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War and Masculinities
Volume: 35, Issue: 1 (2007)
Broken Bonds And Divided Memories: Wartime Massacres Reconsidered In A Comparative Perspective
This paper discusses the emergence of ‘divided memories’ in the aftermath of wartime massacres in Greece and Italy. Based on ethnographic research in the Greek community of Drakeia, it focuses on an apparent ‘ethnographic enigma’: the formation of a strong anti-partisan memory in a community previously organised in the resistance movement. Using comparative material from Italian communities, the paper describes the variety of responses to wartime massacres and reflects on what seem to be important factors in shaping such memories: the political context, the process of transmission, social structure, local politics and cultural patterns.
Author(s): Riki Van Boeschoten
Keywords: Greece, Italy, World War Two, massacres, memory

The Siege Of Leningrad As Sacred Narrative: Conversations With Survivors
This article is based on interviews with thirty survivors of the siege of Leningrad recorded between 2001 and 2006. They were compared with several hundred other testimonies published recently in the Russian press with the aim of examining key themes in contemporary siege narrative. The article explores the relationship between myth and memory, and the manner in which siege survivors utilise myth in order to explain their pasts. As siege testimonies were often subject to censorship during the Soviet era, oral history can perform a crucial democratic function by allowing siege survivors to speak openly about their experiences. The findings suggest that many survivors remain attached to the ideology of their youth and are confused by recent political upheavals in Russia. Blokadniki continually emphasise the belief that Leningrad’s wartime community pulled together during the siege and that discipline and order were maintained. For this reason, despite the considerable suffering they endured during the siege, survivors often express feelings of nostalgia for that sense of closeness arising from co-suffering.
Author(s): James Clapperton
Keywords: Russia; Siege of Leningrad; World War Two; blokadniki (seige survivors); myth; memory

Breaking The Silence: Traumatised War Veterans And Oral History
In the early 1990s oral history interviews were recorded with nine New Zealand Second World War veterans, all of whom were receiving government War Disablement Pensions for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Thirteen years later the three surviving interviewees were revisited and asked to assess the impact on them of disclosing traumatic memories in the earlier interviews. The veterans' responses were largely positive. Each reported a sense of relief after talking about their trauma during an oral history interview. However none opened up further discussion with family or friends and they remain largely silent about their traumatic experiences. The paper considers some of the ethical and professional issues that confront oral historians when working with such interviewees.
Author(s): Alison Parr
Keywords: War veterans; trauma; New Zealand; ethics

Hard Man, New Man: Re/Composing Masculinities In Glasgow, C.1950 – 2000
The ‘hard man’ has been an archetypical construction of masculinity in industrial Glasgow. However, the rise of second-wave feminism, the demographic revolution in the nature of the family, and the rise of the ‘new man’ have done much to erode the presence of and sympathy for the hard man of British urban folklore. Based on five interviews with men and women, this article examines the construction and ‘composure’ of masculine narratives in oral history interviews in relation to a young female interviewer. It brings to light how husbands and wives construct different narratives about the past; the relationship between the rise of feminist thought and the traditional ‘hard man’ image and how differently the various respondents read the discourses the interviewer ‘brought’ to the interview.
Author(s): Hilary Young
Keywords: Masculinities; intersubjectivity; feminism; composure; Glasgow

‘Men Don’t Wear Velvet You Know!’ Fashionable Gay Masculinity And The Shopping Experience, London, 1950 – Early 1970s
This article uses a case study approach, informed by oral testimony, to explore the relationship between fashion, gay masculinity and shopping, through the experiences of three men during the 1950s to the early 1970s. Focusing on clothing bought by the interviewees from the newly established boutiques aimed at both straight and gay male consumers, such as Vince Man’s Shop, John Stephens’ ‘His Clothes’ and John Michael, this research highlights the fact that dress and clothing is part of a series of gay sensibilities that cannot be isolated from their wider cultural, historical and social context.
Author(s): Clare Lomas
Keywords: Fashion and costume history; masculinity; homosexuality; boutiques for men; London

Conference Keynote
The Truth Which Will Set Us All Free: National Reconciliation, Oral History and the Conspiracy of Silence
On a memorial to Aboriginal children in Reconciliation Place, Canberra, are inscribed the words: ‘We call on all Australians to acknowledge the truth of our history to enable us to move forward together on our journey of healing because it is only the truth which will set all free.’ The Australian Government, referring to thousands of Aboriginal children allegedly stolen from their parents, responded that ‘the Commonwealth does not seek to defend or justify past policies and practices, but it does assert that the nature and intent of those events have been misrepresented, and that the treatment of separated Aboriginal children was essentially lawful and benign in intent...’ In 1998 the Chilean government opposed the proposed trial of General Pinochet in Spain, protesting at ‘the grave damage which the attempt to bring Pinochet to justice causes the process of democratic transition and national reconciliation. The Government of Chile believes that whatever are the intentions of those promoting the process, this does not help either the transition to democratic government and further national reconciliation... on the contrary, they will deepen for many years the differences which exist between Chileans.
Author(s): Peter Read

Public History
Oral History In Historical Archaeology: Excavating Sites Of Memory
The use of oral history as a source in recent historical archaeology is a growing phenomenon. In this paper I advocate a site-based approach to this interdisciplinary work, combining archaeological, historical and memory work on a specific location to create and foster a public discourse of memory. This draws on the popular interest in archaeological work to form a nexus or meeting place for the expression, collection and communication of memory. An experiment to test this theory was carried out on a large community archaeology project on a Blitz site in East London. The results were successful, with stories and memories being volunteered by visitors to the site rather than being actively sought out.
Author(s): Gabriel Moshenska
Keywords: Archaeology, memory, London, World War Two

The Oral History Reader
Author(s): Rob Perks and Alistair Thomson (eds)

Family Love in the Diaspora: Migration and the Anglo-Caribbean Experience
Author(s): Mary Chamberlain

Jamaican Hands Across the Atlantic, Elaine Bauer and Paul Thompson
Author(s): KZ, Rex Bloomstein (director)

Voyage of Hope: Vietnamese Australian Women’s Narratives
Author(s): Nathalie Huynh Chau Nguyen

Belonging: Voices of London’s Refugees
Author(s): Museum of London

Voices From the Mountain, London: Panos Institute, 2001-2004

Making Memories Matter: The Record of a European Reminiscence Network Project
Author(s): Pam Schweitzer and Angelika Trilling

Textiles Voices: A Century of Mill Life
Author(s): Tim Smith and Olive Howarth

Thorny’s: An Oral History of Vosper Thornycroft’s Shipyard, Southampton
Author(s): Krista Woodley, Padmini Broomfield and Sheila Jemima (eds)