Your goal is to interview a woman who experienced life both before and after the second wave feminist movement of the 1960s to 1980s. You want to find out what she thinks about the changes brought about by the second wave and/or her thoughts about women’s issues in general. You are welcome to interview a woman you know well (your mother, aunt, grandmother, teacher, neighbor) or to seek out another woman whose experiences you are curious about ( a woman who works in the profession you hope to join, a female politician or activist). Your subject does not have to self-identify as a feminist (all women, feminist or not, have witnessed the changes made by the women’s movement).
Please note: If you have lived through this era, you are welcome either to interview another woman (ideally one whose life/circumstances were very different than your own) or to create a project focusing on a specific aspect of your own life experiences.
Format: (Both options require an interesting title, the use of MLA guidelines, and careful editing.)
Option #1 Interview Format
This option involves a text heavy approach like that used in magazine interviews. See for example, the Peggy McIntosh interview (Links to an external site.) we will read in Module 1.
An interview style oral history should include three distinct sections.
1) A brief introduction (approximately 250 words) of the woman (her background, your relationship to her, etc.)
2) Her oral history (approximately 1000 words), which should be in her words, but organized and presented by you to highlight the key issues/topics discussed in the interview. (Do not feel compelled to go chronologically through the entire interview; you can pick and choose the parts that are most interesting/relevant and organize according to the issues you want to analyze in part 3 of the paper. Be sure to represent your interviewee as accurately as possible, but don’t feel compelled to include every detail.)
3) An analysis and discussion of her oral history (500 words). In this section, make connections between this woman’s experiences and our course texts and key terms. For example, do the subject’s experiences as a stay-at-home mother sound like Betty Friedan’s? Did Title IX have an impact on her experiences of education? Using quotes from the readings or videos along with the words from the interview is a great strategy. Make sure to cite all sources to which you refer.
Multimedia Elements: Even if your project is in written interview format, you should include multimedia elements such as photographs–historical or of your subject, audio clips, historical video clips or web links (to news items about events or other related sites) can be incorporated into any part of your project.
You might want to use a multimedia tool, such as the free blog site Weebly, to allow more fluidity with the multimedia elements. Any program you feel suits the design you have in mind is fine.