A native Texan, I studied as both an undergraduate and graduate student at Baylor University. I did my PhD work at Arizona State University in the United States Post-1945, Public History, and the American West. My first academic position was as the co-director of the Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage at the University of Southern Mississippi. I returned to Baylor in 2007 as a professor in the Department of History and the Director of the Institute for Oral History. I am active in local history organizations, a past president of Historic Waco Foundation and the Heart of Texas Regional History Fair. One key local initiative that I created and develop is Waco History, a website (www.wacohistory.org) and free mobile app on local history. A project also developed from this interest is the Waco History Podcast (www.wacohistorypodcast.com). I am an elder in my church here in Waco, Acts Church. In the community of oral historians, I am a past president of the national Oral History Association. I have organized, directed, and presented scores of oral history projects with work funded at the local, state, and national level. I have had the opportunity to present my research at many state and national meetings and abroad at conferences in Liverpool, Prague, Guadalajara, Naples, Istanbul, Buenos Aires, Barcelona, and Jyväskylä, Finland.
Industry Expertise (2)
Areas of Expertise (6)
2018 Elizabeth B. Mason Project Award for the Survivors of Genocide Oral History Project (professional)
From May 2015 through October 2016, the Baylor University Institute for Oral History conducted fourteen oral histories with survivors of the genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda/Burundi, Bosnia, and Darfur. This work was contracted through a grant from the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission in order for survivors who now live in Texas to tell their stories of escaping the horrors of their homelands and finding a new life in the United States.
2015 Book Award from the Oral History Association (professional)
For its strong analysis and examination of international and interdisciplinary oral history work in post-disaster settings, Listening on the Edge: Oral History in the Aftermath of Catastrophe co-edited by Associate Professor Stephen Sloan has been awarded the 2015 Book Award from the Oral History Association.
Arizona State University: Ph.D. 2003
Baylor University: M.A. 1998
Baylor University: B.B.A. 1990
- Oral History Association
- Historic Waco Foundation
- Heart of Texas Regional History Fair
Media Appearances (7)
Local history podcast tackling 'Waco's Known and Unknown Stories'
Waco Tribune-Herald print
Stephen Sloan, Ph.D., associate professor of history in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences and director of the Institute for Oral History, has joined with Randy Lane, a former Navy broadcast journalist, to produce the Waco History podcast, “Waco’s Known and Unknown Stories,” which offers in-depth dives into stories from Waco’s past. For Sloan, the podcast is the latest expansion of local history on a digital platform, joining the Waco History phone app that he helped produce with the Texas Collection, and the website www.wacohistory.org.
State of the heart of oral history
Seekers and Scholars Podcast (Mary Baker Eddy Library) online
In this episode, explore the importance and value of oral history with guest Dr. Stephen Sloan, director of Baylor University’s Institute for Oral History. Library employees Judy Huenneke and Steve Graham engage with Sloan on the art and practice of oral history, including its unique public and historical purpose. Huenneke and Graham are in the process of building a catalog of oral histories that document the living history of the Christian Science movement and the legacy of Mary Baker Eddy
Survivors Share Stories, Lessons in New Institute for Oral History Project
Survivors of some of the last half-century’s worst atrocities now have their stories and firsthand experiences preserved for future generations through a special Baylor Institute for Oral History (IOH) project, the Survivors of Genocide project, commissioned and funded by the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission. “When we hear about genocide, we see numbers, often graphic numbers, and hear reports of atrocities,” said Stephen Sloan, Ph.D., B.B.A. ’90, M.A. ’98, Baylor IOH director and assistant professor of history. “What can be lost is the human experience. What is it like for an individual to encounter this and continue to live a life? What oral histories and this project bring is that human experience—someone touched as closely as you can be by an event, relating it to you to help us understand.”
Baylor records oral histories of genocide survivors
Baptist Standard online
The stories of 14 people who survived genocides and other atrocities in their countries — Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Darfur and Burundi — have been compiled in videos and transcripts for an online exhibit by Baylor’s Institute for Oral History (IOH). The survivors managed to escape, immigrate to the United States and begin new lives. Quoted is Stephen Sloan, Ph.D., IOH director, who said that personal oral history is “the best way to understand the human experience of these horrific events.”
Foundation for India Studies Receives Support from Baylor University’s Institute of Oral History
Indo American News online
“I am very impressed by the quality and scope of the more than fifty oral history interviews already gathered through the Houston Indo-American Oral History Project. These stories offer a rich tapestry of the community’s history,” said Dr. Stephen Sloan, Director, Baylor University’s Institute of Oral History. “We are pleased to consult on the next phase of FIS’ oral history work documenting the history of the partition of India through the experiences of those refugees that settled in Texas in the wake of this dramatic political and demographic change.”
McLennan History in The Palm of Your Hand
As I drive throughout Waco with Stephen Sloan, director of Baylor University’s Institute for Oral History, he’s quick to point out how he now thinks in “pins” – like the kind you’d find on a map marking a specific spot.
“I have this experience as I drive now, I see pins," Sloan says. "We just passed a couple of pins, we got a pin up here on the left we’re passing and we’re gonna stop at another pin just over the hill.”
The “pin” we’re arriving at is Jasper’s BBQ on Elm Avenue – It’s Waco’s oldest operating barbecue restaurant. However, these pins aren’t your typical destination, they’re markers throughout McLennan County indicating historical locations. And they’re all part of a free app called Waco History. There’s even a companion website. Both – which were spearheaded by the Institute for Oral History and Baylor’s Texas Collection – serve as somewhat of a virtual museum. Both organizations along with students pre-populated the app with written histories, archival photos and audio clips on historic places throughout McLennan County.
New “Waco History” Website and Mobile App, Created by Baylor University, Showcase Central Texas Heritage
Baylor Media Communications online
The project — “Waco History” — is a website at www.wacohistory.org and a free mobile app showcasing the people, places and moments that have shaped “the heart of Texas,” said Stephen Sloan, Ph.D., director of the Institute for Oral History.
As this volume well demonstrates, the impact of digital media on oral history is wide and far-reaching. In a relatively short time, new technologies have revolutionized countless aspects of the work of oral history—from creation, to preservation, to use—and raised a multitude of discussions among oral historians on the impact of new technologies on oral history practice. What is also needed is a discourse on the nature of oral history in the midst of this dramatic change. In the revolution brought about by the introduction and rapid evolution of the digital age, what is the place of oral history as information in that new environment? As well-known professor and management consultant Peter Drucker declared in 1999, the first phase of the IT (Information Technology) revolution was focused on the “T” rather than the “I.” In the new millennium, Drucker argued, the most pressing question that must be dealt with is the nature of information itself: “What is the MEANING of information and its PURPOSE?” 2 For this conversation, I would argue that oral historians need to follow the same path. It has been important to examine the technological aspect of this revolution, but what about the meaning and purpose of oral history as part of this new information landscape?
On September 11, 2001, about midmorning in central Arizona, my three-year-old son reached up and turned off the television in an attempt to calm his mother who was overcome with sadness. The horror, panic, and chaos of that fateful day affected people and places far removed from the terrorist attacks and became a point in time at which lives were divided into before and after. It was a watershed event with national and international ramifications. A catastrophe of such great scale overwhelms individual human experience. What it meant on a personal level to live through and continue to live with the events of September 11 is displaced by larger, and invariably more simplistic, narratives. In such contexts, the power of oral history, as a way to...