Meet the Journal Editorial Team
The Oral History journal is edited by
I first discovered oral history when I was studying for a doctorate in political history, since when I helped establish the Bradford Heritage Recording Project in the early 1980s, working as a museum curator, before a period in television. From 1988 until my recent retirement, I was Lead Curator of Oral History at the British Library, and Director of National Life Stories since 1996, heading a team of interviewers, archivists and transcribers involved in oral history collecting and fieldwork in a variety of sectors: from arts and crafts to business and finance, from the utilities to science, from architecture to publishing. I’ve been Secretary of the Oral History Society and an editor of Oral History Journal since the later 1980s. I’ve acted as an advisor to a range of oral history organisations around the world, including the National Lottery Heritage Fund (HLF) and BBC Radio in the UK, and projects in Canada, Greece, India, Australia, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, China and Ireland. In 2007 I was awarded an honorary DLitt by the University of Huddersfield. My publications include The Oral History Reader (Routledge, third edition 2015, with Al Thomson). My last major project before retiring was ‘Unlocking Our Sound Heritage’, an ambitious five-year £18.8m project to digitally preserve 100,000 of the nation’s most rare and vulnerable sound recordings, both at the British Library and around the UK, working with a consortium partnership network of ten regional audio preservation centres.
I am a Senior Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Huddersfield in the UK, and I have been on the editorial board of Oral History since 2015. My research interests revolve around twentieth-century French history, civilian populations in the Second World War, memorial cultures, children in war, the history of childhood and children in the past, intergenerational remembering, and the feelings, affects and emotions of history. I have been using oral history as a research methodology for many years and am always interested to see new interpretative techniques and practical applications. My work has included considerations of traumatic memories, Holocaust memory, place and space in memory, the adult-child relationship in memories of childhood, remembering communities, and memories as feelings. I’m a strong advocate as oral history as a practice, and not just a source, and I am keen to encourage the creative and dynamic reuse of archived oral histories.
I am Professor of Media and Culture at London Metropolitan University. I have researched and written about cultural theory, emotions, gender and sexuality and have been involved in a number of community based oral history projects. I am a trustee of The Oral History Society, one of the editors of Oral History, Chair of the Oral History in Higher Education Special Interest Group and a member of the LGBTQ+ Special Interest Group.
I am a long-standing OHS trustee and have been an editor of the society’s journal Oral History for over forty years. I am emeritus professor of oral history at the Open University where I taught in what was then the Faculty of Health and Social Care. I have a particular interest in remembering from a late life perspective and the contribution of oral history to changing understandings of the past, who gets to be a historian and retrieving marginalised experience. I have researched and published on reminiscence, migration, community history, inter-generational remembering, belief and non belief, biographical research methods and the re-use or secondary analysis of archived oral history. Over the years I have taken part in and organised various oral history conferences and I’m delighted to see that interest in recording memories continues to engage with an ever widening range of topics, drawing in new communities and making creative use of inclusive sound and visual technologies. When I’m not doing oral history I like to walk, cycle, read, work on our allotment and be involved in local campaigning.
I am Professor of Architectural History and Co-Director of the Centre for Research into the Production of the Built Environment at the University of Westminster. I am an oral historian who focuses mainly on the built environment, but I have also researched and written on the working lives of teachers, railway workers and bank workers. I worked as a carpenter and joiner for twelve years before studying architecture as a mature student, this personal experience underpins a particular interest in how historical perspectives on the twentieth century, built environment are shifted by including the voices of those usually marginalised. My research includes the oral histories of women designers and builders, lesbian squatted communities, building and housing co-operatives and I led the Leverhulme Trust funded oral history project, Constructing Post-War Britain: building workers’ stories 1950-1970. I am also a member of the LGBTQ+ Special Interest Group and in 2015 joined the Editorial Board of the Oral History Journal.
Heather Norris Nicholson
As an editorial board member with the Oral History Journal, I contribute regularly to the reviewing of submitted manuscripts, I liaise with members of the International Editorial Advisory Group and I also helped with preparation of the journal’s special anniversary online issue in 2019, OHS@50. Working as an independent consultant, researcher and cultural historian has involved me with many voluntary groups and local organisations including most recently, Windrush: The Years After: A Community Legacy on Film and the creation of a Windrush Memorial Garden in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. I have a background in inter-disciplinary teaching and research, including social change, tourism history, migration history, cultural identity and memory, and also indigenous documentary film-making in Canada. I have published extensively on film history, particularly contributing to the international growth of amateur film studies and related issues of personal story-telling, archiving and interpretation. I hold honorary positions at the University of Huddersfield and at Manchester Metropolitan University.
I am co-reviews editor for Oral History, along with Isabel Machado Wildberger. I’m also a research fellow at the University of Brighton, where I’m working on an AHRC-funded oral history project on migration from the north of Ireland to Britain in the last sixty years, along with the University of Liverpool and the University of Manchester. Prior to that, I wrote a PhD – also at the University of Brighton – which was an oral history of the punk scene in Belfast during the Troubles. I’m currently in the process of turning that into a book for Manchester University Press, which should hopefully come out in 2021. Broadly, I’m interested in the ways in which interpretative oral history and memory studies can illuminate people’s affective and discursive relations to politics, place and culture, in public or community history, in cultural history and in collaborative writing practices.
Born and raised in Salvador, I am definitely Brazilian (and most definitely Baiana). But I have lived over half of my life outside of my birthplace. I am definitely a historian. But my career has been built on disrespecting disciplinary borders. I specialize in the fields of gender and sexuality and in celebration studies. I have been interviewing folks for over twenty years as a film researcher, as a documentary filmmaker and as an oral historian. My forthcoming monograph, Carnival in Alabama: Marked Bodies and Invented Traditions in Mobile investigates how historically marginalized people used Carnival as a vehicle to negotiate their space and place in their city’s society. For the ongoing oral history project, Queens of the South, I am interviewing performers who defy gender normativity in different parts of the globe. I guest-edited a special issue for the Journal of Festival Studies on the “Materiality of Festivity” and I am a host for the New Books Network’s podcast. I have the privilege of often being in the presence of royalty and might arrive late to a personal or professional commitment if I happen to encounter a parade on my way.
Public History Editor
I am an Associate Professor in Heritage and Identity at the University of Lincoln. My research, external professional activities, and teaching focus on widening participation and inclusion in archaeology and public history. My research critically examines traditional written and object-based historical narratives and creates new, relative, histories that are multi-vocal in nature. This work has involved working extensively with marginalised groups over the last twenty years to address imbalances in scholarly and public histories, particularly in the areas of agricultural, local, and social history. I am passionate about the collection and use of oral testimony to offer new perspectives on well-established narratives, and have trained community groups to improve oral history collection across the East of England, created a regionally significant oral history archive on twentieth century agriculture in Lincolnshire (currently held by the University of Lincoln Library), and serve as co-editor of the Public History Section of the Oral History Journal. My current research projects are interdisciplinary explorations of how people perceive, experience, and relate to changing urban and rural landscapes, with a focus on Lincoln City Centre and its surrounding areas. At a regional level I support the Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology, as a member of their Local History Committee. I am an active member of the Women’s Cultural Leaders Network (East Midlands), and at a national level I act as a mentor for those working to achieve Associateship of the Museum Association. I lead an international team of archaeologists who are committed to ending the exclusion of, and discrimination against, disabled archaeologists working and volunteering in the sector through professional training, research, information sharing, and the development of inclusive field work opportunities.
I am a member of the Editorial Board of the Society’s Journal. I work as a consultant qualitative social researcher and oral historian. As a qualitative researcher, my work cuts across both the public and charitable sectors. My particular expertise is in health services research and I am now Alternate Vice-Chair of the London Bridge Health Research Authority (HRA) Research Ethics Committee. Trained as a research methodologist, my interest is in the cross-over between oral history and qualitative research methodologies. Recently I have been funded by a charitable foundation to explore the history of the voluntary and community sector in Tower Hamlets over the last 40 years through the voices of those that have inspired and driven it.
Editorial Assistant & interim editor of Current British Work
Hello, I am the editorial assistant for Oral History and interim editor of Current British Work. I help with the day-to-day running of the journal, including the submissions and review process, editors’ meetings, author agreements, advertising and administrative tasks. Please do get in touch if you have a question, want to submit an article or would like to advertise in the journal! I will be happy to help.
Public History Editor
George J. Severs
I am an oral historian working on the intersections of public health, sexuality, politics and religion in modern Britain, and am one of the Public History editors of the journal Oral History. My PhD at the University of Cambridge explores HIV/AIDS activism in England between 1982 and 1997 through a combination of original oral history interviews, significant re-use of oral history interviews and archival material. Elsewhere I have worked on the Church of England’s responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the history of anti-gay sentiment within the British far-right. Articles and book reviews by me have appeared in Gender and Education, Oral History, Oral History Review, Religious Studies Review, and History & Policy. As an active queer oral historian, I am proud to serve as the Secretary of the LGBTQ Special Interest Group of the OHS. In my spare time I can often be found river swimming, a pastime whose history I am equally fascinated by.
International Work Editor
International Editorial Advisory Board
- Riki van Boeschoten (University of Thessaly, Greece)
- Indira Chowdhury (Srishti School of Art, Design and Tecnology, Bengaluru, India)
- Elizabeth Dore (University of Southampton)
- Sean Field (University of Cape Town, South Africa)
- Alexander Freund (University of Winnipeg, Canada)
- Anna Green (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand)
- Juan J Gutierrez (California State University, USA)
- Steven High (Concordia University, Montreal, Canada)
- Daniela Koleva (St Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia, Bulgaria)
- Ulla-Maija Peltonen (University of Helsinki, Finland)
- Alessandro Portelli (University of Rome La Sapienza, Italy)
- Alistair Thomson (Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)
- Miroslave Vanek (Czech Academy of Science, Prague, Czech Republic)