Community Affiliate

Based in New York City, Leyla Vural is an oral historian focused on people’s life stories and the unique knowledge we each have about the places, communities, and experiences that matter to us. Her work includes projects about neighbourhood change and efforts to preserve sites of cultural importance in working-class communities and communities of colour; interviews with LGBTQ New Yorkers about life before and after the 1969 Stonewall Uprising; and interviews with folklorists, musicians, craftspeople, and historians for a series of cultural audio tours of Sligo and Donegal, Ireland. For an ongoing project she developed for The Rockefeller University, Leyla interviews preeminent scientists and edits each interview into a short film about the experience of discovery. In 2019, Leyla presented her work on New York City’s potter’s field (called Hart Island) at an interdisciplinary Symposium on Loss, held at McGill University, and the Oral History Society published an essay of hers on Hart Island in its journal. In 2016, the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College selected her piece on ethical listening as a “favourite essay” and she was the storyteller at a conference at the U.N. on sustainable energy for all. Leyla holds a Ph.D. in geography from Rutgers University and worked in the labour movement for 20 years before earning an M.A. in oral history from Columbia University.