The Ad Hoc Group for Transformative Oral History Practice, in collaboration with the Oral History Association and the Oral History Center at UC Berkeley, is convening a symposium that will define, identify, analyze, assess, and imagine alternatives to conventional practices of oral history in the United States and Canada, as they pertain to systemic racial discrimination. Proposals are now due November 1, 2021.
The symposium is moving beyond the question asked at an enthusiastically received panel at the 2020 Oral History Association annual meeting called, “Is Oral History White?” to interrogate broader structures and dynamics of race and racialized thinking in oral history.
Organizers are inviting proposals from oral historians and others involved in fieldwork-related interviewing practices, as well as critical race and Whiteness theorists, to submit proposals for symposium papers that pose major questions and offer precise assessments of racial constructs as a factor in all phases of oral history work: project design, research processes, financial and budgetary matters, fieldwork and community relations, interviewing, archival practices, and public presentation and interpretation of narrative materials.
The “Assessing the Role of Race and Power in Oral History Theory and Practice” symposium will take place via Zoom Webinar over a three-day period in June 2022. The organizers expect to convene approximately thirty-five presenters, spread over six to eight sessions of two hours each.
With the assistance of a moderator and/or one or more discussants, session presenters will summarize and discuss pre-circulated papers posted on a conference website, which will have also been made available to registered attendees in advance of the symposium. Symposium sessions will allow time for audience questions and comments, vetted and synthesized via the Zoom Webinar “Q&A” function by the session moderator. This format will allow for especially robust and probing discussion during sessions.
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