Oral history studies and East European history: challenges and approaches of the digital age | Call for Papers
Department of East European history, Justus-Liebig University of Gießen
DisciplinesAnthropology History Other Slavic studies Sociology
TopicsCentral and Eastern Europe Contemporary history Oral history Public history
Call for Papers for an oral history workshop at the Department of East European history of Justus-Liebig University of Gießen on 8-9 July 2022. The Workshop reflects upon the current state of oral history studies in the context of Eastern Europe and will focus on the methodological side of oral history projects and the role of digital tools in the discipline.
Oral history studies and East European history: challenges and approaches of the digital age
The method of oral history has long found its place in historians’ tool box. The attitudes towards the possibilities of this method have been manyfold and varied from the overly optimistic expectations to a more restrained estimation of its strengths and weaknesses.In our workshop organized at the Department of East European history of Justus-Liebig University of Gießen we would like to address the applications of oral history method in the field of East European Studies. Here eyewitness interviews have been traditionally heavily applied for the study of repressive nature of totalitarian regimes of the 20th century as well as the study of the history of forced labor and displaced persons in the course of World War II. However the societal and cultural transformations which began during the late soviet era and accelerated in the last 30 years after the fall of the communist regimes in 1989-1991 have opened a whole new field for oral history research. We attempt to reflect upon the current state of oral history studies in the context of Eastern Europe and invite scholars to participate and present short talks about their current works-in-progress and pursued projects. The workshop understands Eastern Europe in its broader meaning – from DDR to the Central Asian republics of the Soviet Union – and focuses on the time period from 1960s onwards. We would like to have a strong focus in our discussion on the methodological side of oral history projects and the role of digital tools for analysis and storage of the data.
Presentations may touch upon, but don’t have to be limited to, the following topics:
- How does one find interviewees and how can their responds and reactions influence the research?
- What are the challenges of the fieldwork of an interviewer?
- How does one store the data and navigate within the collected material?
- How can different digital tools and software help in analyzing and structuring the data?
- How do we publish the collected data and make it accessible for future researchers?
We especially want to encourage young researchers (MA- and PhD-students and early postdocs) to apply and present their experiences of oral history research.The workshop will take place at the University of Gießen on 8-9 July, the working language is English. Twelve selected presenters will be invited to the workshop. The organizers will cover the travel (public transportation, 2. class ticket) and accommodation expenses.
To apply, please send a short academic biography and an abstract of your presentation (250 words) by 22 May to firstname.lastname@example.org
Selected presenters will be notified about the invitation in the first June week.