Dr. Martha Norkunas

Martha NorkunasProfessor

E-mail: martha.norkunas@mtsu.edu
Phone: (615) 494-7701
Office Location: Peck Hall Room 226
MTSU Box 23
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Teaching Fields:
Public History, Oral History, Memory and History, Labor History

Graduate Seminars
: Oral History and Memory: Theory and Methodology; Interpreting and Representing Oral History and Memory; Cultural Representations of the Past; Interpreting the Oral, the Visual and the Ethnographic; Sites of Conscience, Sites of Memory

Undergraduate Courses: Oral History, Identity and Diversity; Public History; Work, Globalization and Human Rights; History of the Industrial City: Lowell, Massachusetts; Popular Culture; American History 1865 to the Present 

Click on the play button to watch Dr. Norkunas talk about the classes she teaches.

Research Interests:The intersections of history and memory in personal narratives; representations of the past on the landscape; the construction of race, class and gender in life history narratives; individual and collective memory; nuanced listening. 

Click on the play button to watch Dr. Norkunas talk about her research.

Selected Publications: 
Monuments and Memory, History and Representation in Lowell, Massachusetts. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, 2002; Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2006. Honorable Mention Eli Kongas-Maranda Prize of the Women's Folklore Section, American Folklore Society, 2003. 

Work, Recreation, and Culture: Selected Essays in United States Labor History. Editor (with Martin Blatt). New York: Garland Press, 1996.

The Politics of Public Memory: Tourism, History and Ethnicity in Monterey California. Albany, New York: SUNY Press, 1993. Historic Preservation Book Award, Mary Washington College, Center for Historic Preservation, 1994.

"Narratives of Resistance and the Consequences of Resistance," Journal of Folklore Research, v. 41, nos.2-3 (May-December 2004): 105-123."The Ethnic Enclave as Cultural Space: Women's Oral Histories of Life and Work in Lowell," in The Continuing Revolution, Robert Weible, ed., Lowell, Massachusetts: The Lowell Historical Society, 1991, pp. 323-339.

Selected Presentations, Creative Work, and Community Based Projects: 
Editor and research supervisor, online exhibits for the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center, Austin, Texas.

"Introduction, African American Texans Oral History Project," Online Took Kit for Teaching African American History, University of Texas at Austin, 

"A Monument is Apart from Ordinary Space and Time," Podcast for the exhibition, America Starts Here: Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler, The Austin Museum of Art, Austin, Texas.

Keynote, "Listening Across Differences," Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies and the Smithsonian Heritage Months Steering Committee, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Live webcast on Youtube:

Radio interview, "Oral History," Middle Tennessee State University, On the Record, May 2, 2010, Listen to the podcast.

Selected Oral History Projects: 
Director, African American Oral History Project. Over 110 life history interviews with people of African descent in Austin, Texas, and the Murfreesboro-Nashville, Tennessee area. Project explores issues of race, gender, class, racial consciousness, racialized space, memory, and interracial interviewing.

Listening Across Difference Oral History Project (with Ann Graham). Oral history project for different faculties in the Austin Independent School District to build trust between teachers from difference races, genders, and backgrounds.

Work in Progress: 
I am currently working on a book about the intersections of individual and social memory, investigating how the postmodern environment inflects the narration of difficult pasts.

Ph.D., Folklore, The Folklore Institute, Indiana University, 1990
M.A., (D.E.A.) History, Universit√© de Provence, Aix-Marseille II, Aix-en-Provence, France, 1982 
B.A., American Studies, Brandeis University, 1978