Call for Papers: Ninth European Social Science History Conference

31 December 2010

11 – 14 April 2012, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Oral History and Life Stories Network
Ambivalent Pasts: Nostalgia and Life Stories Research
The Oral History and Life Stories Network has become the major regular international forum for European oral history and life story researchers. The European Social Science History Conference has been held biannually since 1996. The Oral History and Life Stories network has met at each conference since 1998, and interest in it has been steadily rising. In 2004, some seventy participants gathered at the network sessions. In 2006 in Amsterdam, in 2008 in Lisbon, and in 2010 in Ghent the network hosted seventeen sessions, making Oral History and Life Stories one of the largest and most popular networks of the European Social Science Conference.

We invite proposals for the Glasgow EESHC-conference on 11–14 April 2012 both for individual papers and for entire sessions. Sessions can have various formats: panels, round table discussions, presentations in other media followed by discussion.

The term nostalgia, derived from the Greek words nostos (return home) and algos (pain, grief) refers to a wistful yearning for something past, a former place or time. We wish to encourage reflection on the role of nostalgia in oral history and Life Stories research and analysis. We would like to explore the relationship between memory, history and nostalgia and look at the approaches addressing the issues of nostalgia within the oral history framework and wider historiographical discourses.
We invite contributions discussing conceptual and methodological issues related to memory, oral history, and nostalgia, based on oral sources and/or personal accounts.

We would welcome proposals addressing the following issues:

- Nostalgia: Making sense of the past or obstruction of history?
- Nostalgia and Trauma;
- Nostalgia, repressed memories, life history research;
- Whose nostalgia?: Encounters between interviewers and interviewees;
- Theory and methodology related to the construction of life history interviews and the notion of nostalgia;
- Why oral history matters;
- Teaching oral history;
- Communities and oral history;
- Digitalization/archiving oral history; the rights of interviewees;
- Contrasting video and audio oral history;
- Truth in oral history: whose perspective determines the truth;
- Rethinking personal history through narratives, the deliberate construction of the account; the construction of nostalgia
- The influence of cultural constructions of identity on the life story narrative;
- Comparing interviews over time; age and nostalgia;
- Disseminating and accessing oral history: oral history in archives, schools, museums, films, community centres, and on the internet;
- The media’s use of oral sources;
- Using and re-using archived oral history data.

Please send your proposals to both Bea Lewkowicz ( and Albert Lichtblau (
Upon submission, you must also pre-register on the conference website where more general conference information is available.
The deadline for sending your abstract is 1 May 2011.

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Loss of Memory in Pahlavi Prisons

In total, [I was in prison] about 6 years in two arrests. For the first time after several years, a soldier arranged my escape. I do not know why! Maybe he was one of the influential elements of Islamic groups. They took me to the hospital for the treatment of my hand, which was broken due to the callousness of an officer.

Hajj Pilgrimage

I went on a Hajj pilgrimage in the early 1340s (1960s). At that time, few people from the army, gendarmerie and police went on a pilgrimage to the holy Mashhad and holy shrines in Iraq. It happened very rarely. After all, there were faithful people in the Iranian army who were committed to obeying the Islamic halal and haram rules in any situation, and they used to pray.

A section of the memories of a freed Iranian prisoner; Mohsen Bakhshi

Programs of New Year Holidays
Without blooming, without flowers, without greenery and without a table for Haft-sin , another spring has been arrived. Spring came to the camp without bringing freshness and the first days of New Year began in this camp. We were unaware of the plans that old friends had in this camp when Eid (New Year) came.

Attack on Halabcheh narrated

With wet saliva, we are having the lunch which that loving Isfahani man gave us from the back of his van when he said goodbye in the city entrance. Adaspolo [lentils with rice] with yoghurt! We were just started having it when the plane dives, we go down and shelter behind the runnel, and a few moments later, when the plane raises up, we also raise our heads, and while eating, we see the high sides ...