Creation, Destruction, Memory: Oral History and Regeneration
Oral History Society Annual Conference: 1-2 July, 2011, University of Sunderland in association with Sunderland University and UK Regeneration
Oral history’s contribution to ‘regeneration’ is wide ranging. On the one hand it has been used as a tool to encourage or improve community engagement and participation. On the other, it has been a tool to inspire pride in a local area or to reaffirm or create cultural identity. However, oral history’s role remains unexplored both in theory and in practice. To what extent, for example, can oral history be the critical voice of regeneration as well as the nostalgic voice of the past? What part does oral history play in creating sustainable communities? To what extent should oral history and oral historians work together alongside developers and architects?
This conference will bring together oral historians, academics, community workers, architects, planners, politicians and local residents to explore the uses and roles of oral history in urban and rural regeneration, covering the built environment as well the less tangible regeneration of landscapes and communities.
Keynote Speakers will include:
• Roger Madelin, Joint Chief Executive, Argent Group in conversation with Alan Dein, writer and broadcaster. As property developers, Argent have a strong track record in major developments and city centre regeneration including Kings’ Cross, Piccadilly in Manchester, Brindley Place in Birmingham. Alan Dein is a freelance BBC Radio documentary feature presenter, oral historian and interviewer.
• Professor Fred Robinson, Professorial Fellow at St Chad’s College, Durham University and Visiting Professor at Northumbria and Teeside Universities. He is an expert on economic and social development and the role and impacts of public policy and has conducted evaluations of a wide range of regeneration initiatives
• Amber Films, renowned in the North East; one of their groundbreaking pieces known as ‘Byker’, draws on Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen’s images and interviews, on documentary footage and dramatisation, evoking an entire era in British working class life. It is an intimate portrait of a community faced with redevelopment
Oral history to inform regeneration: The contribution of oral history to the process of physical/community and rural/urban regeneration; the use of oral history by planners/architects; the roles of and relationship between consultation and oral history; the role of the oral historian in the process.
Oral history as part of regeneration: As a mechanism to inform and create the future and preserve and create the past; regeneration through reclaiming and reinterpretation; reclaiming or creating cultural change; and enabling understanding between cultures and generations.
Oral history to reflect and evaluate regeneration: Lives and voices of the displaced, those who have been “regenerated”, as well as those working in regeneration; assessing gains and losses and perceived successes and failures; critiquing regeneration by listening to those whose communities have been “regenerated”
Oral history and regeneration: Linking the past, present, and future; continuity and discontinuity; talking about the future.
Proposals are invited of 200-250 words that address one of the four major themes of the conference for talks or presentations of approximately 20 minutes. We are particularly keen to encourage papers from: planners, architects, community workers, local residents and others directly involved in regeneration.
Proposals should clearly state how oral history as informed the project/work/research described, and how it will be used in the presentation. Please send to Belinda Waterman, conference administrator, e-mail Belinda@essex.ac.uk by Monday, 29 November 2010.
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