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Alumni Spotlight: Elizabeth Gelvin

After graduating from LSU in May 2015 with my B.A. in anthropology and liberal arts with a focus in film and media arts, I participated in an oral history internship at the Lower Ninth Ward Living Museum, a neighborhood museum and oral history archive. The Living Museum is dedicated to preserving the collective memory of the Lower Ninth Ward, a New Orleans neighborhood with a rich cultural history in the face of generations of purposeful neglect by the powers that be. Since Hurricane Katrina, only one in five families have been able to return to the Lower Ninth Ward, and ten years later the infrastructure of the neighborhood is still virtually nonexistent. After completing my summer internship, I was offered the position of oral history project manager at the museum. I’m currently organizing the museum’s archives and conducting interviews with Lower Ninth Ward residents both for preservation and to be included in future exhibits. This opportunity to work one-on-one with residents to record and preserve their stories has been an incredible privilege and honor. In addition to working for the museum, I’m also a contract transcriber with the T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History at LSU. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to work for the center my senior year, as a student assistant under the director, Jennifer Abraham Cramer. That position, in conjunction with my studies in anthropology, was truly fundamental in preparing me for my current work in oral history, and I cannot emphasize enough how wonderful of an institution and resource the Center is to any student of cultural anthropology or a related discipline.