Highlights of the recent Oral History Association Meeting

Historians in the News
tags: oral history



Related Link What's new in oral history (OUP blog)

While I wait in the airport for my husband to finish running his half marathon and then drag himself to come get me,  it's a good time to write a quick post about the 2014 Oral History Association Meeting in Madison, Wisconsin. It was my first OHA meeting.  Seasoned oral historians and experts on reflection and analysis of the interview process Stacey Zembrzycki and Anna Sheftel invited me to participate in a roundtable conversation on humbling moments because of my insistence on discussing failure in community collaborations more openly at the 2014 National Council on Public History annual meeting

The panel also included the trailblazing feminist oral historian Sherna Berger Gluck and Janis Thiessen, a thoughtful and critical historian of Canadian labor, business and religion.  We had really good attendance and a remarkably rich and flowing conversation, given the fact that there were about forty people in the room.
The comments that people posted on our live polling screen in real time were fantastic and reflective of the kinds of issues, questions and dilemmas facing oral historians.  They are also telling about issues facing collaborative practitioners of all kinds who want to "go public" with difficult issues surrounding their practice. After the panel, everyone who stopped to say hi and chat about it in in the corridors and in the coffee break mentioned that it really made them think about their own experiences and what they might be able to learn from them that could make a difference in both how they do what they do and also in how they approach setbacks.  Mission accomplished, I'd say.




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