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Program Manager (Oral Historian)


University, MS, US, 38677

Department:  Center for the Study of Southern Culture (10000998)
Employee Designation:  Regular Full-time (Benefits Eligible)

Note for Current UM Employees

Current employees must apply internally via connectU >

Definition of Class

The Southern Foodways Alliance seeks an Oral Historian to lead the collection and dissemination of SFA's oral history work. SFA oral histories tell the stories of the people across the region and beyond, who make, grow, and serve great Southern food. The mission of the SFA is to document, study, and explore the diverse food cultures of the changing American South. A member-supported organization based at the University of Mississippi’s Center for the Study of Southern Culture, we collect oral histories, produce films and podcasts, publish great writing, sponsor scholarship, mentor students, and stage events that serve as progressive and inclusive catalysts for the American South.


This position manages departmental programs and activities. The incumbent manages and participates in the operation of programs, promotes the development and administration of objectives and strategic goals, and builds collaborative relationships supporting program activities.


The successful incumbent will be based in Oxford at the SFA offices and will work under limited supervision and travel widely throughout the region. An MFA in oral history, documentary expression, or a related field is preferred. For full consideration, please provide a cover letter and an example of previous oral history work. You may contact the search committee chair at if you need any accommodations for the search.

Examples of Work Performed

  • Coordinate the daily operations of the Oral History Program for the Southern Foodways Alliance. Incumbents conduct oral history interviews as well as oversee, direct, and manage administrative, financial, personnel, and general business operations for the oral history work of SFA while exercising independent judgment and a high degree of discretionary authority.
  • Provide technical assistance and research support to identify the needs and available resources related to SFA's oral history work.
  • Supervise at any given time 6 or more contract oral historians and 3 to 4 photographers, and any other people or systems required to successfully collect, process, and share oral history interviews.   
  • Process completed projects so that they may be shared through all available SFA channels.
  • Collaborate with any class offered at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture or in liberal arts sharing oral history best practices and overseeing field work.
  • Oversee SFA’s archiving project with two dedicated contract employees and a web frame development team.
  • Be actively engaged in the work of the Oral History Association.
  • Carry out interviews from start to completion including, but not limited to, archival research, interviewing, editing, following up with interviewees, preparing final interview materials for deposit in the SFA’s collection, and disseminating interview subject matter via social media and other digital platforms.
  • Supervise SFA’s oral history team which includes contract oral historians, transcriptionists, translators, photographers, audio technicians, graphic designers, and others.
  • Work with SFA staff to identify and prioritize oral history topics, themes, and individual interviews to be pursued.
  • Explore and experiment with new technology appropriate for recording and archiving oral histories.
  • Manage oral history equipment inventory and its dissemination to oral history collaborators throughout the region.
  • Pursue professional development opportunities including, but not limited to, film and video production, and editing.  
  • Maintain a broad network of contacts with professionals engaged in oral history in order to promote professionalism and new ideas.
  • Prepare for and conduct the SFA’s annual oral history workshop.
  • Collaborate with the Center for the Study of Southern Culture to ensure that SFA oral history work is a part of the Center curriculum.
  • Teach or team oral history/documentary classes for the Center for the Study of Southern Culture.
  • Build relationships at UM and at universities across the region and beyond to share, collect, and teach SFA oral history work.
  • Maintain the Karen Barker Documentary Archive for SFA oral history work.  
  • Use SFA’s advisory board as a resource to ensure that SFA’s oral history program is properly grounded in intellectual rigor and best academic practices.
  • Work with SFA staff to disseminate oral histories through various media channels.
  • Present SFA oral history work at SFA symposia and other conferences.

Essential Functions

These essential functions include, but are not limited to, the following. Additional essential functions may be identified and included by the hiring department.

  1. Plans, develops, implements and evaluates assigned programs and activities.
  2. Manages and participates in the operation of programs.
  3. Facilitates communication to build collaborative relationships.

Minimum Education/Experience

Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university.




Three (3) years of experience related to the above described duties.


Substitution Statement:

Related experience may be substituted for education, on a basis set forth and approved by the Department of Human Resources.

Salary/Wage Information

To learn more about our pay structure and view our salary ranges, click here to visit the Compensation page of our Human Resources website. This link is provided for general pay information. Hourly rate or salary may vary depending on qualifications, experience, and departmental budget. Note: Unclassified positions (faculty, executives, researchers and coaches) do not have established salary ranges.

EEO Statement

The University of Mississippi provides equal opportunity in any employment practice, education program, or education activity to all qualified persons. The University complies with all applicable laws regarding equal opportunity and affirmative action and does not unlawfully discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment based upon race, color, gender, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, citizenship, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or genetic information.

Background Check Statement

The University of Mississippi is committed to providing a safe campus community. UM conducts background investigations for applicants being considered for employment. Background investigations include a criminal history record check, and when appropriate, a financial (credit) report or driving history check.

Nearest Major Market: Oxford Mississippi