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Contexts of Remembering
Volume: 27, Issue: 2 (1999)
Nationalist Memories: Interviewing Indian Middle Class Nationalist Women
This article explores the difficult terrain of documenting personal testimonies as a non-western researcher. My respondents were ordinary middle class women whose nationalist activities had not been documented before. The process of conducting the interviews made me aware of the significance of the family context, where my iden- tity was continuously negotiated both by the respondents and their extended family. I was simultaneously posi- tioned both as an 'outsider' and an 'insider' in these interviews. I also realised that recovering and interpret- ing respondent's memories of the nationalist movement raised issues of the construction of self and subjectivity. The ways in which respondents perceived their activities within the domestic sphere challenged the constructed historical knowledge, which associated only the 'public' as 'political'.
Author(s): Suruchi Thapar-Björkert
Keywords: India, Women's History, Oral History, Nationalism

Stories of Shame and Esteem: Women with Learning Difficulties and the Right to Tell Tales
This article examines the life stories of two women who lived most of their adult lives in a convent. As well as detailing their lives, the article discusses how these women came to tell their stories and the different narrative genres used by each woman. It examines how changing social policies affected the perceived relevance of their stories and shows how telling tales is not simply an individual process but rather is intrinsically connected with community, status and social history. The article explores the power of early experiences in shaping an individual's sense of esteem or shame, and details the effects of a lifetime of living removed from wider society.
Author(s): Mary Stuart
Keywords: Learning disability, women's history, narrative, autobiography

Telling Arthur's Story: Oral History Relationships and Shared Authority
In this article I present a case study of the relationship between interviewer and narrator in the production of an auto/biography. The article first provides an introduction to the narrator, Arthur Thickett - soldier, communist, pacifist and writer - and then describes the background to the auto/biography project. I explore the role of the relationship in the interviewing process and identity those facets of the relationship which have been most influential. The project was founded on Michael Frisch's principle of a 'shared authority', and examples of this principle working in practice are provided: for example, both participants had knowledge of oral history theories, and analysis and understanding of the narrative was informed by discussions on those theories. Key facets of the relationship included shared interests, family background, and specific life events.
Author(s): Lorraine Sitzia
Keywords: Shared Authority, Oral History Relationships, Auto/biography, Gender

Listening to Bernard Leach: Exploring the Testimony of a Studio Potter
This article examines three tape recordings made in the 1960s and 1970s of the potter Bernard Leach. They take the form of a lecture, an interview, and some comments for a film. The article raises the question of how commentators might approach and interpret such historical recordings which have survived fortuitously rather than as purposeful documentation as part of oral history. Two important considerations frame the argument. The first is that Bernard Leach is an 'important' figure whose story is already well known. The second is that these recordings tend to consolidate a powerful traditionalist account of pottery making. An appropriate interrogation of such material can reveal valuable insights assuming the context of their making and reception is held to the fore.
Author(s): Jeffrey Jones
Keywords: Bernard Leach, David Leach, studio pottery, oral history

Public History
Oral History Websites
Author(s): Rob Perks

Collecting the Life-Stories of Graduates: Evaluating Students' Educational Experiences
This article outlines the methodology used for a long- term follow-up study of graduates from an award-winning university course. It shows how oral historians can help to shift the emphasis of course evaluation - from short-term questionnaire studies to a long-term perspective that focuses on the individual's development- The study shows a huge variation in individual responses to the same course. Three issues are used to demonstrate this in more detail: (i) how graduates come to the course from different starting-points and yet agree on the value of a year-out; (ii) how graduates' opinions of groupwork as a teaching method vary according to their experience since graduating; and (iii) how a multitude of factors affect graduates' responses to what they consider useful about their degree.
Author(s): Andrew Ward and Alan Jenkins
Keywords: Graduates, Evaluation, Oral History, Skills, Groupwork

Economic and Social Research Council Funding and Oral History: A Short Guide for Applicants
Author(s): Louise Corti

Minidisc versus Cassette
Author(s): Alan Ward, Rob Perks and Peter Copeland

Ukraine's Forbidden History
Author(s): Tim Smith, Rob Perks, Graham Smith

Oral History: An Interdisciplinary Anthology
Author(s): David K. Dunaway, Willa K. Baum

Oral History: A Handbook
Author(s): Ken Howarth

Tales of the City: A Study of Narrative and Urban Life
Author(s): Ruth Finnegan

Wellcome Witnesses to Twentieth Century Medicine
Author(s): E. M. Tansey, D. A. Christie, L. A. Reynolds

The Sky Never Changes: Testimonies from the Guatemalan Labor Movement
Author(s): Thomas F. Reed, Karen Brandow

African Voices, African Lives: Personal Narratives from a Swahili Village
Author(s): Pat Caplan

Reconstructing Women's Wartime Lives: Discourse and Subjectivity in Oral Histories of the Second World War
Author(s): Penny Summerfield

Oral History in South East Asia: Theory and Method
Author(s): P. Lim Pui Huen, James H. Morrison, Kwa Chong Guan