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Blowout: A Community’s Engagement with Fracking

Oral Histories

Built by a team of graduate students in Dr. Todd Moye's Fall 2019 HIST 5500 course at the University of North Texas, "Blowout" highlights oral history as its primary methodology.  As defined by the Oral History Association (OHA), oral histories are interviews that are co-created by interviewers and narrators and deposited in an archive or repository.  These histories are then available for interpretation by a variety of audiences.

Methodologically, each graduate student serving as an interviewer followed best practices outlined by the OHA.  As a group, interviewers conducted research on the topic and established themes that would be explored through each interview.  Interviewers met with their narrators in advance of the interview to explain the project, obtained professional recording equipment to ensure high-quality audio, and established permission for recording and archiving the captured audio.  Interviews took place with the narrator's consent, and narrators offered their own unique, individual perspectives.  Each interview was then deposited into the UNT Oral History Program's holdings, where it is preserved thanks to the efforts of the program's director Dr. Moye and its administrative assistant Sara Wilson and thanks to the digitization efforts of the UNT Libraries through the Portal to Texas History.

This digital project includes full oral histories and excerpts with politically engaged Dentonites who participated in the fracking debate in a multitude of ways.  It attempts to contextualize their individual stories in thematic digital exhibits. This effort does not purport to tell the whole story nor does it contain a representative sample of Denton voters.  However, the creators did attempt to interview Dentonites who opposed the ban.