Editing Oral History for Publication Workshop
Presented by Linda Shopes
Historian, editor and consultant in oral and public history
Sponsored by the CAL Cultural Fund
Wednesday, 7 September 2011, 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
Venue: Dockside Conference Centre, Sydney, Australia
Cost: $250 for Society members, $295 for non-members
(includes lunch, and morning and afternoon tea)
To book a place, register online at www.editorsnsw.com/conference2011.htm
Editing oral history for publication is essentially an act of translation: it turns one kind of event—a conversation between two people—into another kind of event—reading about that conversation by a third party. It is also an opportunity to extend dramatically the reach of oral history: to get the interviews we so carefully record and process out of the archives and into the realm of public culture.
In this all-day, hands-on workshop, participants will learn how to translate oral history transcripts into material that is suitable for publication in print or online, whether as book, booklet, article or some other format. During the morning session, workshop participants will consider both varied approaches to editing oral history for publication and specific strategies for remaining faithful to a narrator’s language and intent, while adapting the conventions of speech to those of print. During the afternoon, workshop participants will discuss each other’s work in light of the morning presentations.
Topics will include:
• Working with the words—how (much) to intervene in verbatim text
• Contextualising the words—helping the reader locate the narrative in time and place
• Interpreting the words—getting at the meaning underneath the words
• Special Problems—dealing with inaccuracies, misrepresentations and lies; telling the truth and potential harm to narrators; and issues of interpretive conflict and other challenges in publishing oral history.
To facilitate discussion, participants are required to submit 8–12 pages of a work in progress, ranging from raw transcript to draft publication to publication proposal to polished manuscript, at the time of registration. Material is to be submitted as a Word document to Linda Shopes; it will then be precirculated to all workshop participants to read in advance of the workshop. Participants will also be asked to read Shopes’s article, ‘Editing Oral History for Publication,’ appearing in Oral History Forum d’histoire orale 31 (2011): 1–24, which will also be sent in electronic format to registrants in advance of the workshop. This workshop is limited to 10 participants to facilitate intensive work.
About the presenter:
Linda Shopes is a past president of the Oral History Association (USA). She has worked on, consulted for, and written about oral history projects for more than thirty years. Linda has co-edited Palgrave’s Studies in Oral History series, served as co-contributing editor for oral history for the Journal of American History and has been co-editor of Oral History and Public Memories with Paula Hamilton at UTS.
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