Class open for early registration

Folklorists Michael and Carrie Kline will offer their fourth annual class in oral-history gathering during the week of June 16.

“Listening for a Change: Oral History and Appalachian Heritage” will focus on the folklife and life stories of Randolph and Tucker counties’ people.

The early registration period ends April 15. To register, anyone interested can visit the website and scroll down to June.

The course opens with supper at the Klines’ June 16 and runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 17 to 21. It consists of class discussions, listening exercises, a field trip to a local farm and visits with guest speakers.

Students will work in teams to interview local residents about their lives. The class will broaden appreciation for the richness of local life by exploring the vibrancy of spoken lore and oral memory.

Participants can learn to document life stories and community experience through the art of deep listening. This is the real secret of successful interviewing – learning to listen without judgment or an agenda of your own.

Michael and Carrie Kline’s production company, Talking Across the Lines: Worldwide Conversations, has recorded individual narratives and interwoven communitywide perspectives into engaging, award-winning audio histories.

The intent of these documentary efforts is to give voice to West Virginia wisdom, expressive arts and cultural history.

The Klines are experienced teachers of oral history and Appalachian heritage. They are seasoned audio producers and public folklorists. Their courses have attracted students from various backgrounds, including social workers, carpenters, educators, museum directors, bus drivers and lifelong learners. Some students come to West Virginia especially for the class, while local students season the workshop with potent flavors of their own, and the mixes make for exciting discussions. In addition to seeking out local students, Michael and Carrie Kline are open to ideas for recording local people.

More information is available by emailing or calling 304-636-5444.