Encountering the Sacred in the Everydayness of Existence:

Oral History and the Phenomenology of Practice


Geraldo Anthony Scala, 2017

Encountering the Sacred in the Everydayness of Existence Oral History and the Phenomenology of Practice is an interdisciplinary endeavor combining personal narrative, oral history research methods and theory, and the philosophical discipline of phenomenology. It is based on a series of interviews conducted between 2015 and 2016 in New York City
and Durham, North Carolina. The narrators featured are three unrelated individuals: Vic Ruggiero, lead singer of the punk ska band, The Slackers; Ed Shevlin, a New York City sanitation worker; and Wesley Hogan, the director of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. Their stories are the thread that binds them in that their oral accounts work to illustrate the existential encounter, i.e. everyday encounters with the sacred—lived truth.


Geraldo A. Scala is an oral historian, writer, and musician. Geraldo holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science and philosophy from Columbia University’s School of General Studies, a Master of Arts in humanities and social thought from New York University’s Draper Program, and a Master of Arts from the Oral History Master of Arts Program at Columbia University’s School of Arts and Sciences. Geraldo’s research interests include critical theory, political economy, urban anthropology, oral history, substance abuse, social exclusion, phenomenology, ontology, and existentialism. Past oral history projects have explored life as a New York City sanitation worker, substance abuse, recovery from addiction, and sacred encounters. 

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