OHA 2015 Annual Meeting Call for Papers

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Discussion published by University of F... on Wednesday, November 5, 2014
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2015 OHA Annual Meeting
October 14-18, 2015
Tampa, Florida

2015 Call for Papers

Theme: Stories of Social Change and Social Justice

The Oral History Association invites proposals for papers and presentations for its 2015 annual meeting to be held October 14-18, 2015 at the Marriott Tampa Waterside in Tampa, Florida.

As always, the Program Committee of the OHA welcomes proposals for presentations on a variety of topics. In keeping with this year’s theme, “Stories of Social Change and Social Justice,” the 2015 conference will focus special attention on the power of oral history to uncover links between political and cultural change and to inspire civic engagement.

With its roots in social history, oral history long has offered a means to record stories of social change movements nationally and internationally. Oral history has been particularly useful in amplifying the voices of the people who have protested, inspired or responded to economic crises, political resistance, and waves of migration. Within our increasingly connected world, oral history combines with social media and digital technologies to offer innovative ways to share these histories and engage the public with history and culture. Practitioners and scholars from diverse fields, including those only tangentially related to oral history, are increasingly finding interviews integral to their efforts to investigate collective action and to catalyze social justice initiatives. From performance ethnography to political testimony, community-based participatory action research and digital storytelling, oral history is capturing social change as it happens and as it is remembered.

The popularity and flexibility of oral history raises numerous questions for consideration: How does oral history overlap with other forms of public narrative? How does it differ? Can oral history be useful in advancing political change? What are its limits? And how does its use by political activists and as a means of public engagement impact the place of oral history in the academy?

Tampa, Florida, provides an exciting location in which to explore these themes. A rapidly growing city, Tampa represents the demographic diversity brought about by waves of immigration to the U.S. Historically Cubans worked in the cigar factories, which became important sites of labor struggles. More recent global economic shifts, from manufacturing to tourism, are obvious in Florida, and the foreclosure crisis, the persistence of low-wage work, and movements to address these challenges continue to impact the area. Politically, the state of Florida has been the stage for national debates regarding voting rights, immigration policy, gun control, and the legacy of civil rights. Surrounded by water on three sides, Florida has long been the entry site for immigrants and refugees, as well as retirees and other migrants. Florida is also a place where scholars, activists and community members, from Zora Neale Hurston and Stetson Kennedy to more recent journalists and writers have creatively recorded and preserved diverse voices of Americans.

We invite people to submit papers that consider how contemporary applications of oral history in the digitized world create opportunities and challenges with profound legal, ethical, political, social and cultural consequences. We seek contributions from community groups, activist organizations, museums, historical societies, archives and libraries, teachers, media/technology professionals, independent consultants, and scholars. The program committee solicits the representation of oral history community work through traditional academic methods and classroom or community programs. We further encourage field representation from film, drama, radio, television, exhibits, performance, and electronic technology.

In recognition of the important work occurring outside the United States and of Florida’s location on the edge of the Caribbean, we especially encourage international participants to share their work and ideas at the meeting. International presenters may apply for partial scholarships made available by OHA. A limited number of small scholarships are also available for presenters and others who attend the meeting.

Proposal format:

As of November, 2014, people will be able to submit proposals online. The link to the OHA submission site will be posted on this page.

Program Co-Chairs:

Martha Norkunas, Middle Tennessee State University, mknnorkunas@gmail.com

Sharon Utakis, Bronx Community College, sharon.utakis@bcc.cuny.edu

For more information, contact:

Oral History Associationa
Georgia State University
Telephone (404) 413-5751
E-mail: oha@gsu.edu



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