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Oral history

WSU alumni headshot in a speech bubble
Spring 2018

What a time it was

One by one, they share memories of curfews, 42-cent dinner dates at the CUB, the JFK assassination, and the birth of women’s lib. A few regale listeners with the infamous tale of the 1964 “Pot Push,” which had nothing to do with cannabis.

These are just a sample of the treats recorded at the recent Diamond and Golden Grads digital storytelling workshops, led by Washington State University English instructor and former assistant director of the Digital Technology and Culture program Rebecca Goodrich.

The workshops, held at the Lewis Alumni Centre during the Diamond and Golden reunions, are available to visiting 50- and … » More …

Spring 2015

Voices of the wilderness

 

I. BREATH

They saw in the water many of the serpent-kind,
wondrous sea-dragons exploring the waters,
such nicors as lie on the headlands,
who, in the mornings, often accomplish
sorrowful deeds on the sail-road,
serpents and wild-beasts.

 
So concludes the epic poem Beowulf. Speaking Old English, storytellers composed Beowulf extemporaneously and shared passages from person to person for thousands of years until they were written down sometime between the eighth and the eleventh centuries. Beowulf is very much a poem about animals, so it’s appropriate to translate its last word, “wilde-or,” as “wild-beasts,” though the … » More …

Tom Brigham with Katy Fry and Herb Nakata at WSU
Fall 2012

Unfiltered history

Tom Brigham, the executive secretary of WSU’s Emeritus Society, stopped by the magazine office some time ago with a box full of interview transcripts, the results of one of the society’s major projects. Had I known how absorbing and distracting the contents would be, I might have been more hesitant to accept delivery.

Seriously, the oral histories contained in the box provide absorbing recollections of WSU history from the early 1950s on. At their best, the interviews combine engrossing storytelling and striking insight. Conducted and transcribed by history graduate student, now instructor, Katy Fry ’06, ’11, the histories provide unfiltered memories of WSU through five … » More …