Oral History and Life Stories Network, European Social Science History Conference

Vienna, Austria
Deadline for submission of proposals: 15 May 2013

Theme: „Crises and ruptures in memory and narrative“

The Oral History and Life Stories Network has become the major regular international forum for European oral history and life story researchers and is currently one of the largest, friendliest, and most popular networks of the European Social Science Conference.

We invite proposals for the Vienna ESSHC-conference on 23-26 April 2014 both for individual papers and for sessions. Sessions can have various formats: panels, round table discussions, presentations in other media followed by discussion.

We invite contributions discussing conceptual and methodological issues related to the representation of crises and ruptures (private, public, personal and/or political) in oral history with specific reference to memory and narrative. We welcome contributions from both oral historians and life story practitioners but with the focus on oral testimonies.We are especially encouraging contributions addressing disrupted memories and silences. This might be with reference to place or to the relationship between the local and global and/or between individual and social memory. We would hope for analyses of positive as well as negative impacts of crises and ruptures. We would welcome proposals addressing the following issues:

- Ruptures and Crises: Making sense of the past or rewriting history?
- Rupture, repressed memories and trauma
- Crises and positive changes in re/constructing identities
- Breaking with the past and reshaping memory
- Narratives and memories of globalization and resistance
- Transnational and national narratives of Europe
- (Re)presenting selves and others: multiculturalism, crises and memory
- ‘Composure’ and ‘discomposure’ in the construction of narratives

In addition we would also like to see presentations that:

- Explore methodological changes and challenges for working and researching with oral history in different disciplinary fields
- Address challenges facing the oral history method; including how attitudes to interviewing and being interviewed have changed; new ways of analyzing interviews; as well as approaches to archiving
- Compare written texts with oral sources in relation to the themes listed above
- Discuss the social function of oral history archives in relation to crises and historical disruption (including re-use of interviews produced by earlier projects)
- Explore emotions, sensory and embodied memories in relation to the themes above.

Finally, we would like to encourage specific panels on oral history and its use in education, and on research combining oral history and audio-visual research (again with reference to this year’s theme of rupture and crises).

Please send your proposals to Graham Smith, Andrea Strutz and Timothy Ashplant. Upon submission you must also pre-register on the conference website where more general conference information is available. Panel proposals should be submitted by the intended chair(s) of the panel, and include details of each of the papers proposed. The deadline for sending your abstract is May 15, 2013.

2014 Oral History and Life Stories Network Chairs: Graham Smith , Andrea Strutz , Timothy Ashplant .

2014 Oral History and Life Stories Network Advisory Panel: Helga Amesberger, Joanna Bornat, Gerhard Botz, Brigitte Halbmayr, Ela Hornung, Bea Lewkowicz, Albert Lichtblau, Alexander von Plato, Sandro Portelli, Penny Summerfield, Miroslav Vanek.

Please see the ESSHC website for further information on the conference:  

For further information email Andrea Strutz andrea.strutz@uni-graz.at
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