Higher Education

An OHS Special Interest Group

Oral History in Higher Education

Oral history is an increasingly important part of research and teaching across a wide range of disciplines and contexts in higher education in the UK.

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Growing awareness of the vital contribution oral history can make to academic inquiry in numerous disciplines is both exciting and challenging. The interdisciplinary character of oral history raises a range of important theoretical, methodological and ethical issues. Oral history as a university subject is rewarding to teach but raises many questions about how best to engage and prepare students for the complexities and sensitivities of interviewing and interpretation. Where oral history is relatively new to disciplines and institutions, researchers engaging with oral history as a subject and a methodology may feel isolated and unsupported. So, we need to talk about oral history in higher education.

What is the Higher Education Special Interest Group? (HE SIG)

The HE SIG seeks to bring together members of the Oral History Society who are using oral history in teaching and research in higher education in critical conversations about oral history theory and practice. It welcomes university staff and postgraduate students from all disciplines.

HE SIG’s purpose is to:

  • Create a forum for university staff and postgraduate/PhD students to engage in critical conversations about oral history theory, methodology and ethics in research
  • Support academics using oral history in teaching and share resources
  • Develop support networks for postgraduate/PhD students
  • Develop training materials and workshops for postgraduate students
  • Share knowledge through conferences, workshops, seminars, webinars
  • Inspire a new generation to lead theoretical and subject-based innovations in oral history

How to join

There are two steps to joining the HE SIG. Firstly, if you are not yet a member, please join the Oral History Society here. Once you have joined, please get in touch with Emily Hewitt (Secretary) with your membership number to be added to our mailing list.

For more information, or to discuss potential collaborations contact Jenny Harding (Chair).

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