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Spring 2016
Volume: 44, Issue: 1 (2016)
Articles
Haunted histories and ambiguous burial grounds in Iraqi Kurdistan
As part of a wider research project that documents site-specific oral history associated with caves and cemeteries among the rapidly changing populations of Iraqi Kurdistan, the present study analyses oral histories and traditions concerning one particular graveyard. Reputed to be the burial site of seventh century Muslim conquerors, this graveyard is concomitantly preserved by taboo and subject to transgressive acts. This article discusses the anachronisms that underpin the cemetery’s reputation, the aetiological functions of the local lore and the shifting significance of the memorial space in relation to current events. As the region faces the menace of the self-declared Islamic State, this cemetery has become a locus for reconsidering allegiances and identities with regard to the past and present.
Author(s): Nahro Zagros, Tyler Fisher and Muslih Mustafa
Keywords: Kurdistan; graves; memorial; taboo and profanation; Islamic conquest; Sahaba; Islamic State

Food to remember: culinary practice and diasporic identity
This article explores how and why culinary practices bind together to recreate an identity in diaspora. This consideration of food preparation and practice focuses on Lockwood, a small inner urban neighbourhood of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire and is based upon collecting orally-transmitted recipes and interviews undertaken with women. Findings highlight the importance of oral tradition within the inter-generational transmission of cultural practice. Furthermore, this article discloses how food practices help create a sense of diasporic identity. The discussion reveals the significance of women as conduits of cultural knowledge within northern England and British South Asian neighbourhoods, and identifies how nostalgia and identity function within everyday practice.
Author(s): Razia Parveen
Keywords: recipes; diaspora; nostalgia; community; identity

Casting migration seeds under colonial rule: migration from Korea to Japan after the Second World War
This paper explores the causes of migration through the migrants’ biographies. Although many discussions have contributed to a better understanding of migration, they still have not answered the question: why do so few people migrate? In answering this question, I utilise oral histories of Koreans migrating to Japan after the Second World War. Koreans once comprised the biggest ethnic minority in Japan, and a recent historical study of them found that the Cold War in post-war Korea caused migration of Koreans into Japan. However, considering the relatively small size of this post-war migration, there may be other contributing factors. Examining the migrants’ biographies, I focus on ‘migration seeds’ as a factor that connects migration policy, personal history and family strategies.
Author(s): Sara Park
Keywords: Koreans in Japan, return migration, post-colonialism, north-east Asia

‘I’ve been through it’: narrative practice and the intergenerational study of migration
This article makes the case that a merging of the thematic focus of the ‘life history’ approach to oral history and close analysis of aspects of narrative practice such as tradition orientation, repertoire and narrative activity will usefully inform the work of scholars concerned with oral historical approaches to, in this case, the study of migration narratives. It will demonstrate several ways in which close analytical work on the aesthetics and practice of oral narrative, developed in the context of folkloristics, can be combined with the life history approach in order to achieve deeper insights into the oral history of migration.
Author(s): Anthony Bak Buccitelli
Keywords: life history; folk narrative; tradition; migration; intergenerational; Chinese American

Identity, enterprise and memory: the bhandiwallas of Mumbai
The bhandiwallas (utensil traders) are an identifiable community within the poor of Mumbai, who survive by supplying steel and aluminium utensils in exchange for second-hand clothes. They offer door-to-door service to customers and are available on call by those who wish to swap old clothes for new kitchenware. They exemplify an informal exchange economy or barter system which was once very popular in India, but is now hardly encountered. No archival information or published literature currently exists on the bhandiwallas. Oral history approaches offer a means to understand how their grassroots entrepreneurship contributes to wider economic processes within the city. Interviews reveal their perilous social and economic existence, and their marginalised position in the urban spaces of contemporary Mumbai.
Author(s): Preeta Nilesh
Keywords: bhandiwallas; enterprise; Mumbai; urban poor; marginalised

‘The community spirit was a wonderful thing’: on nostalgia and the politics of belonging
In this article I draw on oral history interviews about social life in a small town to explore the personal and social implications of nostalgia. Whereas some recent scholarship interprets narratives of lost community in the context of conflicting moral claims to place, I argue that the telling of such stories can be beneficial both for narrators and for communities. The evidence presented here suggests that stories about community decline are not only told by long-standing working-class residents and that, rather than dividing different groups who inhabit a particular place, such stories can provide common ground.
Author(s): Stefan Ramsden
Keywords: nostalgia; belonging; community; working class; place; Beverley (East Yorkshire)

Using and creating oral history in dialect research
This article considers the use of recorded oral history and how existing collections can be used and supplemented in regional dialect research. We consider what was learned from one joint and two independent sociolinguistic projects carried out by the authors in the East Midlands region of England. The joint study used mainly archival oral history, while the others collected data in part from oral history interviews undertaken with local community groups. We explore the strengths and limitations of oral history collections within sociolinguistic research and discuss how some of the methodological challenges (including ethical issues in secondary use of archival data) were met in our own studies. We argue that closer collaboration between oral historians and sociolinguists, particularly in the sharing of data collection and analysis methods, would benefit both fields.
Author(s): Natalie Braber and Diane Davies
Keywords: Re-using oral history archives; sociolinguistics; dialect; methodology; East Midlands Oral History Archive; collaboration

Public History
Stories of the city: an artistic representation of Sailortown’s oral history
In 2012, the Metropolitan Arts Centre in Belfast commissioned the authors to work with the Sailortown Regeneration Group (SRG), a small community from Belfast’s dockside area Sailortown, demolished when the M2 motorway was built in the 1960s. The oral history interviews became the content of songs, installation and performance, the first such project to preserve their memories. This article discusses using music, sound, objects and images to narrate oral history interviews and reflects on the outcomes of a creative process that uncovered disappeared people, buildings and streets. The authors consider their role as artists and their relationship with the group; examine the project’s successes and failures; and discuss how the songwriting process affected the SRG’s relationship with their own stories and its meaning for them as individuals.
Author(s): Fionnuala Fagan and Isobel Anderson
Keywords: Sailortown; Belfast; verbatim songwriting; sound

Reviews
Tiananmen Exiles: Voices of the Struggle for Democracy in China
Author(s): Rowena Xiaoqing He

Voices from Labour’s Past: Ordinary People Extraordinary Lives
Author(s): David Clark

Civilians Into Soldiers: War, the Body and British Army Recruits, 1939-1945, Emma Newlands and Browned Off and Bloody-Minded: The British Soldier Goes to War 1939-1945
Author(s): Alan Allport

Invisible Immigrants: The English in Canada Since 1945
Author(s): Marilyn Barber and Murray Watson

The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists
Author(s): William Ferris

La Historia Oral y la Interdisciplinariedad. Retos y Perspectivas
Author(s): Karla Y Covarrubias and Mario Camarena (eds),

A La Caza de Cristeros y Zapatistas: Historia Oral. 50 Años en Construccion
Author(s): Laura Espejel (ed) and La Lucha Asi Es

Memoria Oral en Chalatenango
Author(s): Carlos Henríquez Consalvi (ed)

The Home Front in Britain. Images, Myths and Forgotten Experiences Since 1914
Author(s): Maggie Andrews and Janis Lomas (eds)