The documents we inherit from the KCC include a number of oral history interviews conducted by a researcher over the summer. They describe the work and development of the KCC. In this assignment, you will choose one oral history file and write a short essay about it. The “technical” part: you will write this assignment in markdown, in a separate file which will be loaded into a one-page website and displayed as HTML. Your text should reference the oral history and, in particular, should point readers to specific passages in the interview by the use of time-code links (the assignment repository describes in detail how to do this).

Content of your Assignment

Your written assignment should be approximately 400 words in length, and should identify

  • issues of interest to you, and to the team project, which arise in the interview
  • reflections on the use of oral history sources, e.g.:
    • what additional information do you get from listening to the original oral history source?
    • what is missing? what do you wish the interviewer had done differently? will you treat this source any differently from the way you would treat a written source?

In both cases, please make references to specific passages in the interview. Since this is a web-based project, you may want to include a few pictures as well, and perhaps make changes to the CSS and HTML of the appropriate files. Depending on the pace of our data-processing project, we may be able to provide you with PDFs of supporting texts as well.

I’ll provide you with a choice of files shortly.

Choosing an Interview

We have a small selection of oral history interviews for you to choose from. All of these were conducted by a student research assistant in Yuksom in July and August of 2017, with founding members of the KCC. You may find that you have to sneak ahead to the next couple of weeks of reading in order to make sense of the context for the interviews. It’s all information you’ll need to know eventually; and if you have questions that are difficult to resolve, Slack is a good place to ask them.

  • Chewang Bhutia, Aug 9, 2017: Chewang Bhutia is a guide and one of the earliest founders of the KCC. The discusses the early days.
  • Pema Bhutia, June 29, 2017: Brief, but rich discussion on the origination of the KCC by its President, Pema Bhutia, one of the founding members. Pema describes the situations in West Sikkim which inspired the establishment of the organization: un-regulated tourism practices (non-eco) – the extraction and depletion of Rhododendron wood for fires and medicinal plants in the KNP, garbage accumulations, poaching of wild animals, etc. Pema also discusses the Sikkim Biodiversity and Ecotoursim Project and the first KCC projects: taking volunteers to clean the trail; tour guide, pack-animal operator and lodge operator training projects and manuals; the formation of ESPAY; early finances; festivals; cultural programs; the PRA; KCC moving forward.
  • Pema Bhutia & Tsering Uden Bhutia (undated, summer 2017): A discussion with Pema Bhutia and another founder, the current director Tsering Uden Bhutia, about the establishment of a UNESCO World Heritage Site at the Khangchendzonga National Park. Particular emphasis of the designation of the area as a natural and cultural site (these mixed designations are very new).
  • Uden Bhutia on ecotourism, June 28, 2017: Uden Bhutia discusses the KCC’s concept of ecotourism and its relevance to local development.
  • Uden Bhutia on Porters, June 28, 2017: Uden Bhutia discusses porter training and its relevance to the overall goals of the KCC.

Getting the assignment and handing it in

To start work on the assignment, follow the instructions in the README on Github. To hand in, submit a pull request as outlined on the same page.

Due Date is Oct. 24