About Martha

P1000274I was born in Chicago, Illinois (1937) and after the age of 7, raised and schooled in Texas, until 1958 when I began travelling, first living in Baghdad for three and a half years, and then in Spain where I enrolled in estudios hispánicos at the Universidad de Madrid (1961-1962).  I completed my master´s at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (1964), and my doctorate at St. Louis University (1975), taught there and at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, the University of Missouri, St. Louis, and Cottey College, Nevada, Missouri.  I retired from teaching with Albuquerque Public Schools in 1999.

In 1978 I bought a small house in Càlig, Castellón, where I have spent summers and other seasons, fascinated with life near the Mediterranean.  Listening to stories told in casual gatherings in homes and on the street, I was first reminded of my grandparents stories told after our Civil War.  Eventually I became interested in recording people in Càlig which turned into the Càlig Oral History project for which I received two grants: in 1988 a Rockefeller Foundation award and in 1991-92 a National Endowment for Humanities award.

Since then I wrote up stories for intermediate Spanish students based on my experiences and the interviews Voces de cambio.  A Cultural Reader (2009).  Transcribing 100 interviews was a lengthy process which required assistance over the years.  Sergio Duran of Mexico helped me a great deal in 2006 and 2007.  In 2009 I donated a copy of the cassettes to la Universidad Nacional de Distancia in Madrid under the auspices of Maria Garcia Alonso, professor of Anthropology.  These tapes have now been digitized as well as the tapes I have.

From 2010 to 2013 I worked on Salir de Silencio. Voces de Càlig 1900-1938.  In July 2013 Onada Edicions published the work and the first oral history text of Càlig was presented to its people on August 2, 2013.

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