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Advanced Workshop: Interviewing on Sensitive or Traumatic Subjects

March 28 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

*Event cancelled as a precautionary measure in light of coronavirus COVID-19. We apologise for any inconvenience these cancellations might cause, but our primary concern is the health and safety of workshop participants and the broader public. We hope to reschedule the events later in the year if possible.*

Conducting Oral History Interviews on Sensitive or Painful Subjects

Saturday 28 March 2020, Emerald Hill Library, South Melbourne

Interviews on topics such as war, natural disaster, illness or violence are likely to be challenging for the interviewee and the interviewer. But any oral history interview can trigger difficult and painful remembering, and will require an appropriate response and appropriate preparation in the first place. This OHV Advanced Workshop will consider: the personal and ethical responsibilities of the oral historian; the range of ways in which interviews might generate difficult or painful remembering; minimising risk in project planning and communication; issues and approaches for interviewing on sensitive subjects and responding to difficult remembering; and responsibilities and options after the interview.

Participants in this advanced workshop should have interview experience, or should have participated in an OHV Introduction to Oral History workshop. They will be encouraged to bring relevant examples from their own oral history practice for discussion.

Facilitator: Alistair Thomson, Professor of History and award-winning teacher at Monash University, taught his first oral history workshop in 1985 at the Wangaratta Centre for Continuing Education and has been teaching oral history in both community and academic settings ever since. Al is currently President of Oral History Australia. His oral history books include: Anzac Memories: Living with the Legend (1994 and 2013), The Oral History Reader (1998, 2006 and 2016 with Robert Perks), Ten Pound Poms: Australia’s Invisible Migrants (2005, with Jim Hammerton), Moving Stories: an intimate history of four women across two countries (2011), Oral History and Photography (2011, with Alexander Freund), and Australian Lives: An Intimate History (2017, with Anisa Puri). He is currently leading a research project about the history of fatherhood in Australia, and conducting interviews for an oral history of General Motors Holden.

Please book on Eventbrite by following this link: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/workshop-1b-conducting-oral-history-interviews-on-sensitive-or-painful-subjects-tickets-96593181807


March 28
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Emerald Hill Library
195 Bank St
South Melbourne, VIC 3000 Australia