Shana Walton holds a doctorate in anthropology from Tulane University. She researches language and identity and worked for many years as editor, assistant director and then director of the Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage at the University of Southern Mississippi. She served as program coordinator for the statewide Mississippi Oral History Project, project director for the Mississippi Civil Rights Oral History Bibliography, producer for the CD ROM "Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives: the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi" and facilitated a coalition among Tougaloo College, the Mississippi State Archives and USM to secure funding to preserve the state's rich civil rights oral histories. She was also the associate director of Tulane's Deep South Humanities Center, and served as director of a project that explored ways to use community documentation and oral history as ways to improve reading and writing skills for urban K-12 students. Currently she lives in New Orleans and teaches as adjunct faculty at the University of New Orleans.
Save Those Stories: How to Run an Oral History Project in Your Family, Community or Church
Who should you interview? How do you ask questions? What kind of equipment do you use? What do you do with the interviews afterword?
Community History and Community Identity
Why do people collect community history? Is this a new thing? What purpose does it serve? Can we use this to generate tourism? How will this help our students? How will they know about it in 10 years?
Make Your Story Known: How to Create Products Based on Your Oral History Collection
Once you've got a collection of oral histories, what do you do with them? This talk looks at community and student products you can create including examples of web sites, exhibits, databases, books and CDs.
Standardized Tests, Spelling Bees, and Hanging Out: Language Discrimination in the Classroom and the Business World
The last legally acceptable form of discrimination is by language. Language serves as a gatekeeper for who gets in to be successful and who does not. The Ebonics debate may rage in textbooks but no law prevents an employer from not hiring anyone who doesn't speak standard English. This talk looks at how this discrimination works and what you can do to get involved in the national language debate. We also look at how dialect difference is maintained and explore the concept of "difference not a deficit."
"Ain't" Ain't a Word: Lies Told by English Grammar Books and Why You Should CareSpelling and grammar for English became standardized only a century ago. Before that people spelled and punctuated in many ways. Why did one form of English come to be acceptable? Why do we test for these things on standardized exams? Who decides these rules? Why do white middle class students do better on English grammar than other groups, including people of color and children from low-come homes? How do we address these problems in our group?