Joseph Plaster

Currently an Innovation Resident at Johns Hopkins, a hybrid teaching / public humanities job created to lead public-facing programming in Baltimore.

Plaster has worked as an oral historian, radio producer, and freelance journalist with the Peabody award-winning, The Nation, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and KALW radio. As an independent public humanities director affiliated with San Francisco’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical society from 2006-2010, Joey spearheaded projects funded by the California Council for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the San Francisco Foundation, and other funders.  His Public Humanities projects include: “Vanguard Revisited,” which was, was as an imagined conversation between two cohorts of homeless youth activists in San Francisco’s Tenderloin: one which in 1966 founded the seminal organization Vanguard and another which in 2011 “reconstituted” the organization around contemporary concerns by reenacting its street theater, artistic productions, and organizational structure. Jan. 2010-June 2011; “Polk Street: Lives in Transition,” which was awarded the American Historical Association’s 2010 Allan Berube Prize for public humanities.  This project interpreted more than seventy original oral histories in relation to contemporary neighborhood change and conflict. Outcomes included a multimedia exhibit, radio documentaries, historical narratives, and a series of neighborhood dialogues and events. Oct. 2007-Dec. 2009; and “The Oberlin College LGBT Community History Project,” which interpreted more than seventy oral histories through a thesis-length paper and permanent, multimedia archive, currently being maintained by the college administration and used as a teaching resource in Oberlin classrooms. July 2005-present.

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