensive students. This year, we also had workshops on archiving, radio doc, trauma, and doc film. We're already looking forward to 2014. If you want to join our mailing list, go to or send an email to

Architectural Interventions

I'm proud to be part of this collaboration between Matt Bua and Max Goldfarb. I wrote about y2k communities.

Always Apprentices, a Believer Book

My interview with Lawrence Schiller is included in The Believer's new book, Always Apprentices. Looking forward to reading everyone's work!

Q and A: The Art of the Interview

Q and A: The Art of the Interview
Presented by Yaddo and Oral History Summer School
Saturday, March 30, 2pm
Hudson Opera House
with Jennifer Karady, Illya Szilak, Gary Wallace; moderated by Suzanne Snider

How does a successful interview between doctor and patient differ from that of a police officer and a suspect, or a journalist and source? We'll hear from four experts whose work relies on artful interviews, exploring how social and professional conventions determine the shape and content of our conversations. This program is presented in cooperation with the Corporation of Yaddo, with support from the Hudson River Bank and Trust Co. Foundation. Yaddo is the artists colony located in Saratoga Springs, New York. In 2012, the Foundation funded a residency at Yaddo for Suzanne Snider.

Jennifer Karady has been working with American veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to create staged narrative photographs that both depict their individual stories and address their difficulties in adjusting to civilian life. The first half of “Soldier's Stories from Iraq and Afghanistan” debuted in a solo exhibition at SF Camerawork in San Francisco; the project was subsequently featured in The New York Times and on National Public Radio. Previous solo exhibitions include White Columns and The Print Center in Philadelphia. She made two photographs with veterans while at Yaddo during the summers of 2008 and 2009.

Dr. Illya Szilak, based in Hudson, practices internal medicine at Columbia Memorial Hospital and is an infectious disease specialist. She attended Cornell Weil University Medical College, with a residency at New York Hospital. Dr. Szilak also writes multimedia novels, including Reconstructing Mayakovsky, a jury pick for the Japan Media Arts Festival. Her latest book, Queerskins, is about a young gay physician who dies of AIDS at the beginning of the epidemic. A crowd sourced version will launch in summer 2013. She also blogs on electronic lit and art for the Huffington Post.

Lt. Gary R. Wallace began his work in law enforcement in 1972 as a military policeman and later a plain clothes investigator. In 2006, he retired from the Hudson (NY) Police Department after 27 years and works today as a Columbia County deputy sheriff in the security division and as bus driver for the Hudson City School District. “In the criminal justice profession, you see the cross-section of life,” he said. “At times you’re a priest, and other times you’re a psychiatrist. You could deliver a baby in the morning and be arresting a felon in the afternoon.” Prior to his work in Hudson, Wallace worked in the police forces of Philmont and Greenport.

Suzanne Snider is a writer whose work has been published in The Guardian, The Believer, The Washington Post, Legal Affairs, Guernica, and several artists' catalogues. She has worked as an oral historian and interviewer for numerous projects, companies, and archives including:HBO Productions, MoMA, Columbia University's Center for Oral History, the Newtown Creek Health and Harms Narrative Project, WGXC Community Radio, and the Prison Public Memory Project. In addition to Yaddo, Suzanne’s work has been supported through fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Radcliffe Institute, the Sloan Foundation, and the UCross Foundation Center. She teaches at the New School University, and is currently completing a book about a divided commune. She is the founder and director of Oral History Summer School.

Oral History Summer School 2013, Dates and Details

This immersive summer workshop is a rigorous introduction to the field of Oral History, in the beautiful Hudson Valley.

Oral History Summer School was established in Hudson, New York in 2012 to train an international group of writers, social workers, radio producers, artists, teachers, human rights workers, and undecided’s to make use of Oral History in their documentary and artistic practices.

Beginning in 2013, additional, specialized workshops will be offered for the continuing oral historian or those interested in advanced issues in the field.

Prison Public Memory Project

In 2011 and 2012, I conducted seven interviews for the Prison Public Memory Project and took portraits of the narrators. The first group of interviews was centered on the Hudson Corrections Facility, which was formerly the New York State Training School for Girls. The project has launched their site and blog.

THE BELIEVER: Interview with Allyson Strafella

My interview with artist Allyson Strafella is out this month, in the Believer.

Oral History and Public Health, Columbia University

OHA: "Own Stories"

Delivered: my paper on Benjamin Botkin, the Lomaxes, repatriation of sound and modern-day song collecting.

BOMB: Interview with DD Dorvillier

My interview with DD Dorvillier is up on BOMBlog. Go see her work at The Kitchen, September 26-30

Lecture: Oral History and Public Health

On December 6, I'll be speaking at Columbia University, as part of a lectures series tied to the Masters in Oral History program. I'll be talking about Oral History and Public Health.

Experiments in Oral History

I'll be teaching a new grad seminar at the New School, this fall: an experiment about experiments.

Voices from the Radical Feminist Press at Schlesinger Library

The first 16 interviews from Women in Print: Voices from the Radical Feminist Press and Print Shops arrived safely at the Schlesinger Library. Available soon.

Read more about the Schlesinger Library and the Radcliffe Institute, here
More about the oral history project, here.

Interview with DD Dorvillier

I'll be interviewing DD Dorvillier about her upcoming piece at The Kitchen (DD Dorvillier / human future dance corps: Danza Permanente), September 2012, for BOMBlog


Judd Foundation/Oral History Summer School 2012

On July 15, the Judd Foundation, in partnership with Oral History Summer School 2012, will present "Marfa Voices," a documentary rooted in oral histories about the life of Donald Judd. Filmmaker Rainer Judd will be present for Q and A after the film.

Oral History Association, Song Collecting in the Classroom

In the fall, I'll be delivering a paper at the National Oral History Association's annual conference on the subject of song collection in the classroom. My talk will cover a number of subjects, including distinctions between ethnomusicology and folklore, the Lomaxes,  and musical repatriation.

MoMA Training

Next week, I'll be running a training at MoMA for museum curators and international fellows. I'll be spending two days with the group, teaching them how to interview, as part of a global initiative that involves interviews with artists and curators around the world.

Oral History Summer School 2012, July 13-22

Oral History Summer School: July 13-22, 2012
This immersive summer workshop will be a rigorous introduction to the field of Oral History, in the beautiful Hudson Valley.

Come all ye budding oral historians, radio documentarians, writers, filmmakers, media advocates, and photographers who wish to make of use of oral history in your practices. Over the course of eight days, we will cover interview techniques, project design, recording tutorials, archival practices, and ethics, along with special topics related to the field. This is a great opportunity to jump-start a project in a supportive environment, or to get this training under your belt for future projects, with the benefit of deadlines and critique.

Triple Canopy: Healing

I had a chance to visit Flaghouse Headquarters, last week, as research for my upcoming piece in Triple Canopy on rehabilitation. Here, I'm wearing a compression vest.

BOMBlog, Interview with Yvonne Meier, Part One

SS Was that your first improvisational performance?
YM Yes, it was. When I was 13, I went to the Opera House Ballet School until I was 15, and then I discovered Jazz. I went to the first Jazz dance class in Switzerland, in Zurich. The teacher’s name was Daisy Stern and she was doing some strange technique. Everyone wore boots with heels. It wasn’t Jazz Ballet; they called it Jazz dance. It was Luigi technique.
SS Boots and heels?
YM Yes, but my calves were too fat so I never fit in any boots, so I was just like wearing some funny jazz dance shoes.
SS Were your parents supportive when you started getting serious?
YM They paid for the classes, but they didn’t think I was going to pursue this, professionally. There was nobody we knew . . . nobody in Switzerland could professionally pursue dance, being a dancer.
SS What did your parents do?
YM My Dad was a CEO for a potato chips company and my mother was a housewife and before that, she was a secretary. Nobody was an artist. Nobody was a performer anywhere in sight.
[click on the title for the full piece]

BOMBlog, Interview with Yvonne Meier, Part One

SS What were the challenges in reconstructing the piece?
YM I forgot the choreography. I had some video shots that I watched over and over, about five minutes. I interviewed everybody to see what they remembered, like DD [Dorvillier] and Scotty [Heron], which was basically nothing. Audrey Kindred remembered things. She had this great description of how she would lead the audience into movement, in that one section which is definitely improvised. I brought her in and she gave a speech to the whole 2011 cast of how to lead the audience.
SS What other fragments did people remember?
YM DD felt like she was doing coke when she performed. She was so fantastic. She was incredible to work with, incredible, but she also made out with people in the boxes, which I never knew until later on. I met a person who said, “I was in this crazy performance of yours and somebody just kissed me or made out with me in a box.” I’m like, What?!
[click on the title, for the full piece]

Academic Leave

I'm on academic leave for spring '12. Gone fishing/art-making! Happy New Year

Interview with Yvonne Meier, BOMBLOG

My interview with Yvonne Meier will be out on Bomb's wonderful blog, in mid-January. Catch her in the American Realness Festival!

Interview with Eve Sussman

I have an interview with Eve Sussman in the next issue of Guernica, late Jan/early Feb.

Oral History Workshop

I'll be teaching a workshop on oral history and radio at the Catskill WGXC studio, this Saturday (Jan 7), from 12 to 3 PM.


I'll be reading from my work-in-progress, "The Revival," on October 8, 2011. I'll be sharing the afternoon reading with Melissa Holbrook Pierson. Details to follow.

Voices from the Radical Feminist Press

Please check out our revamped website/blog! Our kickstarter campaign will launch in September, to raise money for transcripts and more interview trips.

Oakland Standard

My interview with Elana Dykewomon will appear on the Oakland Museum's blog, the Oakland Standard, sometime in the next two months. Dykewomon is the author of the incredible book, Riverfinger Women, and she talks about the book and her name in the interview.

Oral History Films

Paul VanDeCarr included my list of oral history films on the Columbia University Center for Oral History's blog.

Today was Paul's last day on the job; I'll miss his oral history blogging and programming at CU.


I am headed to the writer's sanitarium for the month of August.

Triple Canopy Commission

I received a new media reporting commission from Triple Canopy to work on a project about disabilities/abilities.

Article, Bob's Red Mill

In February, I interviewed Bob Moore, of Bob's Red Mill, for the Washington Post (out in April). We talked about everything from gluten-free oats grown in Saskatchewan to how/why he gave away his 70 million-dollar company to his employees, last year, on his 81st birthday.

Radical Feminist Presses and Print Shops

I'm hitting the road in two weeks, for interviews in Oregon and California. Click on the header, to find out more about the oral history project.

Longform/Top 5

Longform named my interview with Lawrence Schiller one of the top five interviews of 2010. The whole list is filled with articles I want to read over the holidays.

WGXC/Oral History Workshop

Oral History Workshop
February 6, 2011, 2:00pm-6:00pm

This four-hour workshop will cover oral history methods and practice. We'll discuss the qualities that distinguish oral history from journalistic practice, with an eye (ear) toward the many places where oral history and radio can make good use of one another. We'll also delve into project design and ethics. This workshop is appropriate for anyone looking to begin an oral history project or to contribute content to WGXC--or for documentarians looking for a more collaborative practice.

This workshop will be led by Suzanne Snider, a writer and oral historian. Snider teaches courses on oral history, song hunting, and fieldwork at the New School University and nonfiction writing at New York University.

Newtown Creek Health and Harm Narratives Project

I worked as a consultant/trainer on this oral history project. I'm really proud of being part of an OH project that addressed public health concerns and medical narratives. Check it out!

WGXC Station Barnraising

I'm excited to be part of WGXC's radio station barnraising this weekend, September 24-26. I'll be teaching an oral history workshop on Saturday morning. Click on the link for more information about the entire event.

June 13: Oral History Panel at Union Docs

On June 13, join us at Union Docs for an Oral History Panel. I'll be moderating a panel of wonderful people:

Stacy Parker Aab (The Katrina Experience)
Michael Garofalo (Storycorps)
Agnes Umunna (Straight From the Heart, Liberia)
Rachael Weiss (Newtown Creek Community Health and Harms Narrative Project)

7 PM

Oral History Round Table

March 26 marks our first meeting. The Oral History Round Table will convene at Union Docs, 6:30 pm (we'll start the meeting at 7). Made up of artists, journalists, anthropologists, oral historians, and more, the Round Table will get together to share resources, workshop interviews, plan public events, and break into smaller study/special interest groups.

The Believer

My interview with Lawrence Schiller will appear in the May issue of The Believer. Schiller shares the copyright with Norman Mailer for The Executioner's Song. What is not commonly known is that Schiller conceived of the book, did all the research, and then handed his notes to Mailer to write it.

NYU, Gallatin

I'll be teaching a new course at NYU, this fall. An advanced writing course, the class will deal with stories that contain inherent contradictions. Details to be announced.


Thanks to an award from the Sloan Foundation (via the New School), I've been given the time and support to work with interactive designers at The New School to design a new media-rich course for Fall '10. The course will be a hybrid on-campus, on-site documentary/nonfiction course.

I'll be developing DOCUMENTARY PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE: Place as Character

This course introduces students to documentary work (film, print, photography, audio) in which landscape figures as central character. Most of this work probes the particular question: how does a landscape shape its inhabitants and determine their futures, and how—conversely—do people shape their landscapes as towering monuments of hope and/or revisionist records of the past? As city-dwellers, we will work to define “landscape,” both natural and manmade. Our theoretical readings will explore the way we navigate and remember space and architecture. Using the work of Susan Stewart, Elyssa East, Matthew Buckingham, and Barbara Kopple, to name a few, we will look at landscape-as-launching pad for nonfiction narratives that are mysteries, elegies, or social commentary/exposé.

TRUE STORY: Nonfiction at KGB--Back in February 2010

This February, Erin Edmison and I will continue to curate the weekly nonfiction series, TRUE STORY. We have nonfiction lit, documentary, oral history and animation cued up for your visit. [click on header, to join the Facebook group]

TRUE STORY: The KGB Nonfiction Reading Series is a weekly series and salon that celebrates nonfiction storytelling with readings, screenings, conversations, and occasional parlor games.

All readings begin at 7 PM on Tuesdays, with time for questions, conversation, and cocktails following the readings. Books by each evening's authors will be available the night of the reading, courtesy of MobileLibris.

KGB Nonfiction Curators:
ERIN EDMISON has worked in book publishing for over ten years as an editor, scout, and literary agent. She's currently the foreign rights director at The Karpfinger Agency.

SUZANNE SNIDER's print and audio work has been published in The Believer, The Guardian, Legal Affairs, and in collaboration with visual artists including Danica Phelps and Clare Rojas. She is the recipient of nonfiction fellowships at Yaddo, MacDowell, and UCross and teaches in the Media Studies/Film Department at the New School University. Currently, she is completing a book about a 106-year-old commune.

KGB Nonfiction Coordinator:
ANNA WAINWRIGHT is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor. She runs the website, is a contributing editor at the Brooklyn Rail, and blogs for the Huffington Post. She is currently at work on her first novel.

New Documentarian, Spring '10 at The New School University

I'll be teaching a course called The New Documentarian at the New School, Spring'10. This course is open to degree students and the general public. Click on "Classes" (to the left) for a full description.

Oral History and Master Class at Union Docs, March 2010

I'll be hosting a panel and teaching a master class at Union Docs on the subject of Oral History, in March 2010. Details tba

Oral History Panel at Union Docs

I'll be hosting a panel and teaching a master class at Union Docs on the subject of Oral History, in March 2010. Details tba
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