University of Texas at Austin graduate student Andrew Busch interviews Ben Wash of Ben’s Long Branch Bar-B-Q for the Southern Barbecue Trail.
SFA Class Collaborations
True to our mission, we are as committed to teaching as we are to documenting. In an effort to mentor new talent in the field, we seek oral history collaborations with universities throughout the South.
In 2007, we established an on-going relationship with the American Studies department at the University of Texas at Austin to collect oral history interviews for our Southern BBQ Trail. To date, students in Elizabeth Engelhardt’s graduate-level American Foodways class have contributed more than twenty-five oral history interviews to the Southern BBQ Trail and the SFA’s permanent archive. Here, they reflect on the value of this collaboration:
For the first time since I’ve been in graduate school, I am now comfortable answering questions about my training without hedging: oral history, cultural studies, ethnography. Conducting interviews for the SFA’s Southern BBQ Trail has given me a chance to apply those skills with real people in a way that I find meaningful. It has provided me with the chance to work with a long-term project. And, it has allowed me to develop a conscious methodology that I believe will guide my research for a long time.
– Carly Kocurek, graduate student, The University of Texas at Austin
Collaborating with the SFA on such far-reaching projects in the graduate classroom means that we can address crucial bits of graduate education that usually are left to informal mentoring in a more programmatic way. Graduate students get to learn from people who know much more than any book or professor does about the local and specific (in our case, the practice of barbecue). And we can do what the humanities do best—build bridges to communities.
– Elizabeth Engelhardt, professor, The University of Texas at Austin
Information & contact
The SFA’s oral historian, Amy Evans Streeter, oversees class collaborations. Amy is also available to conduct oral history workshops on site prior to the formal initiation of a project.
Term The SFA manages one Class Collaboration per academic year.
Deadline of Inquiry None. Collaboration calendars are determined on a case-by-case basis.
Projects We invite classes to help us collect fieldwork in support of our existing culinary trails:
- The Southern BBQ Trail: an ongoing project for which we are currently seeking interviews in Arkansas, Florida Panhandle, Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina
- The Southern Boudin Trail: interviews specific to Louisiana
- The Southern Gumbo Trail: interviews specific to Louisiana and the Gulf Coast
- Wine in the South: an ongoing project for which we are currently seeking interviews from across the region.
If you are interested in a Class Collaboration, please contact:
Amy Evans Streeter
SFA Oral Historian
Southern Foodways Alliance
P.O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677
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