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Disjunctions
Volume: 43, Issue: 2 (2015)
Articles
Voices from a disused quarry: change making, class dynamics and technological experimentation at the Centre for Alternative Technology
The Centre for Alternative Technology was established in response to environmental and energy crises of the early 1970s, to enable ‘ordinary passers-by to readily perceive the disastrous course on which our civiliation was set and be shown things they might do to reduce their impact on the environment.’ What emerged was an experiment in collective living and co-operative working that helped to change the way Britain experienced environmentalism. This article explores three interlocking themes, as unlocked by the oral history process: environmental consciousness and change-making; class dynamics in the environmental movement; and developing technology as a response to the philosophy of Fritz Schumacher. It concludes by suggesting a question for debate: what part can oral history play in creating the kind of environmental change we need to see now?
Author(s): Allan Shepherd
Keywords: environmental change and consciousness; alternative technology; class dynamics; Dyfi Valley; eco-philosophy

Negotiating difference in the Hip-hop zone in-between Sweden and Chile
This article uses an oral history approach to discuss the Chilean diasporisation process in Sweden after 1973 by focusing on the relevance of a Chilean migration experience within Swedish Hip-hop. Based on an interview with Hip-hop artist Rodrigo ‘Rodde’ Bernal, a member of the Sweden-based group Hermanos Bernal, it outlines the complex ways in which he negotiates difference within what will be called the Hip-hop zone in-between Sweden and Chile. The article argues that strategies for mobilisation that stress Chileans as a group in Sweden become intelligible within the specific historical context of migration and diasporisation in-between Sweden and Chile as well as debates on multiculturalism that took hold in Sweden during the 1990s.
Author(s): Susan Lindholm
Keywords: diaspora; intersectionality; multiculturalism; Hip-hop; Sweden and Chile

His narrative, my history: problematising subjectivity and the uses of oral history interviews
In the weeks following an interview with a well-known former sportsman, now well into his eighties, I struggled with feelings of resentment and personal affront. This article follows my attempts to unravel these unexpected responses to what was an otherwise affable encounter. By giving attention to the intersubjective relationship in the interview, I recognised that there were political and ideological assumptions in play that stood in opposition to my own, producing my sense of conflict. This recognition led me to understand my narrator not as ‘wrong’ but, like all of us, subject to the operations of power evident in the dominant discourses of any historical period.
Author(s): Jodie Boyd
Keywords: emotions; intersubjectivity; ideology; power; gender

Oral heirlooms: the vocalisation of loss and objects
This article is an enquiry into how and for what purposes physical objects of importance are transmitted vocally between generations. The oral histories narrated to me by British nationals who originate from Kerala (India) revealed objects associated with and taken from ancestral houses in the homeland, tharavads, many of which no longer exist. Oral heirlooms, as discussed in the examples given, are biographical narratives through which emerge objects of value. This article sets out to demonstrate how ancestral and present-day responsibilities for descendants are created and inherited alongside oral heirlooms, and to re-examine the potential of oral history in the study of material cultural.
Author(s): Aarthi Ajit
Keywords: objects; tharavad; orality; transmission; heirlooms

Negotiating respectability: intersubjectivity in interviews about military prostitution in US occupied Japan
This article contributes to the growing oral history literature on intersubjectivity using a case study of interviews with Japanese and American people in Yokosuka, Japan, who had witnessed or participated in prostitution activities near the US Navy base during the occupation of Japan (1945-1952). In particular, it focuses on how the author, a young female Japanese transnational interviewer, consciously chose to present herself to interviewees so as to capture their views on the ‘sensitive’ topic of prostitution, as well as how the interviewees perceived and responded to her. Furthermore, the case study demonstrates that the interviewees’ perception of her sexuality was critical to the way in which their narratives were embedded in the complex culture of this neocolonial military occupied space.
Author(s): Michiko Takeuchi
Keywords: intersubjectivity; sexuality; pan-pan; prostitution; occupation

Public History
‘You queued for everything in those days, you might as well queue for a Roman temple’: excavating memories of London’s Temple of Mithras sixty years on
Sixty years ago a Roman temple dedicated to Mithras was discovered during bomb damage clearance and redevelopment in the City of London. Amidst intense media and political interest approximately 400,000 people visited the excavation site over a two-week period. As fresh redevelopment occurs, MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) was invited to re-examine the site and its significance. An accompanying oral history project recovered the memories of people who visited the excavation site in 1954 and these will become accessible as part of wide-ranging resources for public history, education and research. An edited conversation allows for reflection on the project’s contribution to public history, oral history and social memory.
Author(s): Heather Norris Nicholson
Keywords: oral history; archaeology; public history; Mithras; London; memories

Learning
Use of oral history archives in cross-curricular contexts in higher and further education
This article shows how oral testimony has been used by students from different disciplines, using three distinct examples. First, the use of recorded memories and transcripts by students to develop their understanding of reminiscence theatre, using oral testimony as the basis for touring shows aimed at older people in the community. Second, the digitising and archiving of oral testimony and transcripts and the study of this material by students in the context of the teaching of history in secondary schools. Finally, the development of an online exploration of women’s oral testimony in the context of language teaching in an adult education college in southern Spain, in which students’ understanding of the language and the historical context for personal stories was increased through online study and the generation of an interactive website. Each of these uses will be illustrated and directions indicated for further interdisciplinary work.
Author(s): Pam Schweitzer and Marta Moreno López de Uralde
Keywords: oral testimony; archives; reminiscence theatre; teaching history; language teaching; cross-curricular studies

Reviews
Breaking the Silence: Voices of the British Children of Refugees from Nazism
Author(s): Merilyn Moos

Remembering Mass Violence: Oral History, New Media and Performance
Author(s): Steven High, Edward Little, and Thi Ry Duong (eds)

Fieldwork in South Asia: Memories, Moments and Experiences
Author(s): Sarit K Chaudhuri and Sucheta Sen Chaudhuri (eds)

Managing and Sharing Research Data: A Guide to Good Practice
Author(s): Louise Corti, Veerle Van den Eynden, Libby Bishop, and Matthew Woollard

Methodological Practices in Social Movement Research
Author(s): Donatella della Porta (ed)

Building a Just and Secure World: Popular Front Women’s Struggle for Peace and Justice in Chicago During the 1960s
Author(s): Amy C Schneidhorst

Leaving the North: Migration and Memory, Northern Ireland, 1921-2011
Author(s): Johanne Devlin Trew

Recollections of an Argyllshire Drover and Other West Highland Chronicles
Author(s): Eric R. Cregeen and Margaret Bennett (ed)