Book discussion ! Amy Starecheski on “Ours to Lose” March 7th !

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Amy Starecheski will discuss her new book Ours to Lose: When Squatters Became Homeowners in New York City (University of Chicago Press, 2016) on Tuesday, March 7 (4:30 PM) at the Tamiment Library. A reception with wine and cheese will follow the lecture. This event is co-sponsored by the Frederic Ewen Center and the Archives and Public History Program.
Anthropologists go to “the field” to find knowledge. Historians go to the archive. Really?

Of course, this simplistic dichotomy fails to capture the complexity of the research practices of anthropologists and historians, let alone interdisciplinary scholars. Still, what does the anthropologist do in the archive? (How) is that different from what historians do? Anthropologist and oral historian Amy Starecheski will use the research for Ours to Lose as a case study to explore these questions. Starecheski started her research with oral histories and papers archived at the Tamiment in the Squatters Rights Collection and she when she was done she archived all of the oral histories she conducted there.

In this multimedia event, Starecheski will play some audio from the oral histories and share some key documents from the collection, showing how she put archival research and oral histories in conversation to make sense of one particularly dramatic story: that of how a group of squatters in five buildings on East 13th Street mobilized their labor and their history to make a precedent-setting adverse possession claim on their buildings in the mid-1990s.

Amy Starecheski is co-director of the Oral History Master of Arts program at Columbia University. She received a PhD in cultural anthropology from the CUNY Graduate Center, where she was a Public Humanities Fellow. In 2016 she received the “Will the Next Margaret Mead Please Stand Up?” Prize for public anthropological writing.

Copies of Ours to Lose will be available for purchase.

RSVP: email[at] with guest name(s) & event title.



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