IS 533 Oral History Methods
Introduces the theory and practice of oral history to graduate students in history, communication, library and information science and related fields through reading, discussion and practice with field work and interviewing. Over the last fifty years, oral history has moved from a controversial (and sometimes despised) technique on the margins of the discipline history, to one of the most important forms of historical knowledge production and dissemination in the academic and non-academic worlds. Yet its goals and relations to the communities it touches are often less than clear. Examines oral historical works, some canonical, some experimental, produced by historians, anthropologists, folklorists, sociologists and political activists. Up for discussion are questions of orality and literacy, privileged versus marginal histories, the problem of memory, problems of listening and learning how to ask, and debates about audience and presentation. Readings will cross continents (the Americas, Europe, Africa, South America) and historical periods from the 18th through the 21st centuries.