Faculty members from the University of Chicago will contribute to the official oral history of the Obama presidency, a project being led by the Center for Oral History Research at Columbia University.
The Obama Foundation and Columbia University announced today that the project is intended to produce a comprehensive, enduring record of the decisions, actions and effects of the Obama presidency, as well as the lives of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. In addition to the work at the University of Chicago, the University of Hawaii will partner with Columbia to conduct oral histories to document President Obama’s early life.
The work at the University of Chicago will be led by Adam Green, associate professor of American History and the College; and Jacqueline Stewart, professor in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies and the College. The oral histories collected by the Chicago group will focus on the Obamas’ careers in Chicago and on President Obama’s time as a community organizer, state legislator, U.S. senator and senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School.
The project will examine Michelle Obama’s work and legacy as First Lady, as well as her career in Chicago before entering the White House. This will encompass her time as a lawyer, in city government as the Assistant Commissioner of Planning and Development, her leadership of Public Allies, and her roles at the University of Chicago, including serving as Vice President for Community and External Affairs at the Medical Center and as the first director of the University Community Service Center, which offers opportunities to students, staff and faculty for service learning, volunteerism and civic engagement.