Masterclasses lecturers


Michael Frisch was for many years Professor of American Studies and History at the University at Buffalo and the State University of New York. He was President of the American Studies Association (2000–2001), and the Oral History Association (2009–2010), and editor of the Oral History Review (1986–1996). He is author of A Shared Authority: Essays on the Craft and Meaning of Oral and Public History (1990) and (with photographer Milton Rogovin) Portraits in Steel (1993). He recently moved into consulting and software development helping organizations to create meaningful access to the stories, photos, and oral histories they generate and collect through his Randforce Associates, LLC consulting office. He has focused on new tools and approaches for media-linked multi-dimensional transcription, multimedia content management, and rich indexing – ways of “putting oral history to use(s).”  He has formed a partnership with a “short-form oral history” web-app, PixStori, through which users add voice, sound, and stories to photographs, sharing these in social multi-media communities.


Alessandro Portelli has taught American Literature at the Universities of Siena and Rome. He has served as an advisor on historical memory to the Mayor of Rome and is the founder of the Circolo Gianni Bosio, an independent organization for the critical study and promotion of peoples' cultures, oral history, and folk music. He has been a visiting professor and research fellow at several universities worldwide. His work published in English includes The Death of Luigi Trastulli and other Stories. Form and Meaning in Oral History (1991), The Text and the Voice. Writing, Speaking and Democracy in American Literature (1994), The Battle of Valle Giulia. Oral History and the Art of Dialogue (1997), The Order has Been Carried Out. History, Memory and Meaning of a Nazi Massacre in Rome (2003), and They Say in Harlan County: an Oral History (2011).


Anna Wylegała is a sociologist and Associate Professor at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences. Her work focuses on the social history of World War II and the immediate postwar period. She is also interested in the qualitative methodology of social research, oral history, and memory studies. She is author of Displaced Memories: Remembering and Forgetting in Post-War Poland and Ukraine (2019) and Był dwór, nie ma dworu. Reforma rolna w Polsce [There was an estate, there is no estate anymore. Agricultural reform in Poland] (2021). She has also co-edited two other volumes: The Burden of the Past: History, Memory and Identity in Contemporary Ukraine (2020), and No Neighbors’ Lands: Vanishing Others in Postwar Europe (2023). Currently, she is a leader of the Polish part of the “24.02.22, 5 am: Testimonies from the War” project, focused on collecting the oral history of Ukrainian refugees after 2022.