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NLU Prof: I’m Here to Listen, See World Through Your Eyes Oxford Blog describes NLU Prof Mark Larson's conversational approach to oral histories


Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 11.47.48 AMMark Larson was interviewed twice by the noted Chicago-based interviewer Studs Terkel.

“I know what it is like to be listened to for an extended session and with intense curiosity,” Larson wrote in the Oxford University Press blog. ” I believe everyone deserves a chance to be heard that way.”

Thus Larson, an assistant professor of education in National Louis University’s National College of Education, has started his own blog, American Stories Continuum, to showcase the oral history interviews he conducts–about 200 so far. In one, he interviewed both 97-year-old civil rights activist Grace Lee Boggs and 36-year-old Julia Putnam, who planned to open a Detroit school based on Boggs’ writings.

“I want to know what you make of your life, of life itself, of what is happening in our world.,” Larson wrote. “Like Theodore Zelden, I’m interested in the kind of conversation in which ‘you start out with a willingness to emerge a slightly different person.'”