Oral History, Path to Cultural Dialogue
Translated by: Natalie Haghverdian
Recording memories is a vital endeavor which is called “Oral History” in case conducted through active and targeted interviews.
In this method of historiography, isolated and marginalized social groups get involved in record of history and culture and define a new role and status for themselves; hence, oral history is perceived as a demographic method of historiography. In fact, the main and key characteristic of oral history is interaction with communities, groups, events and life style of ordinary people of which we have heard and read less. It might be said that oral history has a critical role in establishing dialogue between “communities” and the “general society”; a dialogue established be recitation and recording the history of various communities and events.
Also, culture and history of a nation includes all the elements from the lowest layers to the highest levels and various political, social, etc. groups. In such circumstances, the status of non-governmental or specialized institutions and centers is more pronounced; especially when they can afford to pursue their responsibilities free from any political affiliation or function and purely based on cultural objectives and provide opportunities to preserve the history and culture of a society.
Oral history, indeed, is a path for cultural dialogue between members of a society and shall have a crucial impact in political, social, economic and cultural arenas, especially in a society like Iran where oral culture is more prevalent than written culture. Involvement of the members of the society with their past and documentation of historical information while preserving history resolves some historical doubts and ambiguities.
On the other hand, this style of historiography opens new thematic domains and offers novel approaches to the researchers and due to its interdisciplinary nature affords to cover and elaborate cultural, social, economic and political aspects.
The other characteristic of this type of historiography is that the literature published in oral history domain has a smooth prose and establishes a close connection with the audience and is consequently more successful in attracting and interacting and impressing the audience. Obviously, the larger the number of oral history activists and literature means greater impact.
Individual or Subject
In a general overview we might categorize the thematic domains of oral history into two categories of “individual oriented” and “subject oriented”. In the first form, the narrator(s) life is studied and effort is made to receive his/her memories and experiences in different periods of time and concerning various events. Books on memoirs of revolutionary characters and commanders in the Holy Defense and scientific features are examples of this category.
In the other group, scholars of oral history, consider recording memories concerning a specific subject. In this domain subjects such as Holy Defense Operations, important events during the Revolution, shooting in a Revolutionary Institution and others are to be stated.
Each category is important in its own right and there are similarities and differences which will be discussed in future notes.
Number of Visits: 36
- Ravayat-e Fat’h Group and the camera acted as a gun
- Seyyed of Quarters 15 (26)
- Oral History, Path to Cultural Dialogue
- I left everything to narrator
- In "Room Number 24" and with "The Friends of Martyr Mohammad Gereh"
- Seyyed of Quarters 15 (25)
- Eleven Congresses That "Memory Night" through Them Became 25th
- The first days of war in the only hospital of Mahshahr
Selecting Eight Papers; We Need Training in Compiling Oral HistoryEleventh meeting of Oral History will be held on March 01, 2017
Executive Secretary of Eleventh Meeting of Oral History titled "National Conference on Compiling Oral History", referring to few number of delivered papers to the secretariat, said: "eight articles will be presented at the conference. Compiling oral history is still issue of oral history practitioners."