The Executive Secretary of the 14th Iranian Oral History Conference:

The History Department of Isfahan University is trying to set up the oral history major

By Maryam Assadi Jafari
Translated by: M.B. Khoshnevisan


According to the website of Iranian Oral History, the press conference of the 14th Conference on Oral History was held on Saturday 22nd of Ordibehesht 1403 (May 11, 2024) in Isfahan Press-Cultural Complex. The conference was attended by “Doctor Mohammad Ali Chalangar” the executive secretary and “Doctor Morteza Nouraei” the scientific secretary of the conference. At the beginning of this conference, Dr. Chalangar, a member of the History Department of Isfahan University, stated: “The History Department of Isfahan University proposed the establishment of the Oral History Association in 1383 (2004) based on the research responsibilities and capacities of this department. On the 24th and 25th of Ordibehesht 1383 (May 13 and 14, 2004), it held the first oral history conference titled "Definitions, Theoretical Principles and Functions of Oral History" at the Faculty of Literature and Human Sciences. What is important in the discussions of humanities is its applicability in society. Oral history is one of the cases that is considered as additional history. Since oral history has a high capacity to be used in society, governmental and non-governmental organizations, institutions, and centers can also be involved in this field and record their own history”.
The head of the History department of Isfahan University added, “The 14th conference will be held on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of this event under the title of "Oral History in Balance". This conference considered to be the first in the country, has been welcomed and Isfahan University has sponsored 6 rounds of this conference. The interaction of the Iranian Oral History Association with universities and scientific centers, as well as the review and pathology of the 20-year performance in the field of oral history productions in Iran, are among the main focuses of this conference. We will also examine the major strategies and goals facing universities and the Oral History Association, and in the side program, we will honor the memory of late Dr. Rahim Nikbakht, one of the founding members of the association.”
Referring to the efforts of the History Department of Isfahan University to form the core of oral history in this university, the Executive Secretary of the 14th Oral History Conference emphasized: “The Ministry of Science and the University of Isfahan intend to keep applied codes and it is felt that oral history is one of these cases. The establishment of the oral history course at the master's level in the History Department of Isfahan University is among the 5-year programs of this department from 1400 to 1405 (2021-2026), and its executive steps are underway. The topics of this field were prepared by Dr. Nouraei and its administrative procedures are in progress. We hope that this field will be launched in the next one or two years."


In continuation of the press conference of the 14th Conference on Oral History, Dr. Nouraei explained about the formation of oral history in the world and said, “The type of modern historiography did not respond to the needs and necessities of the time to record events. So oral history and giving the microphone became a deposit in the postmodern world of historiography. This trend started in 1948 and entered Iran in 2000.”
he continued, “We sought to turn oral history into a current in Iran, so as to fill the gaps in official historiography, but in the meetings of 2013 and later, our discussion was to turn the individual movements of oral history into a general current in Iran because oral history is popular. So Everyone can do this. Of course, there are special rules and different levels. We were also trying to bring the subject of oral history to university chairs and turn it into a course unit, which we have progressed to some extent. We held several meetings in the country and created the need to pay attention to oral history in society. Oral history is the process of gathering information for future historians. So, we consider oral history as future history. The practice of oral history is multifaceted and a response to history. In the postmodern world, history must be held accountable. It means to respond to the needs of the time. Because history is an active phenomenon in social life”.
Referring to the activities of 10,000 oral history experts across the country, the Scientific Secretary of the 14th Iranian Oral History Conference said: "The topic of this meeting is Oral History in Balance and we intend to evaluate 20 years of oral history activities. We still do not have an official and strong seat in the universities. Although 7 or 8 people have completed their doctoral theses focusing on oral history with me, we are trying to bring the field of oral history to History Department of Isfahan University at the master's and doctoral levels by forming the core of oral history in the university”. In the end, Dr. Morteza Nouraei discussed the importance of the pathology of oral history works in Iran and said: "We are faced with many products in the field of oral history; From high to low levels. Several books have been selected as the book of the year of the Islamic Republic, but still, there are many damages in the field of methodology. Also, we have to draw up a process for the next 10 years of oral history in the association and Isfahan University, and the fourteenth conference will be held to operationalize these plans. Also, in the last few days, the possibility of attending the conference online has been provided for those interested in other cities."
The 14th Iranian Oral History Conference with the theme "Oral History in Balance" was held on Tuesday, 22nd of Ordibehesht 1403 (May 11, 2024) from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM at the Faculty of Literature and Humanities of Isfahan University.

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