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Event Details

Patio: Personal Narratives in Portraying Maryland Life

Join us for a discussion of Personal Narratives in Portraying Maryland Life, in partnership with the Baltimore Museum of Industry. From the oral histories of The Baltimore Book to multimedia portraits seen recently in the Enoch Pratt Library, this will be an informal conversation about documenting Maryland in various forms of personal narrative, and why those stories matter. 

A nationwide effort to collect life histories of everyday Americans took place in the 1930s, as described in David Taylor’s book, Soul of a People: The WPA Writer's Project Uncovers Depression America. In the decades since, efforts for more inclusive history-telling have grown. 

The informal panel will include four speakers describing their experiences gathering personal narratives, the practice, and trends. That will lead to Q&A with the audience. 

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Click here to order Soul of a People!


Rebecca A. Adelman is professor and chair of Media and Communication Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where she is also affiliate faculty in Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies.   In April 2020, she launched Coronavirus Lost and Found, an online public archive where anyone can log anything they’ve lost or found as a result of the pandemic. She is the author of Beyond the Checkpoint: Visual Practices in America’s Global War on Terror and Figuring Violence: Affective Investments in Perpetual War, and the co-editor of Remote Warfare: New Cultures of Violence.  She holds a PhD in Comparative Studies from The Ohio State University. 

Linda Shopes has been involved with oral history since 1974, when she took an oral history course at the University of Maryland and got hooked. She has taught oral history in venues ranging from community workshops to graduate seminars, most recently at Goucher College; has written widely in the fields of oral and public history; and was founding coeditor of Palgrave's Studies in Oral History series. She is a past president of the U.S. Oral History Association and with others, was involved in organizing a recent international symposium on race and power in oral history.  Much of Linda's oral history work has been in the Baltimore area, including most recently with the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project Oral History Project; and long time Baltimoreans may recognize her as one of the editors of The Baltimore Book, published in the early 1990s. She currently works as a freelance consultant and editor and is an advocate for oral history and Baltimore history.

David Taylor's nonfiction books include Soul of a People: The WPA Writers’ Project Uncovers Depression America (Wiley), which was an Amazon Pick of the Month and which the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ranked among Best Books of the year. He co-produced a Smithsonian documentary film about the WPA writers, also titled Soul of a People. His book Cork Wars: Intrigue and Industry in World War II (Johns Hopkins) builds on interviews with three families and received an Independent Publisher Book Award for world history. His writing appears in The Washington Post, Smithsonian magazine and Discover. He is a writer-producer for The People’s Recorder podcast, with Spark Media, which recently received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to revisit the Writers’ Project and its legacy. He teaches writing at Johns Hopkins University. 

SHAN Wallace (b. 1991) is a nomadic award-winning visual artist, photographer, and educator from East Baltimore, MD.

Inspired by the nuances of day-to-day life of her surroundings in Baltimore, not as fixed narratives but a multiplicity of experiences.she uses her lens, collage and in situ installations as the basis of her work, demonstrating the cultural and political narratives of black life, confronting oppressive politics and histories within communities of the African diaspora, and challenging ideas surrounding existing collections, culture and archives of Blackness. Much of SHAN Wallace's work is focused on the Archive-- its history of development, challenges of the modern Archive, Archive as Artwork and how to ethically accumulate primary source documents.

SHAN's work is in both public and private collections across the US. She has exhibited work internationally in galleries and museums including The Baltimore Museum of Art, The Annenberg Space For Photography in Los Angeles, CA, and The Whitney Museum in New York, just to name a few.






Event Details

Thursday, November 3, 2022 - 6:00pm


The Ivy Bookshop - Back Patio, 5928 Falls Road, Baltimore, MD 21209

by Dr. Radut