Oregon State University Libraries and Press

Martha Cone Oral History Interview, 2016

Oregon State University
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00:00:00 - Introduction and background

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Partial Transcript: Ok, so this is Eugenia Rott on May 24th and Jared Ziegler, and we are doing the oral history of Martha Cone. So, we will begin with when and where were you born?

Segment Synopsis: Cone describes her childhood, family history, and other background information.

00:02:12 - Discussion of LGBTQ issues in school, family, and community growing up

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Partial Transcript: Can you talk a little bit more about your high school experience? Were LGBTQ issues ever brought up?

Segment Synopsis: Cone describes the silence around LGBTQ issues during her childhood and adolescence

Keywords: LGBTQ; Texas; closet; family; school; silence

Subjects: Texas; education; family; sexual minorities

00:04:22 - Personal life before coming to OSU, including Who farm

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Partial Transcript: And, you said you were married?

Segment Synopsis: Cone describes the series of events that happened after she completed school leading up to her coming to Oregon State University for work. She talks in depth about her time at Who farm, a women's land collective.

Keywords: California; LGBTQ; Oregon; Who farm; coming out; marriage; personal life; women's commune; work

Subjects: California; Oregon; coming out; marriage; sexual minorities; work

00:12:50 - Coming to Corvallis and engagement with feminist and gay politics on OSU campus

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Partial Transcript: So, then I came to Corvallis. Actually, we got tired of living on nothing. I said, "well, why don't I get a job?"

Segment Synopsis: Cone describes coming to Oregon and starting to engage with feminist and gay politics at Oregon State University. She focuses on her experiences with the women's center and women's organizations. She also talk about the climate surrounding LGBTQ issues at OSU.

Keywords: Corvallis, OR; Eugene, OR; Oregon State University; The Daily Barometer; children; families; gay politics; lesbian baby boom; lesbians; women's center; women's self-sufficiency; women's studies

Subjects: Corvallis, OR; Eugene, OR; Oregon State University; children; family; gay politics; lesbianism; women's studies

00:28:32 - Activism at OSU

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Partial Transcript: I just have to say that now, when I first came to OSU in 1978, the gay communities were much more closeted, but we were coming out in activism and doing some activist stuff.

Segment Synopsis: Cone briefly describes the activism she engaged in at OSU and its connection to her gender, sexuality, and politics. She also talks about working at OSU and how she worked to change the masculine atmosphere

Keywords: LGBTQ; Title IX; activism; feminism; gender inequality; lesbianism; objectification; sports

Subjects: Title IX; activism; feminism; inequality; lesbianism; sexual minorities; sports

00:36:17 - Reasons for not participating in After 8

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Partial Transcript: Were you involved with After 8, the organization that was i Corvallis?

Segment Synopsis: Cone describes how motherhood affected her participation in After 8 and relationship to the community.

Keywords: After 8; lesbian baby boom; lesbianism; parenthood

00:38:37 - Career after OSU

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Partial Transcript: So, where did your career go after OSU?

Segment Synopsis: Cone describes her career after OSU.

Keywords: OSU; braille; feminism; microbiology; post-doc; women in academia

Subjects: Colleges and Universities; Oregon State University; feminism

00:43:34 - Life today

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Partial Transcript: How about your life today? Is there - what are you up to today besides translation for braille?

Segment Synopsis: Cone describes her life today, including how she spends her time and the activism she is engaged in.

Keywords: Southern Poverty Law Center; activism; consciousness-raising; education; personal life

Subjects: Southern Poverty Law Center; activism; education

00:47:40 - Concluding remarks

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Partial Transcript: I think that is all of the questions we have. Is there anything else you would like to share?

Segment Synopsis: The interviewers conclude the interview, ask for additional comments from Cone, and explain the opportunities for Cone to review and edit the recording of the interview.