Podcast

S2 E6: The Home of Memory

Where do we house memory? What do our records say about who we are—and what does it mean to lose them? And is there a way to archive tragedy without amplifying or exploiting trauma? In this episode, archivist and doctoral candidate Itza Carbajal speaks about co-organizing the 2019 climate strike teach-ins, her work as a…

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S2 E5: Living Heritage

In 2008, the Bangladeshi folk song tradition known as Baul gaan was among the first forms of intangible cultural heritage to be listed by UNESCO as endangered. Intangible or “living” cultural heritage includes language, food, folk arts, festivals, and other traditions handed down between generations, and often requires a different approach to preservation than artifacts…

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S2 E4: Climate Displacement and Cultural Resilience

Victoria Herrmann, president and managing director at the Arctic Institute, speaks with host Nicole Kang Ferraiolo about climate change and forced displacement in the US and what it means for different communities and their cultural heritage.  Drawing on her own history as the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, Victoria makes the case that the documentation and…

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S2 E3: How We Tell the Story of Disaster

Natural hazards are among the biggest threats climate change poses to cultural heritage. In this episode, Dr. Crystal Felima talks to host Nicole Kang Ferraiolo about her path from academia to FEMA and how her identity informs her work as a disaster anthropologist and emergency manager. Tune in to hear about Crystal’s work in Haiti…

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S2 E2: Archivists Against the Climate Crisis

98.8%: that’s the percentage of American archives likely to encounter at least one climate risk factor by the year 2100, according to a 2018 article by Eira Tansey and Ben Goldman. In this episode, Nicole speaks with the archivists whose work SAA described as “tireless and… critical to addressing the impact of climate change on…

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S2 E1: Does It Matter? Cultural Memory and the Climate Crisis

Climate change is the biggest challenge facing humanity. It stands to disrupt every aspect of our lives, including our cultural heritage. But how much do records, buildings, artifacts, or even traditions matter in the face of extreme weather and massive human displacement? Join this season’s host, Nicole Kang Ferraiolo, as she speaks to all seven…

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S1 E6: Sound and Meaning: Preserving Native American Voice and Song

In this episode of Material Memory, we return to the Autry Museum of the American West in southern California, where a project is underway to preserve audiovisual materials documenting Native American voice and song. We’ll learn about the vital process of community-building and the relationships forged along the way. Transcript Joy Banks Narration: Hello and…

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S1 E5: “Hello, Friends” The Story of the Indians for Indians Radio Hour

In this episode of Material Memory, we talk with a staff member at the University of Oklahoma who has been working to preserve the recordings of the Indians for Indians Radio Hour program, a long-running broadcast that started in the 1940s at the university’s WNAD station.   We’ll hear about the show’s founder, the complications…

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S1 E4: Not Even in the Dictionary

Iñupiaq dialects—spoken by people in the Northernmost parts of Alaska—are considered  “severely endangered,” with about 2,000 native speakers of these dialects alive today. In this episode, we chat with the people who are preserving, transcribing, and translating collections of audio and video recordings of Inupiaq dialects. They discuss the joys and challenges of preserving the…

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S1 E3: The Duty of Memory

They thought they knew what had value. In 1980, soldiers stormed the headquarters of Radio Haiti, arrested its journalists, and stole or destroyed the equipment—not realizing that the station’s most powerful weapon was its audio archive, which was left neglected and damaged but intact.

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