This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.
This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please inquire about permissions.
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This interview with Polly Dewhirst was conducted on June 22, 2018 in the dining room of 24 Eighth Street in Hudson, New York. Polly is a co-participant in the Oral History Summer School program with the interviewer. During the interview, Polly described her early Childhood experiences and feelings about living in a suburban community in Cheshire, Connecticut. She reflects on an experience impacting her family at a young age and the stigma associated with it. She discusses her early college experiences and the influence of those experiences in her interest in social work. Polly reflects on her first opportunity to work internationally in Johannesburg, South Africa and the human rights work she was involved with. She describes what it was like when she returned to her Childhood home in Connecticut when her mother became terminally ill. Within this last section, she speaks at length on how she arrived in Burma and the human rights work she and her husband are involved in.
This interview may be of interest to those who want to learn about growing up in a suburban environment in Connecticut; family dynamics; social work; international human rights work; working and living in South Africa; being a caretaker for a family member, and working and living in Burma.
Karen L Lew Biney-Amissah is a New York City based educator who has worked in informal learning environments for the last 20 years, a budding public historian, and researcher with an interest in revealing hidden histories. She is interested in leveraging people’s connection to place and their personal narratives to foster imagination, inquiry, and reflection. Karen holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Archaeology and a M.S. in Museum Education.
This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.
Oral history is an iterative process. In keeping with oral history values of anti-fixity, interviewees will have an opportunity to add, annotate and reflect upon their lives and interviews in perpetuity. Talking back to the archive is a form of “shared authority.”