Thursday, December 29, 2011

quick hit: belfast project oral history lawsuit

Earlier this year, the British Government requested the audio recordings and transcripts of interviews from a Boston College-based oral history project documenting the history of conflict in Northern Ireland. The oral history narrators who participated in the project originally granted interviews on the condition (agreed to in writing) that the interviews remain sealed until after their death. English officials are arguing that the interviews are required as part of an ongoing criminal investigation and claiming that the United States government is under treaty obligation to obtain the materials from BC and hand them over.

After initially resisting the request, Boston College appears to be on the brink of complying with a Judge's order to hand over select interviews. This decision not only represents a breach of promises made to human beings whose lives (and the lives of countless others) will now be under renewed threat, but will have a widespread chilling effect on the practice of oral history in situations where, perhaps, the oral historical record is particularly vital: sites of conflict where normal modes of documentation are lost or never created.

You can listen to an interview with the former director of the Belfast Project, Ed Moloney, on WBUR's Radio Boston.

You can read more about the lawsuit at Boston College Subpoena News (a blog set up to follow the story, which is unaffiliated with BC), as well as access many of the publicaly-available legal documents related to the case.

Neither the Oral History Association nor the American Historical Association have weighed in on this issue recently -- at least that I can find -- although the AHA did acknowledge back in May that the issues are "murky" and raise complex ethical questions about the practice of oral historical research.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

booknotes: see me naked

One of the books I consulted for my thesis was Amy Frykholm's Rapture Culture: Left Behind in Evangelical America (Oxford U.P., 2004). In Rapture, Frykholm traveled around the nation interviewing readers of Tim LaHaye's Left Behind series, exploring the effect of rapture narratives in Evangelical culture. Frykholm -- who grew up Evangelical and now attends an Episcopal church -- studies her former subculture with a keen and empathetic eye. In her latest book, See Me Naked: Stories of Sexual Exile in American Christianity (Beacon Press, 2011), Frykholm turns to personal narratives of sexuality, embodiment, and Christian spirituality. The slim volume contains nine profiles of Protestant Christians struggling in various ways to integrate their physical, sexual selves with their concepts of Christian "purity" or righteousness.

As much as possible, Frykholm backs away from any larger-scale analysis in the interest of allowing her subjects to make meaning of their own lives. However, it seems clear that all of her interviewees have struggled to integrate their sexual selves with their theological beliefs. Some because they experience same-sex desires, some because they're struggling to live up to demanding Christian ideologies of chastity or modesty, some because anything associated with bodily desires became the enemy.

One of my favorite essays was less about sexual activity or relationships, per se, than it was about our sense of embodiment and the sensual experience of being and expressing oneself in flesh. "Monica" recounts her experience of attending a life-drawing class while studying abroad -- an experience that challenged her understanding of propriety and ultimately helped her re-evaluate her expectations of what beautiful bodies should look like and how women's bodies should behave. At first repulsed by the normal-looking nude model (to the point where she almost dropped the class), Monica perseveres and eventually exhibits her drawings in the college library upon returning to her home campus:
Monica heard two things in the comments [about her art show]. She heard the same fear and revulsion that she had experienced in herself when first encountering the model. It was a disgust that human beings exist in this form ... she also heard in the comments that Christianity and nakedness were incompatible -- that somehow being clothed and being Christian were necessary to each other (84).
At that point in her own journey, Monica has grown enough to be critical of these assumptions, and by the end of the piece has challenged herself to volunteer as a nude model for community life drawing classes -- an act of bravery that seems to be very intertwined with her developing sense of spiritual practice.

What I think may surprise non-Christian readers of these narratives is their familiarity: in many ways, the discomfort with embodiment is a malaise that is more American than Christian, though obviously practicing Christians will express their struggles in theological language. The individuals here struggle with unrealistic beauty standards, with the commercialization of sexuality, with questions of attraction and desire and what their bodies want versus what they're being taught they should want by their parents, youth leaders, peers. The process of coming into one's own bodily self and finding a voice for our desires is rarely an easy one, regardless of the faith tradition we're raised in.

On the other hand, See Me Naked does put those struggles in a particularly Christian theological and social context, and illuminate some of the ways Christian language -- particularly theology which seeks to construct rigid definitions of "right" and "wrong" sexual expression -- fails believers. Reading stories about young women starving themselves to the brink of death in the name of "modesty" and young men told their interest in pornography was sinful, brought to mind the recent post, How Modesty Made Me Fat, by Sierra of No Longer Quivering in which she writes:
Modesty made me “fat” because it defined my relationship with my body in terms of appearance. Not action. Not gratitude. Not the joy of movement. Just appearance. It also defined my relationship with men as one of predator and prey. It was my job to hide from men so that their sex drive would lie dormant, like a sleeping wolf. But if that wolf ever awakened, it was not because it had been sleeping for a long time and its circadian rhythm kicked in, or it was just naturally hungry. It was my fault because I had done something to “bait” the wolf. Just by being visibly female, or by moving in “unladylike” ways. You cannot consider women full human beings unless you recognize that their lives do not revolve around the male sex drive. Modesty is a philosophy that dehumanizes. It incites constant fear and vigilance in one sex while excusing the other of all responsibility. It’s immoral."
See Me Naked offers similar examples of the way in which our religious language falls perilously short in its ostensible effort to increase well-being for all. Naked tells stories of women starving themselves close to death for the sake of being pure, stories of women and men who feel lost when faced with the task of integrating queer attractions with their Christian faith, and stories of men who are taught to hate and fear their feelings of sexual desires as something inherently impure or incompatible with living a righteous life.

At the very end of See Me Naked, Frykholm does offer some reflections on an alternative ethic of sexuality, one that I think is worth contemplating whether or not you're interested in the explicitly Christian language in which she couches her suggestions. "True, deep, real pleasure is an avenue to the Holy," Frykholm writes. "Through discernment, wonder, and aliveness we will know what real pleasure is ... and when we sense true pleasure, we will trust it and be able to act bodily in it and with it." She recounts the counsel of a parent to her soon-to-be adolescent daughter, "Your body will know more pleasure than you can even now imagine. You are going through a period when your body is going to learn to feel pleasure, and you will be amazed" (176)  While I'd argue that children, too, have the bodily capacity to feel pleasure -- though of a different kind than adults -- I like this invitation to an emerging teenager to embrace that part of her growing-up. Too often, we're quick to associate teenage embodiment with danger, not pleasure. As Frykholm says, "We all know that puberty, adolescence, adulthood are not solely about pleasure ... But pain we know well. Pleasure we sometimes need help attending to" (177). Such an invitation crosses the boundaries of faith traditions and is a reminder to us all how much better we could be, as a culture, at living embodied and joyful lives.

Cross-posted at the feminist librarian.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

thankfulness: thesis edition

Maggie + wood stove (October 2004)
photograph by Anna
Cross-posted at the feminist librarian.
One of the most enjoyable parts of writing my Master's thesis was pulling together the acknowledgments. Since it's unlikely everyone who appears therein will read the thesis in full [PDF], I'm reproducing the acknowledgments here. 

It should go without saying this is far from everything I have to be thankful for this year, but it's a damn good starting place. 

May your holiday weekend be peaceful and content, wherever and with whomever you may be.

As a reader, I often turn first to the acknowledgments when evaluating a book.  It is here that one gets a true sense of the solitary author working in a densely-woven web of social and intellectual relationships, one that often fades into the background with an author’s solitary byline.  For while it is accurate to say that I crafted this thesis myself, and that the analysis herein is my own, the thinking and writing I have done over the past three years would not have been possible without the myriad conversations, generous support, timely encouragement, articles and books shared by my friends, family, and colleagues. As my partner, Hanna, points out, “alone” is not the same as “lonely,” and although I have written this work alone, many, many people deserve the credit for making sure that I seldom felt lonely or worked in intellectual isolation.

O.E. class of  '75
Without my oral historical narrators, of course, I would have no primary source material to analyze and thus no story to tell.  My gratitude belongs first and foremost, then, to Sam and Pat Alvord, Randy Balmer, Doug and Marj Frank, Mark Evans, Anne Foley, Alison and Phil Kling, Rebecca McCurdy, Sogn Mill-Scout, Paul Norton, Jim Titus, and Randy Wright for sharing their memories of the Oregon Extension and the contents of their personal archives.  Particular thanks are due to the folks at Lincoln for hosting me during my research trip in March, 2010, when we recorded the majority of our oral history interviews. Thank you also to Doug Frank and Sam Alvord giving me access to administrative records and personal papers from the early years of the program; to alumni Phil Kling, for sharing notes, papers, and other ephemera from his student days; and to Alison Kling and Jim Titus for generously sharing their photographs from the early years.

My thesis advisers, Laura Prieto and Sarah Leonard, have been invaluable and professional support throughout the research and writing process. It was my [admissions] interview with Laura back in July 2006 that convinced me I would be able to complete the research I had in mind under the auspices of Simmons' History Department. She has been unfailingly supportive throughout my tenure at Simmons, giving my research notes and early drafts careful and insightful readings.  Any remaining weaknesses in my thinking and writing are, needless to say, my own responsibility. Sarah, meanwhile, deserves particular thanks for allowing me to hijack her seminar in Modern European History in order to write a paper on American psychologist Carl Rogers, one of the influential educational philosophers whose work inspired the Oregon Extension's founders.  Her passion for intellectual history and the dedication with which she approaches her vocation are almost enough to make me reconsider the teaching profession.

Boston skyline across
the Fenway Gardens
(December 2007)
I would like to remember the late Allen Smith who developed and taught a course in oral history at Simmons Graduate School of Information and Library Science, and whom I was privileged to study under during his final semester of teaching. His work at Simmons College paved my way with the Institutional Review Board, whose familiarity with oral history research saved me the anxiety and frustration many oral historians face when applying to do human subject research. I also wish to thank Gail Matthews DeNatale, oral historian and former faculty member at Simmons, whose experience and advice helped to shape my thesis proposal in its early stages.

Reaching backward in time to my undergraduate years at Hope College, I wish to recognize my colleagues on the Aradia Research Project, as well as the Aradians themselves, who served as my hands-on introduction to feminist-minded oral history and ethnographic research and who encouraged my enduring interest in the experience of those who live in intentional community.

The outstanding faculty of my alma mater, Hope College, were in many ways responsible for taking the enthusiastic autodidact I was at age seventeen and encouraging me to direct and hone that passion into something I could honestly consider a craft and a vocation. Poet and creative writing teacher Jackie Bartley first opened the door to creative nonfiction to me, suggesting that dedicated research and analytical writing could use the power of the particular to connect us to the universal.  It was Jackie who first suggested I consider attending the Oregon Extension. Thanks is also due to Lynn Japinga for introducing me to oral history methods during a summer spent transcribing her oral history interviews with Reformed Church clergy, as well her determination to offer classes in feminist theology in an often-hostile academic environment. Without her introduction to religious history, I might not have paid such close attention to the nuances of
religious thought and practice at Lincoln. My undergraduate adviser, historian Jeanne Petit, taught my first history class (20th Century American Women’s History) and was the first to suggest I consider graduate school. She has since become a colleague and a friend. I must also extend my gratitude to Natalie Dykstra for her friendship and enthusiasm, for her love of Boston, and for teaching a course on autobiography that was – hands down – one of the most electrifying intellectual experiences of my college career. Her training in the interpretation of personal narratives has stood me in good stead throughout the research and writing of this thesis.

Former colleague Jeremy Dibbell
(December 2007)
I must recognize my colleagues at the Massachusetts Historical Society, particularly past and present members of the Library Reader Services department, who have been unblinking in their support of my research – including covering for me while I spent two weeks out West doing fieldwork. It is impossible to say how grateful I have been these past four years to work at an institution that recognizes my labor as an historian as well as a reference librarian.

I would like to thank colleague Aiden Graham for offering to loan me recording equipment, and for timely technical advice including helping me figure out how to wiretap my phone for long-distance interviews. Thanks, also, to Linnea Johnson and the GSLIS Tech Lab for the loan of a netbook that would otherwise have cost me hundreds of dollars this poor graduate student didn't have.  The Simmons College Student Research Fund, likewise, awarded me a travel grant that helped alleviate the financial burden of my fieldwork in Oregon. Valerie Beaudrault’s assistance in the Office of Sponsored Programs ensured that my application for funds was complete and submitted in a timely fashion.

My father and mapmaker extraordinaire, Mark Cook, is responsible for the beautiful customcreated maps that grace the pages of this thesis: without him, my visual representations of the Oregon Extension as a geographic place would have been awkward and, in all likelihood, inaccurate. My mother, too, has my undying gratitude for first introducing me to the work of John Holt, Ivan Illich, A.S. Neill, and other activists in the free school movement of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as to the history of intentional communities and their intersection with child-rearing and educational practice. Moral and intellectual support and good-humored camaraderie came in full measure from two founding members of the Secret Feminist Cabal, Ashley Minerva LeClerc and Laura Cutter, and from fellow oral historian, kick-ass librarian Diana Wakimoto. Y’all rock.

A slightly different form of support came from Geraldine, the feline member of our household, who took a keen interest in my work and sat on my notes, on the keyboard, and occasionally on my hands in order to ensure that work never took precedence over chin-scratching and the dispensing of kitty treats.

Finally, a few words for Hanna, who stoically endures my mania for American countercultures, Christian subcultures, and the history of utopian thought. Thanks for flying solo for two weeks while I was off collecting interviews in Southern Oregon, for taping useful PBS documentaries, for forwarding promising book reviews, for teasing me about garish 1970s cover art. Thanks for the proof-reading, the cheer-leading, the bottomless supplies of tea, wine, and baked goods. Thank you for letting me cry on your shoulder and for pointing out (quite rightly) that if I didn’t finish this project I would always wonder.

Thanks for helping me keep it all in perspective.

I moved to Boston in 2007 to write this thesis, not fall in love. I found you here, sweetheart, so in the end I did both.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

to the office of human research protections

So other people with a longer list of credentials than I have wrote far more articulate responses to the proposed changes in federal oversight for research involving human subjects that I wrote about last week. You can read two such responses at the American Historical Association blog and at historian and oral history advocate Zachary Schrag's Institutional Review Blog. If this is something that interests you, I highly recommend checking out their letters in full.

But since this is a blog dedicated to my own oral history project, I thought I would share my own response here. If a PDF is more convenient for you, I've made one available via DropBox.


Anna J. Cook
Assistant Reference Librarian
Massachusetts Historical Society
1154 Boylston St.
Boston, MA 02215

21 October 2011

Office of Human Research Protections
1101 Wootton Parkway
Suite 200
Rockville, MD 20852

To Whom it May Concern:

I am contacting you as special collections librarian and practicing historian with experience conducting oral historical research.

I am writing you today because of my concern over several aspects of the proposed changes to IRB oversight of research involving human subjects. Research “involving human subjects” encompasses much of humanities research, including historians, and many of us are concerned that the proposed changes could have the (perhaps unintended) consequence of irreparably thinning the rich body of primary source materials upon which we rely on for our scholarship – all in the name of curtailing “information risk.”

I am a member of the Oral History Association and the American Historical Association, and I hold a Master of Science in Library Science and a Master of Art in History. For my Master’s thesis I designed and conducted an oral history project documenting the founding of an off-campus study program in the mid-1970s, with the approval of the Institutional Review Board of Simmons College (Boston, Mass.). In designing my research project, I followed the best practices guidelines set forth by the Oral History Association. I was fortunate to work with an IRB panel familiar with the particular professional standards of oral historical work. As Zachary Schrag has documented, in his recent book Ethical Imperialism (Johns Hopkins, 2010), this is often not the case.

The interviewees whose stories I record all give explicit informed consent to participate in the research project. Integral to their consent is the understanding that their interviews would be made available for research in both recorded and transcript form when I deposit those interviews in an archival repository. Their names and identifying details are a necessary part of both their personal stories and the larger historical narrative which I am constructing about the off-campus study program which they established. In my profession, it is essential that the evidence upon which I base my historical claims be verifiable and accessible to future researchers. If I were required to obscure the details of a person’s identity or destroy the oral
historical interview following publication, my work would not be considered professionally acceptable in my field. Yet these are the type of requirements routinely made in the context of biomedical and social science research – which the IRB system justifiably oversees.

Your recommendation that HIPAA standards be applied more broadly highlights the danger of a “one size fits all” approach to protection of personal information. As a historian and librarian who works regularly with archival material containing intimate personal details, I have seen first-hand how application of HIPAA regulations to manuscript collections and archival records has stymied important historical research in the name of patient privacy – even when the individuals in question are generations behind us – at times, over a century deceased.

Historical research, and more specifically oral historical research, was never intended to fall under Institutional Review Board oversight. As both the AHA and the OHA have made clear, this is not an indication that the field is except from the rigorous demand of professional standards – but an acknowledgment that oral history already has its own principles and best practices that govern the conduct of oral histories in an ethically responsible way. Our standards are applied in fundamentally different ways than the scientific procedures and criteria administered by IRBs, and to explicitly exclude historical and oral historical research from the IRB mandate would be to correct the mis-application of IRB authority in a sphere where they are often ill-equipped to provide guidance.

I thank you for making it possible for the public to provide feedback on the suggested changes, and I urge you to listen to the recommendations of practitioners in the field who have a clear view to how these proposed changes can effect the practice of history for generations to come.


Anna J. Cook, M.A., M.L.S.
Assistant Reference Librarian
Massachusetts Historical Society

Monday, October 24, 2011

multimedia: lincoln, oregon profiled on "oregon trails"

Thanks to fellow OE '01 alum Nate West for bringing this to my attention on Facebook.

go to the KDRV website to view
Oregon's ABC affiliate, KDRV, recently profiled Lincoln, the home of the Oregon Extension, on their "Oregon Trails" series. You can watch the 3:35 segment at the station's home page (embed was sadly not an option). Sam Alvord, one of the Oregon Extension's founding faculty, is interviewed for spot and  there are some archival photographs alongside present-day footage of the area around Lincoln. It's looking beautiful this fall! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

federal oversight of oral history in flux

The Department of Health and Human Services is in the process of revising its guidelines for the operation of Institutional Review Boards, the apparatus for overseeing research involving human subjects. IRBs originated in the 1970s in an attempt to regulate human subject research and curb abuses such as the Tuskegee syphilis experiment in which patients were treated as test subjects in a study on the progression of the disease -- without their knowledge or consent.  Since the mid-1990s, the IRBs have increasingly insisted on oversight of oral historical research, a process that bears little resemblance to the type of medical, psychological, or even social science research. I, myself, went through the review process in order to conduct my interviews with Oregon Extension alums. I had the good fortune to work with an IRB panel that was knowledgeable about oral historical practices, and found the process a fairly painless and at times even useful one. It gave me a chance to clarify my methodology and justify my practices with theory. Not all oral historians, however, have been so lucky.

The revision of the rules governing research involving human subjects offers historians the opportunity to advocate for improved guidelines that would correct this square-peg-in-a-round-hole situation. The preliminary findings of the working group, however, also indicate that new rules may bring with them new dilemmas. In particular, many historians are concerned that the guidelines create a false division between scientific research ("real" research) and humanities research (not-real research), a move that implies the work that oral historians do is less than professional. As Robert B. Townsend wrote in the September issue of Perspectives:
In 2004, the AHA and Oral History Association worked with HHS on the formulation proposed here (that history does not constitute “research that creates generalizable knowledge”). Unfortunately, the argument prompted some derision from outside the field, from academics who interpreted the phrase to say simply “history is not research.” (As a case in point, the vice president for research at my own university, after a fairly contentious meeting on the subject, wished me well on my “;non-research dissertation.”)

We also received a number of complaints from within the discipline. Some historians argue that history does contribute generalizable knowledge, even if it bears little resemblance to the scientific definition of the word. And faculty members at history of medicine departments and in the social science side of history warned that this position undermined both their institutional standing and their ability to obtain grants. They made it clear that however finely worded, stating that history did not constitute research in even the most bureaucratic terms could have some real financial costs to the discipline.
The American Historical Association has put together a list of "talking points" concerning the proposed changes, if you are interested in the in-a-nutshell version of their concerns.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

quick hit: fellow researcher Philip Francis

Earlier this fall, I recieved an email from an author whose book I reviewed over at the feminist librarian. He thanked me kindly for the review and remarked upon the fact that I was involved in research about the Oregon Extension. Was I, by any chance, familiar with the work of his former student Philip Francis, who had recently graduated from Harvard Divinity School with his PhD in Religion and Society? I was not -- but now I am! 

amazingly enough, two people researching the OE --
just one river apart!
 Francis, it transpires, is working on a project looking at the role of aesthetics in facilitating counter-conversions out of fundamentalist evangelical faith. His dissertation, "We Dive and Reappear in New Places: Aesthetic Experience and Fundamentalism Undone" (May 2011), is available through the ProQuest subscription database. The abstract reads: 
This dissertation is an ethnographic study of 100 men and women who grew up in an American fundamentalist Christian community and left it, and for whom the arts played an instrumental role in the process of leaving. The majority of these individuals are alumni of the Bob Jones University School of Fine Art, a fundamentalist Christian college in Greenville, South Carolina, or The Oregon Extension, an aesthetically charged semester study-away program that draws its students from conservative Evangelical Christian colleges. Each individual contributed a memoir to the study and the majority were interviewed as well. Each chapter explores the role of aesthetic experience in the undoing of a different fundamentalist method of belief preservation. Methods of beliefpreservation, or what C.S. Peirce called the ‘fixations of belief,’ are ways of securing beliefs, of rendering them steadfast by cultivating certain mindsets, relationships and practices that play upon what William James referred to as the “inherent conservatism of mind.” My argument should not be read as a general theory of a necessary causal relationship between aesthetic experience and the undoing of fundamentalism. My thesis moves in a different direction. I ask how, in what manner, and under what conditions, does aesthetic experience function in the process of upending fundamentalism, in those circumstances when it does so function.
Needless to say, I obtained a copy of the thesis as quickly as possible and read through it. Since then, Francis and I have been able to meet over lunch and talk about possible future collaboration, bringing together his work on the theological and psychological work of the OE with my historical perspective on these labors. It is exciting for me to connect with another scholar interested in the same topic, but from a slightly different perspective. Francis himself never attended the Oregon Extension (though he had friends in college who did). Unlike me, Francis hails from a more fundamentalist, evangelical background and -- like many Oregon Extension participants -- has come to question that perspective as an adult.

I encourage all of you to check out his dissertation if you have access to ProQuest through your local library, and keep an eye out for his future articles and publications. If any come across my desk, I'll be sure to share them here.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

quick hit: fresh air on the New Apostolic Reformation

A recent interview with Rachel Tabachnick on National Public Radio's Fresh Air explored the political activism of the far right evangelical group known as the New Apostolic Reformation -- a group with which Texas Governor and presidential hopeful Rick Perry has some affiliation.

You can access a full transcript online at the Fresh Air website. From the piece that accompanies the interview:

An emerging Christian movement that seeks to take dominion over politics, business and culture in preparation for the end times and the return of Jesus, is becoming more of a presence in American politics. The leaders are considered apostles and prophets, gifted by God for this role.

The international "apostolic and prophetic" movement has been dubbed by its leading American architect, C. Peter Wagner, as the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). Although the movement is larger than the network organized by Wagner — and not all members describe themselves as part of Wagner's NAR — the so-called apostles and prophets of the movement have identifiable ideology that separates them from other evangelicals.

Read the rest at NPR.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

thesis PDF files: now with three options!

I now have three options for accessing the PDF of "How to Live?" (aka my thesis). DropBox now contains the full thesis (one large file) and files of the thesis in sections (five smaller files). Here are the links:
If neither of these download options work for you, I should be able to email you the five-part version without maxing out attachment limits or inbox capacity. So once again, if this is your preferred method of receipt just leave me a message in comments or send an email to feministlibrarian [at] gmail [dot] com and I'll get you squared away.


Friday, August 19, 2011

tech update: dropbox, email, and pdfs

First of all, welcome! The update of the OE Alums Facebook page seems to have sent a lot of you this way in search of my thesis. I'm looking forward to hearing what y'all make of it. I hope very much that it's a work in progress and will have future lives - and your feedback will help me think about how to move forward with my research.

Meanwhile, some unforeseen technical difficulties: a number of you have reported getting an error message ("The file is damaged and could not be repaired.") when you tried to download the PDF of my thesis from DropBox. I've opened it through several browsers in a couple of different locations since yesterday and everything looks good ... so I'm thinking it's the size of the file (39 MB) that is causing the issue for people. Unfortunately, the nature of the problem means I can't email it to you either - because the file exceeds the attachment limit of most email systems.

What I'm going to do is break the PDF into chapters and see if that helps with the download issue. Since I don't have the full Adobe program on my computer, this will mean a bit of fiddling and may take a week or two before I have a chance to get to a library that has the right software. In the meantime please please please feel free to message me on Facebook, email me (feministlibrarian [at] gmail [dot] com), or leave a message here at the blog and request a copy. I'll keep a master list of folks' names and email addresses and be in touch as soon as I've worked out alternatives for document delivery!

If only I could just walk it across the road ...

Thanks so much for your patience,

Saturday, July 23, 2011

how to live: the oregon extension as experiment in living, 1964-1980 [thesis]

TECH ALERT: Some folks are having trouble accessing the PDF file. If this is you, click here for more. The short version is leave me your contact information or shoot me an email at feministlibrarian [at] gmail [dot] com and I'll make sure you get a copy somehow!

OE cabin, circa 1975
Image scanned from slide by Jim Titus.
Used with permission
As promised, amidst this East Coast heat wave, I finally have a full PDF version of my thesis: How to Live?: The Oregon Extension as Experiment in Living, 1964-1980 available for download from DropBox. The first page is a bit funky since I scanned the title page with my advisers' signatures, but from there on out it's direct document-to-PDF conversion that should read and print perfectly cleanly. Let me know if there are technical difficulties. The file is 180 pages long and about 38.5MB so just be aware of that before you click through and start to download and/or print!

As the title page of the thesis indicates, I have a Creative Commons Attribution License on this work. This basically means you're free to download, print, share, quote from, and otherwise use anything from this thesis as long as you attribute my ideas and words (and only my ideas and words) to me. Pretty standard.

Folks who read it, I welcome comments, questions, feedback, etc., by email or blog comment thread. I hope you find something in it that provokes new thoughts or brings back good memories.

Rainbow over mill buildings at Lincoln, 1970s
Image scanned from slide by Jim Titus.
Used with permission.
Participants: If you would prefer a hard copy of the thesis, send me a email and I'll provide one. I'll be sending a copy to Lincoln and to a couple of folks I know don't do email or the internets. Do sing out if you would likewise prefer that I provide you with an analog version. It's a small price to pay for your willingness to share your stories with me.

I will also be sending a copy to the Southern Oregon Historical Society, which provided me some long-distance reference services and has requested  a copy of the finished product for their files. I am still working out the details of long-term preservation of the oral histories, but I figured y'all would be pleased to know that the research will in this small way, at least, be "on record" in the region.

Friday, July 22, 2011

in which I'm unexpectedly proud...

... to receive this in today's post:

My work simply would not have been possible without the generosity of everyone who shared their oral histories and personal papers with me. Thank you, everyone! And I promise I will get over my bashfulness and post a link to the PDF of my thesis tomorrow.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

thesis teaser: colloquium presentation

On May 9, I gave a presentation of my thesis topic at the History Graduate Colloquium at Simmons College. This is the gathering at which all of the students who have completed their Master's theses in the past semester present their topic to the faculty, students, and other attendees. The point of the presentation is to give the audience a sense of one's research topic, the type of sources used, and the central argument(s) made. 

The following is the text of my talk interspersed with the slides I used to illustrate my presentation. I welcome questions and comments in the comment thread or by email at annajcook [at] gmail [dot] com.

The Oregon Extension, first imagined in the mid-1960s and founded in 1975, is a one-semester off-campus study program located on the Greensprings plateau in the Southern Oregon Cascades.

The program was founded by a group of Midwestern academics who first met at a Christian summer camp in Maryland, where they worked together as staff, and who spent roughly a decade (from 1964-1975) establishing the personal relationships and ambitious vision that became The Oregon Extension (or simply “the OE”). After searching for land in the Canadian Rockies and along the Pacific Coast, they finally discovered the tiny settlement of Lincoln, Oregon.

Founded in 1928 by the Henry Lumber Company as a model mill town, by the early 1970s the company had closed and the land was up for sale, along with the remaining mill and residential buildings. The Oregon Extension faculty and their families purchased the property and, in 1975, moved west to begin their adventure in communal living, supported (they hoped) by the income generated through the educational program.

The Oregon Extension was a one-semester program accredited by Trinity College, a Christian institution affiliated with the Evangelical Free Church and located in Deerfield, Illinois, a suburb just north of Chicago. The students who attended the program were drawn from Trinity and other Christian-identified liberal arts colleges across the country. Academically, the Oregon Extension offered students an integrated humanities curriculum consisting of four segments, each lasting about three weeks in duration. The curriculum tackled questions concerning human nature, human society, and the place of science and religion in the modern world. Just as important as the academic curriculum were the trips which took the largely Midwestern student participants out to explore the Pacific Northwest.

Students also enjoyed (and often wrestled with) the ideas and practices of community as they lived and worked together in the isolated settlement. The letters sent to those accepted for the inaugural semester encouraged students to come prepared to discuss big ideas that would have direct moral relevance in their own lives, and to think about what it might mean to be a “Christian learning community.”

My thesis, uses oral history interviews and the personal papers of the Oregon Extension’s founders to explore the relationships and events that led up to the successful establishment of the Oregon Extension in 1975 and the operation of the program between 1975-1980. Between January and May of 2010 I conduced fourteen interviews with three of the founding faculty, two spouses, and seven alumni. In March of 2010 I spent a week in residence at Lincoln, conducting interviews and reading through the personal papers of the faculty, which are what constitute the program’s “archives.”

As an historian, I had two related goals. One was to simply document how the Oregon Extension came to be, since it is a story that has not yet made its way into the historical literature of either 1970s-era communal ventures or the historical literature on American higher education. Second, I wanted to understand the founding of the Oregon Extension as a unique event situated within the context of three contemporary subcultures: the hippie counter-culture, the Christian evangelical subculture, and the flowering of educational experimentation that took place during the 1960s and 70s, both inside and outside traditional institutions.

My thesis argues that the Oregon Extension, as a community and as an educational program, enabled the faculty and student participants to gain geographical, emotional, and intellectual distance from their shared background in the Christian evangelical subculture. The location and structure of the OE gave the faculty a great deal of independence to break with the expectations of their accrediting institution and introduce students to a wide variety of thinkers and ways of learning. Students, in turn, found a freedom in Oregon to re-examine their values without fear of being branded heretics, and often took the opportunity to reinvent themselves. At the same time, the OE has remained connected to both its religious roots and to more mainstream institutions of higher education. Although the Oregon Extension has struggled with financial insecurity and interpersonal tensions, Lincoln and the OE have survived to the present as a liminal space. The exist on the borderlands between established forms of education, Christianity, and community life, and something much more radical in form and philosophy.

For the remainder of my presentation, I would like to share with you a few voices from my oral history interviews that describe the journey to Lincoln.

During the summers of 1972 and 1974, two of the founding faculty, Sam Alvord and Doug Frank, were sent on scouting expeditions to find land on which to establish their community and program. The group was clear about going west, but wanted to avoid known counter-cultural hotspots. In 1972, Sam and Doug drove across Canada; it was the first time either had been west of Minnesota. Sam remembers Doug’s enthusiasm:
Everything he saw, “Look at that! … Oh, man, let’s go up there!” And I’d say, “We’re never
going to get anywhere!” I was, I was really mad at him, “Will you just shut up?” ... Every town we went through, he was ready to move there. We kidded about this. There was this place in the middle of Alberta called Red Creek or something and it was a gas station and a hot dog stand and we stopped and ate a hot dog and he said “Now we gotta look for real estate here!”
     “Are you serious?”
     “Oh, man, this place is really great!”
     “This is hell, you don’t want to live here! You know how far we are from anything?”
     “Oh, man!” So then he kept saying how I wouldn’t let him move to “Red Crap, Alberta.”
     And then it got better and better. He thought Alberta was – and then he saw a mountain and, gee! He was – ejected from his seat!
While they wanted wilderness, and looked West to find it, the group also sought land not too far removed from the amenities of more settled areas – such as an arts and culture scene, a local college where they might arrange for students to use the library, and transportation infrastructure more sophisticated than flagging down the passing freight train. They also wanted existing structures and enough dwellings that each family could have their own private residence. Doug describes how he and Sam finally found Lincoln in the summer of 1974:
I remember when we drove into Ashland either Sam or I said, “Oh, this is a different town than the ones...!” We’d been through these little one-horse towns all over the West. Dusty cowboy towns. Nothing cultural going on in them, at least that we could tell. Here’s Ashland with this big Shakespeare scene happening and there’s restaurants and art galleries and delis and a sense of life. ...It was also a hippie town at the time … you could see that in the clothing of the people in the streets, in the kind of stores that there were.
Despite their determination not to join the hippie exodus, the Lincoln residents ultimately moved to a geographic region second only to Northern California in its number of counter-cultural communes. Lincoln itself was the site of a failed commune, and two communes – Crack of Dawn and The Human Dancing Company – were located in the hills above Lincoln. With its old mill buildings and worker residences, Lincoln offered what Sam and Doug saw as an ideal site for their future life. By the spring of 1975 the group had purchased the property and begun recruiting students. When the school year ended, the faculty packed up their families and headed west to spend the summer renovating the site for student occupation.

Upon arrival in Lincoln, Doug’s wife Marj wrote to Sam’s wife Pat back in Illinois:
We are quite private from the rest of the houses and cabins ... All the rooms [in your house] have flies – but not much dirt. It won’t take long before it’ll be a great house. I think you’ll really like it – and the property is beautiful. Don’t tell your mom about the rattlesnake we killed Sunday.
Marj spent her summer driving up and down the mountain, to and from Ashland and Medford for supplies. “I would go with a list of things I had no idea what they were,” she laughs. Her mother visited Lincoln at some point during that summer and gave the group two hundred dollars so they could paint “Jesus Saves” on the bark burner; they took the money and bought paint to cover the cabin floors, which had been soaked with goat urine by the previous four-legged tenants. Clearly the young communards had different priorities than those of their elders, many of whom had organized their lives around the salvation of souls.

Alumni, too, remember both the wonder of the American West and the thrill that came with breaking with familial expectations. Randy Balmer, who attended in 1975, still recalls the awe of his cross-country drive from Iowa to Oregon:
We were driving around the clock and I got the night shift going through Wyoming and it was – there was a full moon and a clear sky and it was just beautiful ... the driver woke up to take his turn and I said, 'Go back to sleep, I'm fine.' It was just gorgeous.
Alison Wyble Kling, who attended the following year, was a sophomore cheerleader at Trinity when a fellow student convinced her to apply.
My mother [Alison remembers] “(May she rest in peace) said – this is a quote – that I would be ‘deleterious to the academic atmosphere of such a program’ and so she heartily discouraged me. She said ‘you're not an academic.’ ... Maybe that was the challenge that I needed.
Despite her fear of failure, Alison applied, was accepted, and fell in love with both the program and the place. Today, she and her husband Phil (also an alum) live and work at Lincoln.

As a student in 1978, Phil scrawled the following note on an assignment he handed in to Sam Alvord:
Sam, I handed this thing in 2 hours late. I started over 4 times and still ended up with a piece of garbage. I don’t understand the point of it. No one in their right mind can put down what we learned and tie it all together in two pages. Let alone in 3 hours. Anyway – have it for what it’s worth, Phil.
Much like Phil, I’ve had moments, even days, during the past three years, when this research project has felt like something that “no one in their right mind” could put down all tied together. Certainly in a ten-minute presentation I can only hope to give you a brief taste of what I’ve learned.

I know we will have scant time for questions, so if you have questions or are interested in learning more about my research, please email me or visit the project blog,, where I hope (eventually!) to post the audio files and transcripts of the oral history interviews.

And finally, I would like to take a moment to thank the myriad people without whom this project would not have been possible. Without all of you, the results may well indeed have been, as Phil says, “garbage.”

Monday, May 23, 2011

alfie kohn + carl rogers

I'm on vacation this week, and one of my reading selections is educator-activist Alfie Kohn's Feel-Bad Education; and Other Contrarian Essays on Children and Schooling (Boston: Beacon Press, 2011). It's a collection of previously-published essays. Among them is an article originally written for the New York Times in 2009 about conditional and unconditional parenting. In it, he cites the mid-twentieth century American psychotherapist Carl Rogers, a pedagogical thinker who was deeply influential for the faculty who founded the Oregon Extension.
More than 50 years ago, Carl Rogers suggested that successful psychotherapy relies on three key ingredients. Therapists must be genuine rather than hiding behind a mask of professionalism. They must understand their clients’ feelings accurately. And they must put aside judgment in order to express “unconditional positive regard” for those they seek to help.

That last one is a doozy – not only because it’s so difficult but because of what the need for it says about how we were raised. Rogers believed that therapists need to accept their clients without any strings attached so that the clients can begin to accept themselves. And the reason so many have disowned or repressed parts of who they are is because their parents put “conditions of worth” on their care: I love you, but only when you’re well-behaved (or successful in school, or impressive to other adults, or quiet, or thin, or deferential, or cute . . .)

The implication is that loving our children isn’t enough. We have to love them unconditionally – for who they are, not for what they do.

As a father, I know this is a tall order, but it becomes even more challenging now that so much of the advice we are given amounts to exactly the opposite. In effect, we’re given tips in conditional parenting, which comes in two flavors: turn up the affection when they’re good, withhold affection when they’re not.
You can find the article as it appears in the book on Alfie Kohn's website.  I can't link directly to the article as it is a pop-up (annoying), but it is found under "Parenting" and is called "Parental Love With Strings Attached."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

quick hit: sojourners & sexuality

It's fun now that I have more time to peruse news stories to see how often thesis-related topics turn up in my feeds. Here's another story about evangelicals wrestling with the issue of sexuality -- specifically non-hetero sexuality.

Sojourners, for those of you not aware, is an evangelical social justice organization that originated at Trinity Evangical Divinity School (the seminary associated with Trinity College, which accredited the Oregon Extension during its early years) amoung a group of students and faculty opposed to the war in Vietnam.

From Killing the Buddha:
An online firestorm began over Mother’s Day weekend when the Rev. Robert Chase, founding director of Intersections, penned an article for Religion Dispatches documenting Sojourners’ rejection of an ad from Believe Out Loud that advocated full equality of LGBTQ people in the church. On the God’s Politics blog, Jim Wallis justified Sojourners’ decision not to run the ad on the grounds that “LGBTQ issues may not be our primary calling as our work against poverty and hunger, and for peace.”
From Religion in American History:
Even prior to this present controversy, Sojourners' responses to homosexuality (and abortion--but that requires separate treatment) have made them uncomfortable and on occasion unwelcome partners with more liberal Christians who otherwise share their vision for social justice. Sojourners magazine did not address homosexuality as a matter of either Christian ethics or public policy until 1982, over a decade after its inception as the Post-American. In an editorial entitled “A Matter of Justice,” publisher Joe Roos outlined the magazine’s interpretation of homosexuality as a civil right but religious wrong. “While we do not believe that Scripture condones a homosexual lifestyle,” Roos explained, “we do believe that homosexuals, like anyone else, deserve full human rights” that are not “conditional upon agreement over sexual morality.” Churches can privilege heterosexuality within their own communities, he argued, and thus Sojourners welcomed but did not affirm gay and lesbian Christians.  
And from Religion Dispatches:

Wallis’ tent has long been too small—and on more issues than simply LGBT justice and abortion rights. People on the religious left have often felt that he doesn’t speak for them, even leaving these two issues aside. Already in the 1970s and 1980s when Wallis became influential, he was standoffish toward many forms of liberationist theology.

When neoconservatives mobilized to demonize and defund ecumenical left networks centered in the mainline denominations and National Council of Churches, he tacked toward the center. True, he took up a place to the left of many politicians and evangelicals, especially on issues of peace and economic justice—but also well to the right of prospective “tent-mates” in the ecumenical world. Differences were especially clear on a range of feminist issues, as well as Sojourners magazine’s coolness toward scholarly work in Christian thought and ethics that was critical for maintaining the strength and credibility of left-liberal Christianity in the universities.
As with the struggles of queer students on Christian college campuses, it will be interesting to see how organizations that seek a middle path (between rejection of all non-heterosexuality as inherently depraved and acceptance of queer sexuality as equal to straight sexuality) fare in the coming decades.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

quick hit: interview with historian darren dochuk

Paul Harvey @ Religion in American History has a two part interview up with Darren Dochuk, the author of From Bible Belt to Sunbelt (New York: W.W. Norton, 2011), another text I drew on for my thesis. Dochuk describes his own research in this way:
While struggling to find a Ph.D. dissertation topic, I read (and loved) Lisa McGirr’s Suburban Warriors and thought more could be done to explain Southern California conservatism, so I set out to do it. My goal was to write a book that embedded evangelicalism in the larger story of post-1930s politics by teasing out its connections to suburbanization, political economy, race relations, and the politics of labor, education, housing, and business. I wanted to thread evangelicalism into mainstream narratives of U.S. political history, which still tend to paint evangelicalism as a sideshow.
Read the rest of the interview over at Religion in American History (part one). Part two can be found here (link updated post Blogger-phut).

Thursday, May 12, 2011

project update: thesis accepted!

Just a short note to say that on 29 April I submitted my final draft of my thesis, "How to Live?: The Oregon Extension as Experiment in Living, 1964-1980" to my advisers in the Simmons College History Department. This past Monday, 9 May, I gave a ten-minute presentation on the topic at the Spring Colloquium, where all of the graduating students in the MA History program present their work and there is feasting and celebration. Both of my advisers signed off on my thesis at the event, so I have it "on the record" that that chapter of the project is complete.

Look in the coming weeks for an online version of the presentation (what I've been referring to as the "teaser" for my thesis) as well as a downloadable PDF version of the full text.

In the months to come, I hope to carve out some time to begin transcribing the interviews themselves and processing the raw WMA audio files for web-friendly versions. Look for further updates in this space!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

quick hit: queer activism on OE campuses

I've been watching all year as stories come across my Google Reader feeds about queer activism on Christian college campuses, a number of which send students to the Oregon Extension.  I've written on my own personal blog, the feminist librarian, about the experience of being queer on a Christian college campus (in my case, Hope College). It's interesting to watch the process unfold at other colleges across the country.

At Seattle Pacific:
In a recent story on The Falcon, several students spoke out about the University's decision to not recognize The Haven, and suggested that administrators are trying to silence discussion about sexuality on campus. One student, referencing a January 25 meeting with the administration on campus where the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs said the school would not recognize The Haven, said that while the administration might not see a need for a group like this on campus, there are LGBT students and straight allies longing for a safe space on campus to meet and discuss issues.

“They can define us out of existence all they want, but Haven will continue to meet on campus because there’s a need for Haven on campus,” said Aaron Roberts, a senior sociology major and a co-leader of The Haven.
At Westmont College:
My best friend in graduate school was a girl from a very strict Christian faith. She went to a Christian university, after which she ended up in Syracuse, NY, where we met. And it was with her that I started Syracuse University's first LGBT publication. I know from her that tolerance, compassion, love and support for the queer community is possible in those who follow Christian teachings.

That said, some Christian colleges are certainly not thriving spaces for LGBT awareness and inclusiveness. We've been covering here at the push by LGBT students and straight allies at Seattle Pacific University to get a campus club officially recognized.

But also making waves is Westmont College, a school in Santa Barbara, CA. Thirty-one gay and lesbian alums have written an open letter to the school's newspaper, detailing the "doubt, loneliness, and fear" they felt while attending the college. Another 100 graduates of the school signed the letter.
At Wheaton (via Feministing):
The recent chapel message on Sexuality and Wholeness and surrounding conversations may have left some of you feeling alienated, ashamed and afraid. It can be difficult to see the danger of messages about sexuality that emphasize "God’s compassion for the broken," but as a group of LGBTQ Wheaton alumni and allies, we’ve seen the devastating effects these words have had on ourselves and our loved ones. Many of us felt trapped and unable to respond honestly to these messages while we were students. We feared rejection from our friends and our college. We know many of you may fear the same and feel alone or depressed.

If you are a student and this is part of your story, your sexual identity is not a tragic sign of the sinful nature of the world. You are not tragic. Your desire for companionship, intimacy and love is not shameful. It is to be affirmed and celebrated just as you are to be affirmed and celebrated. In our post-Wheaton lives, we have traversed the contradictions we once thought irreconcilable. Our sexuality has become an integral part of our broader pursuit of justice, compassion and love. We can no longer allow ourselves or our loved ones to be trapped in environments that perpetuate self-hatred, depression, and alienation. As people of integrity we must affirm the full humanity and dignity of every human being regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
I was especially moved by the lengthy list of signatures attached to the open letter / statement by LGBTQ Wheaton alumni (above).

I will be interested to watch this process of coming to terms with the diversity of human sexuality as it unfolds on Christian campuses in the coming years.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

quick hit: Jeffrey Kripal, historian and "oddball"

The day after quality checking the 300-odd footnotes in my thesis (I finished shortly before midnight last night), this story about one of the historians of religion I cited comes across my feeds from the great religion blog Killing the Buddha. Unsolicited advice: if you're not following KtB, do so!

In his post, Nathan Schneider writes:
After months of delays and excuses, I finally got around to doing an interview with Jeffrey Kripal, a religion professor at Rice University. He’s one of the great oddballs in the study of religion today, about whom grad students whisper to each other, “It’s like he actually believes in this stuff!” More or less. And in the course of dismaying colleagues with his conclusions, he picks the kinds of subjects that other scholars of religion today need to be studying, but for one reason or another don’t.
The two works by Kripal (one written, one edited) I cited in my thesis have to do with the Esalen retreat center in Big Sur, California, where a number of key thinkers in the human potential movement were regularly in residence during the 1960s and 70s.

Plus ... does citing an oddball mean you get to be one of the oddballs? Wahey!

It's wonderful (and I mean this non-ironically) how the end of a project like this just brings you more stuff to read and research!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

quick hit: musings on Christian education

Jonathan D. Fitzgerald @ Killing the Buddha describes his experience as an adjunct professor at The King's College (New York, N.Y.) and considers more broadly the fragile balance sought in many Christian colleges between the freedom to learn and the desire to turn out a certain kind of student.
Every Christian college is part school and part Bible camp; its purpose falls somewhere between education and indoctrination. Even the most well-intentioned ones exist, to some extent, to impart certain religious values to their students. Ideally, there is no conflict between good scholarship and the doctrines professed by Christians, but in practice that isn’t always the case. Of course, this tension is seen to a certain degree in all institutions of higher learning—education is never completely free of bias.

There are some Christian schools that do reach toward impartiality, allowing students “freedom within a framework of faith”—as a popular tagline of Gordon College, my alma mater, has it. At the other end of the spectrum, however, are those that aspire to turn out a certain kind of student, with certain political leanings and a mission to remake the world according to a certain conception of Christianity. The King’s College is among the most flagrant among them. I know because I taught there, at its “campus” spread across a few floors—mainly in the basement—of the Empire State Building.
I discuss the history of Christian higher education during the latter half of the twentieth century in my thesis as part of the context out of which the Oregon Extension grew. I thought this article might interest those in the OE diaspora.

Monday, January 3, 2011

revisions: an update

After a semester's hiatus, during which I completed the course work for my M.S. in Library Science, accepted a job as the Assistant Reference Librarian at the Massachusetts Historical Society and joined the group of authors at The Pursuit of Harpyness, I am now ready to dive back into revising my thesis.

Just before Christmas, I met with my primary thesis advisor, Dr. Laura Prieto, and went over my draft -- submitted in September -- with both her notes and the notes of my secondary reader, Dr. Sarah Leonard. The consensus among the three of us seems to be the following.
  1. The draft is a solid foundation for the final thesis (hooray!).
  2. The introduction, first and second chapters are solid while the third chapter and conclusion need the most work; I am also going to re-order the chapters so they are in 1-3-2 order rather than 1-2-3 order (this will put the "religion" chapter, which explores some of the larger theoretical issues, before the "in actual practice" chapter that explores how the program was actually implemented). 
  3. I do need to beef up the references to secondary sources, the historical context and methodologies in addition to drawing on primary source materials. I knew this was going to be an issue since in draft 1.2 I was working through my primary sources so closely. Now I can back up and provide the framework a bit more. It's always so hard to remember how much secondary reading on topic X you've actually done over the course of, say, 15 years ...
  4. I need to find a more consistent voice as a scholar, particularly when it comes to situating myself as an insider-outsider in the story that I'm telling (friend of, and former participant in the program at the same time I am studying it from my perspective as an historian). I'm committed to articulating both perspectives openly within the text, but need to clarify my role(s) in respect to particular sections.
That's probably more than you needed to know about my self-imposed project for the spring! By my count, I'll be working my way through roughly eight pages of draft per week in an effort to complete a final version by early April so my ever-patient partner Hanna can have time to copy-edit the final manuscript prior to submission around the first week in May.

A presentation at the spring History Colloquium will mark the end of this phase of the project. Final details about the online availability of the interviews will be forthcoming here at this blog as soon as I get my ducks in a row vis a vis submission to the Internet Archive (likely over the summer, just to give fair warning).