Welcome to the 2018-2019 issue of Words and Silences/Palabras y Silencios

We prsent this collection of papers as a “post-conference issue,” providing the membership and the broader oral history community and audience a glimpse into oral history conversations, ideas and practices that were exchanged last June at the IOHA 2018 Congress at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland.  In addition, mirroring the IOHA 2018 theme of “Memory and Narration,” we feature a few additional papers and reflections submitted directly to this theme, in response to our call for member submissions.

About This Issue

This issue is organized into three sections.  Section 1, “Presented @ IOHA,” is our offering of talks delivered onsite at the biennial gathering, beginning with the four invited Keynote speakers from Finland, presented in order as they were delivered at the conference, in textual form. We thank the speakers for their generosity in sharing their ideas and presentations for inclusion in this issue. 

Paula Hamilton, in the first of the four keynote talks, invites audiences to consider the “Landscape of Memory” and the limits of oral history in transmitting memories between generations. Following Hamilton, Ene Kõresaar in Keynote II provides a “Baltic Perspective” on the politics of memory, followed by Shelley Trower’s presentation of experiences of “Oral History Reading.”  IOHA 2018 concluded with a final keynote talk delivered by Alessandro Portelli, who at our invitation generously created a textual document from his original notes that include his ideas and presentation on “Working Class Culture and Globalization.” Included in IOHA 2018 are also two session papers presented by associates who responded to our call to “upgrade” their themed talks. Finally, as a sort of epilogue to our “Presented @” section, we are pleased to share Martha Norkunas’ talk from IOHA 2016 in Bangalore, India.  Dr. Norkunas, who currently serves as North American representative for the IOHA Council, reflected in Bangalore on the role oral history can and should play in encouraging the voicing and listening of global stories of women’s oppression. We thought that this post-conference issue was a good opportunity to present this early expression of ideas and experiences that pre-date the global #metoo movement.  

Section 2 of this issue features two articles submitted to IOHA in response to our 2018 call for papers that follow the theme “Memory and Narration. And Section 3 we have titled “Pedagogy and Practice,” as it offers reflections and practical considerations from colleagues regarding current trends, methods and ideas in oral history. 

Our wish for readers is to engage these ideas with an interest toward response. What are your reactions, impressions, and thoughts about these authors’ presentations? As a digital publication and website, we invite both online comments as well as offline responses, which may be sent to our organizational email, [email protected]

Thank you for your interest in our 2019 issue.  We hope that the ideas shared in this forum prove interesting and thought-provoking.  We hope to hear from you, as well as see you at the 2020 IOHA Congress in Singapore next year. 

Until next time,

David Beorlegui (Spanish co-editor and lead translator)
Lauren Kata (English co-editor)
Bernardo Buarque (editorial peer reviewer)


Section 1: Presented @ IOHA

Rethinking Oral History and the Landscape of Memory. (Keynote I)
Paula Hamilton, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Life Story and the Politics of Memory after 1989: A Baltic Perspective (Keynote II)
Ene Kõresaar, University of Tartu, Estonia
Memories of Fiction: Oral Histories of Reading Experiences (Keynote III)
Shelley Trower, University of Roehampton, UK
Working-class Culture and Globalization (Keynote IV)
Alessandro Portelli, University of Rome La Sapienza, Italy
My grandpa wasn’t a Hungarian! The Stigmata of home comers to Czechoslovakia through the second and third generation viewpoint
(Session 29: Transgenerational Perspectives of Migration)
Klara Kohoutova, Lucia Heldakova, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Slovakia
Oral History and Folklore: A Study of Traditional Environmental Knowledge and Perceptions among Ethnic groups of Aravalli Mountains of India
(Session 35: Memory and Oral Traditions)
Nikhil Kumar, Mohan Lal Sukhadia University, India
Closing Plenary: International Oral History Association 2016 Bangalore, India
Martha Norkunas, Middle Tennessee State University, USA

Section 2: Manuscripts submitted from the community

Going Against the Tide: Fernando Etxegarai and the Basque Radical Community 
Nicolás Buckley, Royal Holloway University of London, Great Britain

Section 3: Contributions from colleagues regarding oral history in practice

Historical Waves of Oral History: Reflections on New Trends and Changing Practices
Rajesh Prasad, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi, India
Audio Mining: Advanced Speech Analytics for Oral History
Almut Leh, Michael Gref and Joachim Köhler, Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems IAIS, Germany
Nobodies’ voices: the archive regarding feminism and memories by Arada.
Arada. Eina de Feminismes i Memòria. [Collective text written by the members].
About the editors