Theater Faculty

Nyssa Chow

Nyssa Chow headshot


Nyssa Chow is a writer, oral historian and interdisciplinary artist who works at the intersection of ethical, engaged listening and the translation of experience. In her practice as an oral historian, she begins with the idea that oral history is "spontaneous literature," seeking next the creative form that best evokes, and makes visceral, the lived experience of history.

She was the 2018 Recipient of the PEN/Jean Stein for Literary Oral History, won for the book project, Still. Life. The immersive literary oral history project ‘The Story of Her Skin’ won the Columbia University Jeffrey H. Brodsky Oral History Award. She is a recipient of the Hollywood Foreign Press Grant, the Women in Film and Television Fellowship, the Toms Fellowship, the Academy of Motion Pictures Foundation Award and the Zaki Gordon Award for Excellence in Screenwriting. She was a recipient of a Sloan Foundation Grant.

Chow serves as Writer-in-Residence at Fordham University and as a professor in the Oral History Masters program at Columbia University. She has been invited to speak about her work and approach to oral history as “spontaneous literature” at institutions such as George Washington University, New York University, Skidmore College and others. She continues to present her work in the form of exhibitions and public talks.

Born and raised in Trinidad, she is a graduate of Columbia University’s MFA Film program and Columbia University's Oral History Masters Program.


Listening for Embodied Knowledge: An Approach to the Oral History Interview — August 13, 2020, 1-4 PM (EDT). Workshop with Nyssa Chow as part of Columbia University’s Summer Workshop Series on Anti-Oppression and Oral History

Nyssa Chow receives 2022 Flash Grant for “The Trenton Project” | Princeton University Humanities Council, June 2022