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Power and Protest
Volume: 38, Issue: 1 (2010)
Corporations Are People Too!: Business And Corporate Oral History In Britain
Few British oral historians have devoted their attention to private business and the corporate world, particularly to management and organisational history, entrepreneurship and competitiveness; and few corporate and business archivists are actively engaged in conducting or collecting personal testimonies. Interviews collected by business historians have been used inadequately and unreflectively, and there has been little, if any, dialogue between business, organisational and oral historians in the UK. This paper gives an overview of corporate and business oral history in Britain and, by drawing on the work of National Life Stories over the past twenty years, assesses its value as a methodology for both business historians and for corporations themselves, highlighting some of the challenges for oral historians working in this area. It argues that the ideological origins of oral history in Britain as an alternative, radical methodology preoccupied with the dispossessed and marginalised has meant that an important sector of British life has been largely undocumented through oral testimony.
Author(s): Rob Perks
Keywords: Business history, business archives, organisational history and memory, National Life Stories, elite interviewing

With God In The Workplace: Industrial Chaplains In Scottish Heavy Industry, 1970s-1990
This article draws on a series of interviews with retired industrial chaplains and those involved with industrial mission in the Scottish workplace. Initially intended in the early 1950s to be part of the Kirk's efforts to take religion into the workplace and halt a slide in faith, the Scottish Churches' Industrial Mission was by the mid-1960s more of a 'showing the flag' exercise than a mission in the sense of saving workers' souls. Nevertheless, the industrial chaplains operating across Scottish industry at this time were an important and neglected religious presence in Scottish society during a period characterised by rapid secularisation. This remained the case into the 1990s. The main argument here is that this general acceptance of the industrial chaplains by workers in heavy industry presents further evidence that declining church membership did not accurately reflect declining religious belief.
Author(s): Ronnie Johnston and Elaine McFarland
Keywords: Industry, religion, Scotland, workplace

The Long March Of Oral History: Around 1968 In France
This paper is the text of an inaugural lecture given as Professor of Modern History in the University of Oxford on 7 November 2008. It arises from a research project entitled 'Around 1968: Activism, Networks, Trajectories', which involves a team of historians examining samples of activist networks in fourteen European countries, in order to understand ways of becoming an activist, being an activist and making sense of activism. The key terms of this project are transnationalism ' tracing resonances and interactions between activists and activist networks across frontiers - and subjectivity - using oral testimony to understand the phenomenon of activism. The framing and presentation of the project incited a rethink of the methods of oral history, not least because the project originated in Oxford, where scepticism persists about the credibility of oral history as a discipline. To persuade this audience of the power of oral history, the approach was taken to locate it at the confluence of three recent developments which have impacted on the study of history as a whole: the linguistic turn, memory studies, and interest in subjectivity, intersubjectivity and the unconscious. These reflections are then used to illuminate evidence drawn from French activists interviewed in the course of 2007 and 2008.
Author(s): Robert Gildea
Keywords: oral history theory, political activism, France, 1968

Our Remembered Selves: Oral History And Feminist Memory
In retrospective accounts of the women's movement, personal memories of feminists have taken on a public and collective significance. What has come to count as an official memory and what has been forgotten is invariably contested. Oral history interviews with Australian feminists looking back on the women's movement challenge sanctioned accounts of second wave feminism and raise important questions about memory and oral history. This article explores some of the creative possibilities of interlinking memory theory, oral history and feminist reminiscence. In examining oral testimonies about mid-twentieth century feminism, a more multifaceted and ambivalent dialogue about the women's movement emerges than that found in memoir and autobiography. Oral reminiscences resist some of the pressures to conform to dominant representational frameworks.
Author(s): Julie Stephens
Keywords: feminism, memory studies, composure, cultural scripts, maternalism

Conference Keynote
Hidden From History?: Oral History And The History Of Health Policy
The oral history of health and medicine has focused primarily on history from below; elites in science and medicine have also been studied through their life histories. But the role of networks of interests in the making of health policy has been largely neglected by oral historians, although not by other disciplines, who count interviewing among their tools of policy analysis. The agents of health policy making tend to be ˜hidden from history", but should be important foci of our attention. We are otherwise in danger of losing sight of the operation of power and its structures in health history. More reflexive work on the methodology of such interviewing is needed. The oral history of health policy making presents some issues which are similar to history from below and some which are different, not least the greater power of the interviewee. To do such history should not mean taking the side of the powerful or writing advocacy history. Historians should be careful not to become directly embroiled in present day policy. There is an inescapable tension between their interests and those of the policy elites they may study.
Author(s): Virginia Berridge
Keywords: health and medicine, elites, health policy, methodology

Public History
Telling Stories: A Reflection On Oral History And New Media
New media and the arts are transforming how we think and do 'oral history'. While the changes are many and the current situation is certainly fluid, the most exciting possibilities are emerging after the interview. This is an important point as oral historians have been so focussed on the making of the interview that we have spent remarkably little time thinking about what to do with the audio or video recordings once they are made. The paper examines how the digital revolution is changing oral history practice at the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling, based at Concordia University, and specifically, in the Montreal Life Stories project. 'Life Stories of Montrealers Displaced by War, Genocide and Other Human Rights Violations', the project's full name, is comprised of forty university based researchers and community co-applicants as well as eighteen community partners, mainly from the city's Rwandan, Cambodian, Haitian and Jewish communities. Our five year project ( is developing a cross-disciplinary methodology that combines oral history with digital storytelling, searchable databases and memoryscapes. We are also using new media technology to bridge distance within the project.
Author(s): Steven High
Keywords: voice, collaboration, sharing authority, new media, databases, orality, memoryscapes, digital storytelling, genocide

What Lies Beneath The History Of Conflict?: Using Personal Testimony For Learning
Author(s): Dan Phillips

Candles In The Dark: Medical Ethical Issues In Northern Ireland During The Troubles
Author(s): James McKenna, Frahat Manzoor and Greta Jones

London: Nuffield Trust, 2009, 149pp.

Moving Histories Of Class And Community: Identity, Place And Belonging In Contemporary Britain
Author(s): Ben Rogaly and Becky Taylor

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009, 264pp, £52.00, hardback.

Catching Stories: A Practical Guide To Oral History
Author(s): Donna M DeBlasio, Charles F Ganzert, David H Mould, Stephen H Paschen & Howard L Sachs

Athens: Swallow Press/University of Ohio Press, 2009, 281pp, £15.50, paperback.

How To Speak Essex: 20th Century Voices From The Essex Sound And Video Archive

Colchester: Essex Record Office, 2009, 75 minute CD, £9.99

Through The Mill: Personal Recollections By Veteran Men And Women Penicuik Paper Mill Workers
Author(s): Ian MacDougall (ed)

Falkirk: Scottish Working People’s History Trust, 2009, 669pp, £11.99, paperback.

Life At The ICI: Memories Of Working At ICI Billingham
Author(s): Margaret Williamson (ed)

Teeside Industrial Memories Project, Atkinson Print 2008, 140pp, £9.99, paperback.

Up The Manor! An Oral History. Remembering And Celebrating The Eton Manor Boys' Club
Author(s): Michelle Johansen (ed)

Cambridge: Villiers Park Educational Trust, 2008, 48pp, £6.00 paperback.

Up The Manor! A Cd-Rom For Teachers: Using Oral History In The Classroom At Key Stage 3 And 4
Author(s): Produced by Villiers Park Educational Trust