Advanced workshop – Oral History and Photographs
September 7 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Facilitator: Alistair Thomson
In this workshop we will explore the theory and practice of combining oral history with photographs, drawing upon ideas, approaches and examples from presenter Alistair Thomson’s oral history projects and his books Oral History and Photography and Moving Stories. The workshop will be in three, linked parts. In part 1 we explore approaches and issues in using photographs in oral history interviews. In part 2 we explore approaches and issues in interpreting photographs and memories in tandem as historical evidence. In part 3 we consider innovative approaches to using images and interviews in oral history productions. The workshop will be participatory and all participants are asked to bring along photograph/s they might use in oral history. These might be family photographs or images produced in other contexts. Bring at least one photograph – ideally several photographs, or even an album – preferably in hard copy but otherwise on a screen that can be viewed by others in small groups.
Alistair Thomson has worked as an oral historian in Australia and Britain for 40 years, in both academic and community projects. He is Professor of History at Monash University and President of Oral History Australia, and was previously Professor of Oral History at the University of Sussex. He co-edited the British journal Oral History from 1990-2007 and has served as President of the International Oral History Association. He was project leader for the Australian Generations Oral History Project, a national collaboration involving Monash and La Trobe University historians, the National Library of Australia and ABC Radio National. Al’s research and teaching explores the ways in which different kinds of life story evidence can illuminate the past and its meanings in the present lives of individuals and society. His oral history books include: Anzac Memories (1994 and 2013), The Oral History Reader (1998, 2006 and 2016, with Rob Perks), Ten Pound Poms (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 Australia Lives: An Intimate History (2017, with Anisa Puri). Al received the Award for Teaching Excellence, Humanities and the Arts, at the 2018 Australian Awards for University Teaching.