What is SIS?

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What is SIS?

Spelman’s Independent Scholars (SIS) Program is a two-semester independent, interdisciplinary and intergenerational learning experience open to students across all majors. In SIS, we enhance our critical writing and critical thinking skills. In weekly seminars we share our research, sharpen our skills and grow in knowledge about oral history. In addition to learning sessions with the SIS faculty mentor, we are privileged to lectures by guest scholars including a gerontologist, two oral historians, a museum curator, an archivist and a physician-researcher in traditional knowledge. The first semester in SIS focuses on research and interviewing. The second semester focuses on transcribing and editing.

The concept paper included in our SIS Research Notebook gives a rationale for the learning experience:

Throughout our history in this nation — indeed before we were brought to these shores — older women in our families and in our communities have been griots and sages, seers and prophets whom we were taught to honor and revere. Their stories teach us about values and beliefs that shaped their reality and, in immeasurable ways, impact our own. For reason, then, we see their memories, anchored deep in the soil of wisdom, as cherished treasures. It is this truth, as old as time itself, that undergirds the SIS Oral History Project.
Danielle Phillips, Spelman Independent Scholar

“Every time an elder dies, we lose a library”
An African Proverb

“The world is made of stories, not atoms”

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