Virtual Conference 2021

Oral History and the Media

Friday 9th and Saturday 10th July 2021

Oral history and the media have an important but complex relationship. The media has long been a significant producer of, and outlet for, oral history.  Originating in the pioneering oral history TV and radio productions in the 1960s and 1970s, there has been significant growing use of oral history in TV and radio documentaries and storytelling since the 1980s, with oral histories now forming an important and popular dimension of history and factual programming and broadcasting.  

Elsewhere, the advent of new media and social media has fuelled the growth of digital storytelling, interactive documentaries, as well as serialised audio podcasts which draw heavily on oral history testimony.  

Oral history has also been put to work to explore the histories and experiences of the media itself, with oral history projects charting the development of media companies and organisation. This has coincided with an upsurge of interest in memory and nostalgia related to the experiences of media, such as memories of cinema, books and music.

The extensive and often complex uses and approaches of oral history with, by, and for, the media prompts us to consider vital questions about ethics, participation, consumption, expertise, audiences, and formats in oral history practice.  

This conference considers the relationship between oral history and the media, both historically and today, by exploring similarities, differences, opportunities and challenges between media practices and oral history practices, from interviewing to editing, audiences to ethics, including:

  • The Use and Misuse of Oral History in the Media
  • The Influence of the Media: Mediated Memories and Misremembering
  • Oral History in the Media: Documentary Film, Radio, and Digital Storytelling
  • Oral History, Media, and Interviewing: Confession, Testimony, and Intimacy
  • Oral History, Citizenship and State Media: Nation, Narrative, and Identity
  • Oral History and Journalism: Reporting and Remembering Conflict and Disasters
  • Memories of (the) Media: Film, Books, TV, Radio, Theatre, Music.
  • Oral Histories of the Media Professions and Companies
  • Oral History, Media, and Ethics: Roles, Responsibilities and Authority
  • Oral History and the Web: Access, Permission, and Presentation
  • Archiving, Preservation and Re-use of Oral Histories in the Media

Take a look at the provisional programme for the conference for more detail about content.

For more information, please contact the conference organiser at polly.owen@ohs.org.uk

Membership discount

Don’t forget that you can receive discounts on OHS conferences, as well as early notification of all forms of events when you become a member of the Oral History Society.

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