The Oral History Centre Classroom and Kitchen: Where Oral History Meets Food History


The Oral History Centre Classroom (2B23, Bryce Hall, University of Winnipeg) was transformed into a functioning kitchen over this summer, thanks to an Experiential Learning Fund grant.


For the 2017-2018 academic year, “Advanced Studies in Canadian Social History” will be offered by Dr. Janis Thiessen in this space. The course will focus on Canadian oral and food history, and include both cooking activities and accessible field trips. Students’ final research projects will be digital public history projects on Manitoba food history that incorporate student-conducted oral history interviews.


Though the visual is often privileged by academics (particularly through reading), knowledge is gained through all our senses. Students will cook in class, and visit at least three sites of significance for Winnipeg food history: the food history collection at the University of Manitoba Archives, the baking labs at the Paterson Global Foods Institute, and Half Pints Brewery.


Students will incorporate the oral history interviews they conduct into the creation of a podcast, a virtual museum exhibit, a digital audio walking tour, an interactive digital map, or a “Cooking the Books” article for Cuizine: The Journal of Canadian Food Cultures.


The Oral History Centre staff will provide their 3-session Introduction to Oral History workshop series to enrolled students for free! OHC will also provide them with free workshops and consultations in digital storytelling, field recording, and podcasting.


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