This collection features interviews performed by students of the Modern Language Department. The interviewees are modern-day immigrants who share their stories about their homelands, their travels to the United States, and their new lives in this country. The collection includes video-taped interviews and their transcriptions, as well as related memorabilia including photographs and immigration documents.
Oral History Project
“Immigrants, Voyagers, and the Languages of Memory”
Modern Language Department
Central Connecticut State University
This approach to oral histories offers a contribution to the understanding of our multicultural and multilingual reality, while building bridges between the classroom and the community. In the spring of 2011, the Modern Language Department a Central Connecticut State University launched the project with the purpose of creating a digital archive of video recorded interviews and related biographical materials collected by students and faculty members. The project is designed to be ongoing and to engage immigrants from a variety of countries who speak their native language and are currently members of local communities.
The interviews, along with summaries, transcripts, biographies of interviewees, and images reproducing documents and pictures, are part of course work prepared by students enrolled in participating language classes. The narrators have spent a minimum of ten years in the United States and ten years in a foreign country, whose language is used for the interview in an informal, spontaneous fashion, so drawing attention to their bicultural and bilingual experiences in different social settings
Immigrants narrate their stories and memories about their homelands, their childhood and adolescence, their travel experiences, the relocation process, and their lives in the United States. In the interviews, they are willing to share practical difficulties due to changes and adaptation, as well as the emotions associated with struggles, successes and nostalgia. Each of the stories offers not only a personal interpretation of the immigration experience, but also a perspective on the multicultural, dynamic nature of our society, which stimulates reflections on the role that intercultural communication plays in culture, education, and human connections.
Prof. Carmela Pesca, Coordinator of the Oral History Project,
Modern Language Department, CCSU