In the Classroom


The Staring Out to Sea Oral History Project began as a course taught in spring 2013 at Kean University by Dr. Abigail Perkiss. In an advanced oral history methods seminar, students learned the practice and process of oral history as they worked together to develop an original project. Over the course of the semester, they learned how to conduct, transcribe, and edit interviews, and practiced interviewing one another to prepare for going out into the field. Students also researched the history of natural disasters in the United States to place the story of Hurricane Sandy in a larger context. Throughout the entire process, students maintained a course blog to reflect both on their own process of post-Sandy recovery and their participation as interviewers for Staring out to Sea. Interested in developing a similar project? Check out the Advanced Oral History Methods syllabus.


Work on the Staring Out to Sea Oral History Project entered a new phase in fall 2014 as part of a course taught by Dr. Dan Royles at Stockton University. Here students in a digital humanities introductory seminar put together this site to make the Staring Out to Sea interviews available to the public. Using the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS), a platform developed by the University of Kentucky, students created an index for each interview, complete with titles, summaries, keyword tags, and geographical data. Along the way, they learned about data and metadata, project planning, and the ethics of presenting the past online. Want to learn more? Check out the Introduction to Digital Humanities course page.