May 23rd, 2014
The Oral History Review blog has recently published the second part of an email exchange Alex Freund and I had surrounding the publication of his new article “Confessing Animals”: Toward a Longue Durée History of the Oral History Interview.” In it, we discuss the troubling tendency for many oral history practitioners to, following the stated benefits of narrative therapy, claim that the interview experience is inherently cathartic and healing for interviewees. To read part two of the exchange, visit: Storytelling in Oral History: An Exchange, Part 2.
May 21st, 2014
Last week, the Approaching Perpetrators workshop took place at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia. Generously supported by the Liu Institute, Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the workshop facilitated the establishment of a new network of ethnographers skilled in working with perpetrators, broadly defined, and provided an opportunity for indepth knowledge exchange on topics related to negotiating gatekeepers and building relationships, language and the consequences of labelling people as perpetrators, morality, ethics and voice, and managing danger surrounding fieldwork. Read the rest of this entry »
May 21st, 2014
Sarah Watkins and I have just published an article titled “Good Kings, Bloody Tyrants, and Everything In Between: Representations of the Monarchy in Post-Genocide Rwanda” in History in Africa: A Journal of Method. It is the outcome of our first (but hopefully not last) collaboration, and uses modern-day narratives related to the Rwandan monarchy as a lens for understanding the current political climate in Rwanda. The piece analyzes three narratives common in post-genocide Rwanda, as articulated by Rwandans from diverse regional, economic, ethnic, and political backgrounds. In each instance, we find that the narrators imbued the Rwandan monarchy with attributes that reflected their individual political affiliations, lived experiences, and identity. As such, we approach these narratives as mythico-histories rather than historical fact. Read the rest of this entry »
April 28th, 2014
The Oral History Review blog has recently published the first part of an email exchange Alex Freund and I had surrounding the publication of his new article “Confessing Animals”: Toward a Longue Durée History of the Oral History Interview.” In it, Alex discusses the genesis of the article, which seeks to promote discussion surrounding the interview and storytelling more generally as intricately embedded in Western thought and history, and therefore warranting ongoing critical discussion. To read part one of the exchange, visit: ‘Storytelling’ in oral history: an exchange.