The Oral History Network of Ireland (OHNI) is pleased to announce its 2023 conference on the theme of ‘Oral History: Power and Resistance’. At every stage of the process, oral history projects may be impacted by and engage with issues of power and resistance. Oral histories offer unique insights into the operations of power and resistance in our societies in the past and present. This is not confined to issues of political power and resistance but can include everything from power dynamics within personal relationships, to understanding minority-majority group experiences. Who exercises power, how it is used and how it can be leveraged are key questions for oral historians. Similarly, what is resistance, what forms it takes and how it may or may not effect social change are questions that have been explored with the assistance of oral histories. Power and resistance are also considerations at every level in the creation of an oral history – whose stories are told, how they’re told, the power (or lack thereof) exercised by interviewees and interviewers, and the purpose of oral history itself.
The conference will take place at Dooley’s Hotel, Waterford on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th June 2023.
We are delighted to welcome Graham Smith, Professor of Oral History at Newcastle University, as the keynote speaker. His research interests include public history and environmental oral history, with a particular focus on how people remember in groups, as well as the history of family and the history of medicine. He helped to establish the Oral History Unit and Collective at Newcastle in 2017. A long-time trade union activist, Graham is the joint editor of the Historians for History blog and the editor of the four-volume collection Oral History, published by Routledge in 2017 as part of their Critical Concepts in Historical Studies series.
Call for Papers
Conference contributions are welcome in a range of formats:
- Standard conference papers (20 minutes)
- 10-minute presentations for our ‘Moments’ panels, focusing on outstanding or memorable individuals, experiences, and/or incidents that influenced or changed the way the presenter practices oral history. Contributions showcasing new projects on the conference theme at an early stage of development are also welcome here.
- Posters and visual presentations
We welcome proposals on any topic related to oral history, particularly those that take an imaginative approach to the conference theme of ‘Power and Resistance’. Potential topics could include (but are not limited to):
- Power dynamics in the interview
- Oral history and marginalised voices
- Elite oral histories
- Uncovering the operation of power in organisations and institutions
- Abuses of power
- Resistance and adaptation
- Power, resistance and trauma
- History from above and below
- Power, resistance and the archive
- Oral history and empowerment
To propose a paper, please submit an abstract (of not more than 250 words) along with your name, the name of your group, organisation or institution, and your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org before Friday 28th April 2023. All proposals must demonstrate a clear engagement with oral history and/or personal testimony and we actively encourage the use of audio or video clips. The conference committee’s decision on successful abstracts will be communicated to potential presenters in May 2023. Information regarding registration for the conference will be posted in the coming weeks.
For further information, please see our website (https://oralhistorynetworkireland.ie/2023-conference) or the PDF of the call for papers (https://oralhistorynetworkireland.ie/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/CFP2023.pdf). Questions may be directed to email@example.com.