2018 Annual Conference of the OHS and OHNI, Queen’s University Belfast

Call for Papers: Dangerous Oral Histories: risks, responsibilities and rewards.

Venue: Riddel Hall, Queen’s University Belfast, 185 Stranmillis Road, Belfast BT9 5EE

Date: Thursday 28 and Friday 29 June 2018

This joint conference of the Oral History Society and the Oral History Network of Ireland addresses the ethical and legal implications of oral history research. It presents a timely opportunity to explore the many issues raised by challenging projects, such as: What is an acceptable level of risk for interviewees/interviewers in the oral history process? What are the new responsibilities of the oral historian in a digital age? What are the rewards for initiating ‘dangerous’ oral history projects on ‘difficult’ topics, and when do the risks outweigh them? From this starting point, the conference organisers wish to solicit papers on all aspects of risk, responsibilities and rewards – and offer the following suggestions, whilst also welcoming other imaginative proposals addressing our theme of dangerous oral histories.

Conference sub-themes include:

Methodology: personal safety, dangerous practices, the ethics of interviewing
Risks and challenges for researchers: copyright, ownership and consent
Interviewing on the edge: criminals, illegals, war survivors
Working with victims: adapting process, practice and outputs
Oral histories of conflict and struggle: community activists, security personnel, ex-combatants
Oral history in totalitarian and post-totalitarian societies
Oral histories of disasters and catastrophes
Oral history’s relationship with official secrecy and security
Interviewee risk in sharing/telling stories: re-traumatisation, ruptures within families/workplaces/communities
Justice contexts: prison-based oral history
Oral history, trauma and abuse: the unspoken
Illness, death and end-of-life narratives
Environmental risk and danger: disasters
Work-based hazards and accidents
Discord and danger in community history
Sexuality narratives: discrimination, illness, illegality
Reuse of archived oral histories on challenging and controversial topics
Practical strategies for interviewers working in dangerous areas
Ways of mitigating risk: risk assessment, training, the role of ethics committees
Responsible collection and archiving practices: including the implications of the Boston College Project
Teaching dangerous oral histories
Museums as ‘safe’ spaces for dangerous and challenging oral histories

The deadline for submission of proposals is now 10 January.

Each proposal should include: a title, an abstract of between 250-300 words, your name (and the names of any co-presenters, panellists, etc), your institution or organisation, your email address, and a note of any particular requirements. Most importantly your abstract should demonstrate the use of oral history or personal testimony and be directly related to the conference theme. Proposals that include audio playback are strongly encouraged.

Proposals should be emailed to the Dangerous Oral Histories Conference Administrator, Polly Owen, at polly.owen@ohs.org.uk. They will be assessed anonymously by the conference organisers, and presenters will be contacted in January/February 2018.

ORGANISING GROUP Anna Bryson, Arlene Crampsie, Ida Milne, Sean O’Connell, Rob Perks, Adrian Roche, Mary Stewart, Juliana Vandegrift.

Related upcoming events

  • 2021-03-01 - 2021-03-10 All day

    The Center for Public History (CPH) at the Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design and Technology (SMI) is excited to announce its inaugural Spring School in Family History. It will be held online from Monday, March 1 to Wednesday, March 10, 2021.

    The Spring School is the seventh edition of the two-week advanced workshop that CPH has been organising since 2013, with each edition being on a different theme relevant to Oral History or Public History. This year, we focus on Family History. We have been constrained by the pandemic to postpone our advanced workshop to March 2021. This edition is titled the Spring School in Family History.

    Family History is the practice of researching, interpreting and presenting stories from the past of one's own family or that of others or histories of families or family units in general. The practice, which uses methodologies of oral history, genealogy, material culture, visuality and, more recently, DNA analysis, has been gaining in popularity among amateur historians for years and, recently, among professional historians as well. Family History, which attempts to generate an understanding of the evolution of families, has become the fertile ground for the practice of oral history alongside the study of material culture through meaningful objects and heirlooms.

    The fascination with Family History seems to lie in its ability to situate the self in a long line of ancestors and their lives. Beyond the self, it also has the potential to prepare the ground for a broader history of a community or society from the bottom up, based almost exclusively on the collective efforts of individual family historians.

    The Spring School in Family History will focus on the following:

    • The methods and processes of family historians
    • The "audiences" of family historians
    • The archives of family historians
    • Family history and DNA technologies
    • Social media, digital networks and family history
    • The family historians and their academic counterparts

    The Spring School will feature ten public talks, a film screening, and a panel discussion, all of which will be open to the public.

    Monday, March 1, 2021
    Title: Stories as Histories: Memories, Oral Narratives, and the Recasting of the Past
    Speaker: Dr Tapti Roy, Independent Scholar and Writer, Cambridge, UK
    Time: 03:00 pm IST

    Tuesday, March 2, 2021
    Title: The Other Mohan: A Personal Journey into History
    Speaker: Amrita Shah, Writer, Journalist and Independent Scholar, Bengaluru, India
    Time: 10:00 am IST

    Title: Unseen Landscapes and Geographies of Memory: What Family Memories Mean
    Speaker: Dr Indira Chowdhury, Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bengaluru, India
    Time: 03:00 pm IST

    Wednesday, March 3, 2021
    Title: The Naxalite at Home: Notes on a Family History of Revolutionary Communism in West Bengal, India
    Speaker: Dr Srijan Sandip Mandal, Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bengaluru, India
    Time: 10:00 am IST

    Title: The Public Life of DNA
    Speaker: Professor Jerome de Groot, University of Manchester, UK
    Time: 03:00 pm IST

    Thursday, March 4, 2021

    Title: The Reconstructive Nature of Family History
    Speaker: Dr Radmila Švaříčková Slabáková, Palacký University Olomouc, Czech Republic
    Time: 03:00 pm IST

    Friday, March 5, 2021

    Title: "I don't want my life to mean nothing": The Future of Family History
    Speaker: Dr Tanya Evans, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
    Time: 10:00 am IST

    Monday, March 8, 2021

    Title: "Of Blood": A Personal Rural Genealogy
    Speaker: Dr Menelaos Gkartzios, Newcastle University, UK
    Time: 10:00 am IST

    Title: Family through the Lens of Women Chroniclers
    Speaker: Dr Siddhi Bhandari, Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bengaluru, India
    Time: 03:00 pm IST

    Tuesday, March 9, 2021

    Title: Family Secrets, National Silences: Intergenerational Memory in Settler Colonial Australia
    Speaker: Dr Ashley Barnwell, University of Melbourne, Australia
    Time: 10:00 am IST

    Wednesday, March 10, 2021

    Screening: Beyond Barbed Wires: A Distant Dawn
    Director: Rafeeq Ellias
    Time: 09:00 am IST

    Panel: Family History and Community Trauma
    Panellists: Dilip D'Souza, Joy Ma, Rafeeq Ellias, and Yin Marsh
    Time: 09:30 am IST

    Beyond these public events, the Spring School will have sessions on each day dedicated to the teaching, reading, and discussion of texts recommended by the invited speakers along with other texts relevant to Family History. These sessions will be facilitated by the faculty of CPH and they will be open only to registered participants of the Spring School.

    There is no fee for participation in the Spring School. However, registration is required for those who would like to participate in the sessions facilitated by the faculty at CPH. The registered participants will receive the readings and the full schedule of the Spring School including both the public events as well as the facilitated sessions.

    To register for participation in the Spring School, please fill in this form: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=0jHYe6YFC02-mS55UMR3fEp_2mZuO3RGufrJm0rjue5URUlFQkpEWUlWWTJWRjdZQTgwVUYxNUtXNi4u.

    And to attend any of the twelve public events mentioned above, please click on this link at the given hour: https://zoom.us/j/99121096776 (Meeting ID: 991 2109 6776).

    If you have any questions about the Spring School, please do not hesitate to write to Dr Siddhi Bhandari at siddhi.bhandari@manipal.edu or to Dr Srijan Sandip Mandal at srijan.mandal@manipal.edu.

    Dr Indira Chowdhury
    Centre for Public History
    Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology
    Srishti (New-N5 campus),
    C.A. site no. 21,
    (Next to Yelahanka 5th phase Bus Terminal),
    Karnataka Housing Board, 5th Phase,
    Yelahanka New Town,Bangalore 560064.
    Phone: +918049000802 ext 836

    President, Oral History Association of India, 2013-2016
    President, International Oral History Association, 2014-2016
    Blog: https://theoralhistorian.com

  • 2021-04-30 - 2021-05-01 All day

    OHMAR 2021 Virtual Conference CFP Deadline Extended to Feb 15!

    by Melissa Ziobro


    After canceling our 2020 conference, we at Oral History in the Mid-Atlantic Region (OHMAR) are excited to present our 2021 call for papers!

    Some virtual conference highlights:

    - Friday, April 30 (business meeting, keynote, and all presentations) and Saturday, May 1 (remote interviewing workshop)

    - Our theme is “Oral History in Times of Crisis.”

    - Papers, panels, and posters need ​not be related to this theme in order to be considered.

    - Submissions on all topics related to the Mid-Atlantic region or by oral historians in the Mid-Atlantic region are welcome.

    - Conference registration fees will be as follows:

    Individual, $35 (includes one-year membership in OHMAR*)

    Student, $20 (includes one-year membership in OHMAR*)

    Guest, $10 (no membership included)

    *For more on membership tiers, see our website. OHMAR is run by an all-volunteer board. Membership fees help cover operational costs and our Martha Ross Prize, awarded annually to an undergraduate or graduate student creating original work in oral history.

    Full CFP here:


    We hope to see you all (virtually) in the Spring!

  • 2021-10-15 - 2021-10-16 All day

    The Call for Presentations for the 2021 Oral History Australia Biennial Conference has been extended to 1 April 2021.

    Find at how you can make a submission. Go to:

    About the conference

    Oral History Tasmania and Oral History Australia, in partnership with the College of Arts, Law and Education at the University of Tasmania and the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery are presenting the conference in the island jewel of Tasmania. The main conference at the Tramsheds Function Centre, Launceston, will be on Friday 15 and Saturday 16 October 2021, with plenary panels focusing on Oral History in Troubling Times and on Aboriginal Oral History in Tasmania. Oral history training workshops will be scheduled on Thursday 14 October. On Sunday 17 October we will host a selection of post-conference tours.

    Our introductory keynote speaker is Mark Cave, Past President of the International Oral History Association, Senior Curator at The Historic New Orleans Collection, and co-editor of Listening on the EdgeOral History in the Aftermath of Crisis (2014). Mark’s keynote is titled ‘Why Did This Happen? Making Meaningful Answers in the Aftermath of Crisis’. Mark will explore the limitations of the media in the aftermath of crisis and argue that oral history has an important role to play alongside journalism in creating explanations that not only help communities move beyond crisis but help them move beyond crisis in ways that make them stronger.

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