Bluemic sepia

Oral History Theory and Practice: Day Workshop

10:00am - 5:00pm / Thursday 11th May 2023 / Venue: Gordon Stephenson Building
Type: Workshop / Category: Department
  • Admission: Free/no charge for students from the Universities of: Liverpool, Manchester, Lancaster, Keele, Manchester Metropolitan, Salford and the RNCM only. Proof of institutional affiliation will be required on the day. General admission: £50.00 for those not from the above institutions.
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Oral history methodology is a vital part of the data collection process that enables a complex understanding of societies in modern contemporary eras. It is a methodology that foregrounds the participation of the public in the process of historical production and the subsequent dissemination of that research. It therefore democratises historical investigation and opens doors to its practitioners to feed back the research findings to the historical subjects, participants and audiences outside of the academy. As such, it necessitates dialogue and brings to the fore the researcher’s ethical responsibilities.

This will be an interactive day-long workshop in which participants will engage with the theoretical, practical and ethical challenges associated with oral history research. The workshop will consist of a number of introductory talks about themes, group exercises and discussions as well as feedback sessions between participants and the two facilitators. Drawing on their most recent oral-history research in the UK, Colombia and El Salvador, as well as the respective experience and intentions of the workshop participants, the workshop will cover the following themes:
• An introductory history of oral history
• Theory: a) Accuracy and Representativeness
• Theory: b) Narrative, Performance and the Self
• Practice: a) Interview Process and Technique
• Practice: b) Ethics

Over the course of the workshop participants will obtain a broad, yet in-depth understanding of the theory of oral history together with an understanding of how oral histories are constructed and affected by both interviewee and interviewer. You will gain a working knowledge of how you might obtain historical data through interviews, the problems that this might entail, and how these problems might be overcome, alongside an in-depth consideration of the related ethical issues. Above all else, the workshop will provide participants with a firm sense of how oral history might be applied as a core research methodology.