Feb. 14, 2024

On February 6, 2024, SPA364/LAO364/AMS434, "Doing Oral History in Spanish: The 'Voces De La Diáspora' Oral History Project," embarked on a visit to the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood in Princeton. This excursion was led by local artist and art educator, Verónica Olivares-Weber.

The Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood holds profound historical and cultural significance as Princeton's historically Black community, and more recently, as a hub for many Latin American immigrants who reside and have their businesses there.

This tour was part of the students' preliminary research and preparation before undertaking oral interviews with members of the Latin American diaspora residing in Princeton. Throughout the seminar, students will engage in readings and discussions around oral history theory and practice. Additionally, they will delve into topics such as US immigration policy, the role of migrant labor in the US economy, the history of migration from Mexico and Guatemala, and other pertinent subjects essential for background research in preparation for conducting interviews.

SPA364/LAO364/AMS434 is the first course of a project funded by the 250th Anniversary Fund for Innovation in Undergraduate Education to teach the theory and practice of oral history while recording and archiving oral history interviews with members of the Spanish-speaking community connected to Princeton, New Jersey. A collaboration between Prof. Alberto Bruzos (SPO) and Prof. Rosina Lozano (HIS) with the support of the Program for Community-Engaged Scholarship (ProCES), this project is a partner of Voices of Princeton, an oral history initiative co-sponsored by the Princeton Public Library, the Historical Society of Princeton, the Arts Council of Princeton, and the Witherspoon-Jackson Historical and Cultural Society.