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Johnson C. Smith professor tapped for oral history project at Duke University

Charlotte, N.C. (December 15, 2011) — Johnson C. Smith Professor Sharon Raynor will be working with Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies to conduct and document community experiences, spoken memory, oral history and the literacy and culture of silence during the spring 2012 semester. 

She plans to explore topics including the cultural preparedness of making a memory into a story and how memories and stories can cross cultures and generations without the experiences being lost in translation.  Professor Raynor has directed two oral history projects, “Breaking the Silence: The Unspoken Brotherhood of Vietnam Veterans” and “Soldier-to-Soldier: Men and Women Share their Legacy of War,” originally funded by the North Carolina Humanities Council.

Tom Rankin, director of the Center for Documentary Studies, said the timing could not be better for having Professor Raynor on campus.  “We are beginning a veterans history initiative, much of which is grounded in oral interviews. 

Sharon D. Raynor is associate professor of English and the Mott University Distinguished Professor (2010-2013). She earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in English from East Carolina University and her Ph.D. in English from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

She is also the recipient of the Alphonse Fletcher, Sr. Fellowship through the Fletcher Foundation and the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. In previous years, she served as the Interim Director of the Honors College (2008-2009), the Chair of the Department of English and Foreign Languages at Johnson C. Smith University (2005-2008) and as a lecturer in the English Department at East Carolina University.

Founded in 1867, Johnson C. Smith University is the premier independent urban liberal arts university located in the heart of Charlotte, N.C. It offers a progressive liberal arts curriculum with 26 fields of study to nearly 1,500 students. The University prepares students for success through excellent academic programs with a focus on servant leadership, civic engagement and global responsibility.          



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