27-29 November 2018 NOHANZ BIENNIAL CONFERENCE 2018 “Te Waha Kairongorongo e”: The Voice in Time and Space

2018-11-27 - 2018-11-29 All day

27-29 November, Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato NOHANZ Biennial Conference 2018

This year the theme of our conference focuses on the sweet sound of the voice, the singers of tales (te waha kairongorongo), storytellers, and the resonance of the voice through time and space. How is oral history transient through time and space? How do the voices of our participants travel through, or resonate in, time and space as a vehicle for memory? What significance do we find in the spaces we use to access, listen to, co-create, and present voices that give meaning and memory to the past? How is the notion of “time” apparent in the transmission of memory across generations of voices?


27-29 NOVEMBER 2018

Registrations now open

Conference programme


· University student hostel https://www.ivvy.com.au/event/O6ECMT/

· Other accommodation https://www.hamiltonwaikato.com/accommodation/

Funding support https://natlib.govt.nz/about-us/scholarships-and-awards/jack-ilott-fund


Keynote Speakers & Workshops

Associate Professor Tom Roa (Ngāti Maniapoto, Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato)

Raised in the Waipa district, Associate Professor Tom Roa (Ngāti Maniapoto, Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato) is a leader within his iwi Ngāti Maniapoto and is one of the distinctively resonant voices of Purekireki Marae. He is a well-respected kaumatua in Tainui, and his opinion is often highly sought after in regard to Māori politics and knowledge more broadly in Aotearoa. He has dedicated over four decades of his work and life to te reo Māori revitalization, and is a senior member, professor, and mentor, in the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies (FMIS) at the Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato. His PhD thesis focuses on the idea of the “translator as cultural mediator” and examined the naming of living things in the Linnaeus classification system of Western science — and how this idea of naming from a Māori perspective acknowledges the mauri and mana motuahake of flora and fauna.  Associate Professor Roa is also a member of the Waitangi Tribunal and an expert in Māori oral history.

KEYNOTE: “‘Me aro ki te hā …’: Oral History and the Power of Women’s Words in Waipa”  

For Māori, oral history is often contested, nuanced, and complex. We pass on oral stories as part of our tradition and practice, and they remain valid narratives of our collective, personal, and interwoven histories which affect our notions of wairua, of ‘spirit’. This keynote talk draws on some of the oral histories I grew up with, and are specifically local and connected to the land, people, and places, of Waipā. They reveal how women’s stories or “her-stories” have sometimes been marginalized and silenced in favour of dominant male narratives, and how oral histories, even in Māori worlds, are not innocent scripts that occur naturally but are powerfully constructed and contested acts of memory-making that have purpose in the present. They are grounded in a ‘wairua’ whose metaphors are lessons from the past for today, into the future.  Drawing on these korero tuku iho I will talk broadly about the way Māori make sense of oral history, the practice, form, and nature, of how our oral histories are passed on as valid and important accounts of our shared pasts.

WORKSHOP: “Māori Oral Histories”/ Trip to Orakau (Co-delivered with Dr Nēpia Mahuika, Ngāti Porou)

Māori oral history is inextricably connected to land, whakapapa, mātauranga, korero tuku iho, and reo. Māori oral history is whanau and iwi driven. This Workshop takes us to the Orakau. Where we discuss the way Māori oral history is embedded in land, filled with emotion, narrated in complex kōrero tuku-iho, waiata, and collective memory. The facilitators discuss the form, politics, ethics,  and nature of oral history for those who are committed to using the sources as oral history.

Professor Alistair Thomson (Monash University)

 Alistair Thomson is Professor of History at Monash University, where he loves teaching courses on world history, Australian history, environmental history, oral history and public history. His oral history books include: Anzac Memories: Living with the Legend (1994 and 2013), The Oral History Reader (1998, 2006 and 2015 with Rob 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).

KEYNOTE: Australian Lives, A Digital Aural History Experiment

Australian Lives: An Intimate History, published in May 2017, features 50 life story interviews with Australians born between 1920 and 1989 recorded by the Australian Generations Oral History Project to illustrate what everyday life has been like in Australia over the past century. This publication, also published as an e-book, highlights change and continuity over time by featuring a diverse range of narrators who reflect on their experiences as children and teenagers, in midlife and in old age, about faith, migration, work and play, activism, memory, and identity.

In this presentation I’ll outline the collaboration between university historians, the National Library of Australia and ABC Radio National that generated 300 Australian Generations life history interviews and a range of radio programs and written publications, and introduce the decisions, processes and technologies that underpinned the project. I’ll then outline how we created Australian Lives and focus on the particular opportunities and challenges presented by the e-book format. I’ll examine how the e-book functions as a curated entry point to the archive, how it challenges traditional expectations of what it means to be an author and a reader, and how the format offers readers editorial transparency. I explore the ethical, methodological and technical challenges Anisa and I faced as we created the book, and what we learnt about editing oral history for both readers and listeners.

In conclusion I’ll reflect on how users have responded to the e-book’s distinctive approach. Do users tend to read extracts, listen to them, or both? How does listening enrich the experience of ‘reading’ oral history? How are users reconciling the fundamentally different experiences of reading and listening? How successful is the e-book format as a tool to connect an audience to an oral history archive?

WORKSHOP: “Interpreting Memories”                    

How do we make sense of the memories that we record as oral historians? How do we begin to transform stories into histories? In this workshop we’ll consider a range of ways of approaching the interpretation of memories. We’ll note the changing ways that researchers have used memory as a historical source. We’ll consider the factors that shape memory stories. We’ll try out narrative analysis with interview extracts (from Al’s interviews with migrants and war veterans) using the rich clues of sound, gesture, word and narrative form. We’ll think about how we might work with a set of interviews to find historical patterns and illuminate historical themes. You’ll finish up brimming with ideas and enthusiasm for working with your own interviews (or other people’s interviews), armed with lists of further reading if you wish to deepen your understanding


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