Oral History in the Mid-Atlantic Region announces a conference to be held on April 24th and 25th, 2014, at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The program committee invites participants to submit papers that broadly interpret the conference theme, “How do we choose? The stories we collect, the ones we don’t.” This year’s conference is focused on exploring the relationship between the interviewer and the interviewee, between what we want to learn from our interviewee and what our interviewee allows us to know.
Oral history projects, whether based in communities or institutions, often focus on one particular episode, or a series of episodes, in someone’s life. So how do interviewers choose the episodes on which to focus? And in what ways can interviewers best encourage people to share these stories? Also, how do we—historians, journalists, sociologists, anthropologists, and others—tell a particular story based on what the interviewee shared? What do we do when an interviewee makes the episode off limits in the interview even before a question is asked and, consequently, how do we cope with losing historical memory? Topics for presentation and discussion might include the methodology of oral history practice and theory; the challenges of eliciting some stories at the exclusion of others; the process of taking life histories as a methodological approach; or the process of packaging oral history material into different formats for audience consumption.
The program committee invites the submission of individual papers, entire panels, or roundtables. We encourage presentations that include audio-visual components. And we especially encourage proposals from graduate students.
Paper proposals should include an abstract of 250-500 words, a brief biographical summary of no more than 150 words about the author, and contact information. Panel proposals should include an overall abstract for the panel of 250-500 words that incorporates brief paper summaries for each panelist, and, in addition, brief biographical summaries of no more than 150 words and contact information for each panelist. Roundtables should include an abstract of 250-500 words and brief biographical summaries of no more than 150 words and contact information for each discussant.
Deadline for proposal submission is January 30th, 2014. Please submit electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org.
David J. Caruso
Director, Center for Oral History
The Chemical Heritage Foundation
315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106
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