Members Meeting: Monday 27 January 2020

Dialogues of Memory: What makes oral history different?

Dr Sean Field is an Associate Professor in the department of Historical Studies at the University of Cape Town. He holds a PhD from the University of Essex in the United Kingdom and has lectured at UCT for several years. He is the author of many articles on the topic of oral history and of a book (“Oral History, Community, and Development”), which was selected as Book of the Year 2012 by the American Oral History Association

Who sees, listens and talks to whom – when and where – and how each participant engages with each other, frames oral history. My central focus is on doing life histories and how research dialogues can elicit meaningful memories to be expressed through oral story-telling. I draw on examples of oral histories of apartheid forced removals, African refugees and everyday stories. I will also discuss the following issues: validity, power relations, identity differences and how to work through difficult emotions when story-tellers narrate their memories of violence.

Refreshments from 15.30

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