Liz Listening by Katie Rawson
As part of last week's oral history workshop, participants were asked to create blog posts--short pieces in response to any part of their time spent in Oxford. We will be view featuring their submissions here over the course of the next few weeks.
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The Oral History Workshop reminded me why collecting people's stories is central to understanding a subject. Before the interview [with Liz Stagg at The Farmers' Market], we brainstormed questions. From our conversation, it was clear we had preconceived ideas about the Farmers' Market--particularly how it fit into popular and politicized discourses of local food movements.
The interview itself brought brought to the fore how important details are. Liz Stagg's answer to why they sell locally grown and produced veggies, milk, and meat was more practically and socially nuanced than the idealized, ethically-driven narrative of local food movements. Her essential message was: We talk to customers and producers, and we listen.
Learning to listen was central to what Amy taught us during the workshop as well. Amy's interview with Liz interrupts and expands popular narratives of local food, attesting to the importance of the SFA's oral history work. For me, it provides an important model for conducting my own work on the stories people tell about food.
Liberal Arts, Emory - Atlanta, GA