In this lecture, Judith Sloan looks at ethics and politics in performance and expressive documentary projects that use oral history as source material. Questions of who owns a story, responsibility of the author/artist to the subject, and ethical decisions involved in using “real” people’s stories. She looks at oral history projects in theatre, film, books and radio and how those projects impact the lives of the subjects as well as the artists. She discusses the national dialogue taking place between artists, journalists, and human rights advocates about the training necessary and ethical decisions involved in revealing stories of people who are vulnerable or have experienced significant trauma. Sloan presents excerpts from EarSay projects that explore police brutality, whistleblowers, eccentrics, immigrants and refugees. This presentation is geared primarily for universities, theatre programs, audiences of documentary artists, writers, actors, educators. A lecture presentation can also be combined with a Crossing the BLVD or Yo Miss performance. All of Sloan’s lectures and workshops include multiple perspectives—revealing a prismatic, paradoxical and ever-shifting America, bringing to life the voices of village and planet, and fostering a complex discussion on immigration, community, geopolitics, and democracy.
Sloan is a frequent lecturer, presenter, and guest artist for theatre, documentary art, and global studies programs at universities, conferences, human rights organizations and eduational programs in the United States and abroad, including: University of Florida (Gainesville), SUNY Albany, New York State Writers Institute, University of Tennessee (Knoxville), CUNY Honors College, Maryland Institute College of Art, New York University, Oral History Association, National Women’s Studies conferences, SUNY New Paltz, Bennington College, Riverside Community College, The Pargod Theatre (Jerusalem), AVODA Arts, The Six-Point Fellowship, The Phoenix Theatre, Columbia University, Facing History and Ourselves, The Market Theatre Laboratory (Johannesberg), Toronto Jewish Feminist Conference, Queens College, Amherst College, Dartmouth, M.I.T. Duke University Documentary Studies, New York Institute of Technology, etc.