Dear Members and Friends,
In almost mid Winter with the shortest day lived through, we are pleased to inform you of a number of events both here and further away. So read about them, plan and enjoy! Starting with a far away one of which we are reminding you :
Welcome to IOHA Finland!
The Finnish Oral History Network (FOHN), University of Jyväskylä and the Finnish Literature Society (SKS) cordially propose to host the XX International Oral History Congress at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, from 18th June to 21th June 2018.
The theme of the XX IOHA Congress is Memory and Narration. The congress focuses on the complex and multidimensional nature of oral history, and we welcome presentations from diverse perspectives. We invite papers that focus on methodological issues concerning the production and analysis of oral histories and life stories. We especially encourage contributions related to oral history sources as narratives/narration and applications of methodological theories and practices. Therefore, the panels and presentations will address the following themes:
– Archived oral history
– Personal and shared narratives
– Transgenerational memory
– Class, gender, age and memory
– Traditions, folklore and history
– Oral history research in different disciplines
– New waves of oral history
– Oral history, theory and ethics
– Oral history and narration
– Life narratives and oral history
The XX IOHA Congress coincides with the anniversary of two important events in Finnish history, the centennial of the 1918 Finnish Civil War as well as the end of World War I. The congress organizers would therefore like to welcome also contributions that address memories of wars and other conflicts, narratives of survival, intergenerational war memories and communities of commemoration.
A more detailed Call for Papers can be found here: https://www.jyu.fi/en/congress/ioha2018/CfP
For more information, please visit: https://www.jyu.fi/en/congress/ioha2018
If you have any questions concerning the Congress, please email: email@example.com
Followed by a few at home. Some to come and some already a marvelous memory:
The Eventbrite listings for the next two workshops are live and can be found here
Can these please be promoted on the website, facebook and among your networks?
The second “Oral History Victoria Ideas and Skills Exchange” will be held on Tuesday 15 August, 5.30-6.30 at The Moat cafe bar (176 Little Lonsdale St, near the State Library). With facilitation by OHV President Al Thomson, this is an opportunity for members to come along and share your current or prospective oral history projects and get advice about any challenges you are facing. Come and join us for an informal chat and a drink. Just turn up at the Moat on the day and ask for ‘the History Group’ (at our first successful gathering in May the Moat staff got a bit confused about the difference between oral history and orthodontists!).
Best wishes, Al
OHV 2017 Symposium: Oral History in the Digital Age – Review by Carissa Goudey
The OHV Annual Symposium kicked off the Queen’s Birthday weekend with an engaging and topical series of presentations. From websites to apps to hard drives, this year’s Symposium explored the many opportunities and challenges facing oral historians in the digital age.
After an introduction from OHV President Al Thomson, we ventured into the world of online oral history with Judy Hughes (Monash University). Considering the sheer scale of material that oral historians collect – interview recordings, photographs, primary research – Judy advocated websites as a fantastic way to curate and present oral history projects. She demonstrated how websites and web-based applications allow oral historians to produce high-quality, accessible histories at little to no cost, and without the need for purchasing extra equipment. The following discussion, led by Rachel Goldlust (LaTrobe University), presented a complementary vision of the internet’s role in oral history. Drawing on her PhD research into homesteaders, Rachel argued the importance of face-to-face interviews and their associated reciprocal benefits.
The first half of the morning was rounded off with a presentation from Al Thomson, with two exciting developments from the Australian Generations Oral History Project: the recent publication of Australian Lives: An Intimate History, and the digitisation of its interview recordings on Trove. As a group, we listened to one interview while reading the edited version – an exercise which reinforced the dual qualities of readability and human connection in oral history.
After a short break, John Francis spoke on the changing face of technology in oral history work, as well as the finer points of location, sound quality and shot composition. John thrilled us with his personal collection of recording equipment, which ranged from a Tandberg portable tape recorder to his handy iPhone 7 Plus. This caused great excitement for those who recalled the older tech, as well as for those who had only seen them in museums! Following John, André Dao presented his new book, They Cannot Take the Sky, produced with Michael Green from the Behind the Wire project. André shared his experiences interviewing people formerly and currently in detention, highlighting the inherent risks in undertaking such a task. His discussion of political refugees detained on Manus Island was particularly moving, and emphasised the need for discretion when publishing interview content.
The Symposium ended with a fascinating talk from our keynote speaker, Mike Jones, on digital preservation (University of Melbourne and Museums Victoria). After hearing from so many amazing oral history projects – each incorporating different technologies – Mike reminded us of the importance of staying ahead of the technology game. Backing up work on external hard drives, and regularly replacing those hard drives, were just a couple of his suggestions for ensuring longevity of interview recordings and accompanying digital material.
It was a captivating and inspiring day for all who attended, and testimony to the generosity and passion of the oral history community.
If unable to go to Finland, perhaps you could venture to NSW which as always has wonderful things on offer:
From a Seminar you might attend to a book you can have now:
Australian Lives: an intimate history – a new type of oral history book
Oral History Victoria President Al Thomson and Oral History NSW President Anisa Puri have had a lot of fun in recent weeks launching and promoting the book they have created using the Australian Generations interviews. Australian Lives is a paperback and an ebook. The ebook is a new type of oral history book: you can listen to each interview extract through an online link that takes you directly to that interview in the National Library online audio archive. OHV kicked off a series of capital city book launches in Melbourne on 22 May. At the Melbourne launch interviewee Veronica Schwarz shared some of her extraordinary contributions to the book in a conversation with interviewer Katie Holmes, and David Astle from SBS Letters and Numbers described the life stories in the book as ‘plain and pure, unabashed, confronting and confessional’. Al and Anisa, together with Veronica, have spoken about the book on several ABC radio programs, including Life Matters – click here to listen. The Age published a feature using extracts from the book: click here to read the Age article. Further details about the book available on the Monash University Publishing website, or check out the Australian Lives Facebook site.
We began with Dear Members and Friends and thanks to our brilliant NSW colleagues end
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