Oral History Interview with Michael Fink | Part 1, April 21, 2024

Oral History Interview with Michael Fink | Part 1, April 21, 2024

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Interview of Michael Fink, Part 1 of 2, conducted by Margot McIlwain Nishimura and filmed by Peter O'Neill in Fleet Library's Dale Reading Room in Providence, RI on April 21, 2024. Fink speaks of his life growing up in Providence and his relatives who also taught at RISD, including his uncle, Herbert Fink, and his brother, Charles (Chick) Fink. Fink also recalls courses he taught in the Literary Arts and Studies department, including Birds in Books and Films, Jewish Narrative, and Hollywood History. Along with this, Fink discusses his friendships with students, travel experiences through his Wintersession courses, and relationships with RISD colleagues and administrators. Read More about Michael Fink.

Biographical/Historical Note

Michael Fink is a recently retired professor in Literary Arts and Studies at the Rhode Island School of Design and the longest-serving faculty member in the history of the school. Fink received his B.A. from Yale and graduate degrees from Harvard (M.A.T.) and Brown (M.A. English). He grew up in Providence and began to teach at RISD in 1957 in the newly launched liberal arts department. The Carr Haus Café gallery space is dedicated to Fink in honor of his efforts to save Carr Haus in the early 1970s, in part by organizing a sit-in to protest its destruction; after this, the house was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Fink is interviewed by Margot McIlwain Nishimura and filmed by Peter O'Neill. Nishimura is an art historian and the dean of libraries at RISD. O'Neill is a documentary filmmaker, cinematographer, and professor emeritus of Film/Animation/Video. This interview takes place on April 21, 2024.

Oral History Interview with Michael Fink | Part 1, April 21, 2024

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COinS

Date of Interview

04/21/24

Interviewer

Margaret McIllwain Nishimura

Interviewee

Michael Fink

Department

Literary Arts and Studies

Run Time

113 min.

Original Format(s)

Digital

Keywords

James Thurber, Edward Fink, Herbert Fink, English, Literary Arts and Studies, John Frazier, Birds in Books and Films, Jewish Narrative, Art Spiegelman, Israel, Here We Live Again, Peter O'Neill, anti-Semitism, Hollywood History, George W. Sullivan, Jr., Janet Sullivan, Charles B. (Chick) Fink, Mike Fink Aerie, Mairéad Byrne, Carr Haus, John Maeda, Max Frieder, World War II, European Honors Program (EHP), Paris, Wintersession, RISD Museum

Disciplines

Art and Design