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Products for grant SO-268683-20

State Humanities Program
Megan Tarbett, West Virginia Humanities Council

Grant details:

Locked Down: An Oral History of COVID-19 in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle (Database/Archive/Digital Edition)
Title: Locked Down: An Oral History of COVID-19 in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle
Author: Dr. Julia Sandy, Ed.
Author: Dr. Keith Alexander, Ed.
Abstract: The oral history project engaged several humanities fields. Oral history itself draws on oral tradition, and the project explicitly examined the impact of a new virus on the human environment. The project applied the tools of history to document that impact for future generations, as well as offering an initial historical analysis. It applied the social sciences by capturing data on the differential impacts of the virus on a variety of individuals from various geographical areas and socioeconomic statuses. Because the interviews were video recorded, the data will be far richer than conventional oral histories, and could be utilized by future social scientists in ways we cannot yet imagine. The project addressed developments of great interest to historians. Throughout the initial few weeks of national lockdowns due to the emerging pandemic crisis, West Virginia remained the one state without a single confirmed case of Covid-19. That changed on March 17, when the state"s first coronavirus infection appeared in Shepherdstown, home to Shepherd University. That case, as well as the state"s initial mishandling of it, made international news. As we saw in communities around the nation, after the first positive case, life quickly turned upside down. This project collected evidence about how the global pandemic impacted the lives of people in our region. It included African American and Hispanic interviewees, as well as West Virginians from underrepresented areas of the state. Interview audio, video, and transcriptions from the interviews were collected and are available online.
Year: 2021
Primary URL:
Access Model: Public