10th Oral History National Meetings: Testimonies in History and Politics

Recife, April 26-30, 2010. Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE). Centro de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas. To enroll:

The Brazilian Association of Oral History is pleased to extend this invitation to the entire community of researchers in oral history to its 10th National Meetings to take place in Recife.

The objective of the meeting is to reflect on the relationships between memory and the historical character of the testimonies, debating its political importance on the social, economic, and cultural life. The thematic allows an approach to politics and culture from multiple meanings, as politics of memory, a debate initiated in oral history.

Carmem Lúcia dos Santos | [email protected]



2010 International Oral History Conference in Prague – October 2009 Report

Half a year after our last meeting, the Prague organizing team would like to inform you about the ongoing preparations for the 16th International Oral History Conference which will take place in July 2010 in Prague. By the beginning of October, more than 700 paper proposals from 61 countries of the world had arrived through the conference on-line registration system. 670 papers have been accepted by our evaluation committee. We can therefore expect a truly cosmopolitan and interdisciplinary conference.

Our oral history community will meet for the first time in a country of the former Soviet Bloc. For both IOHA and the Prague organizing committee this is an event of major significance. It is our wish that all the conference participants leave Prague next July with a feeling that their time and their conference fees have been well “invested.” This is a difficult but also a challenging task for the Czech Oral History Conference.

Unfortunately, in the Czech Republic we do not speak any of the two official languages of the conference. This is a factor that complicates the communication among participants, which is of key importance to us particularly because we are a community of oral historians. That is why we see communication as our major priority. At the moment we can anticipate that three out of ten sections will be translated by professional interpreters. For other sections we count on the help of volunteers. We want to take advantage of this opportunity to ask all of our colleagues presenting papers to prepare one-page abstracts in the language they will not be lecturing in, so that the audience can have all the necessary information for a well-informed discussion. The organizing committee is also preparing a number of informal activities enabling us to connect to the world outside the official space of the conference – let us just mention the oldest university hall, the Karolinum, at Charles University, for the inaugural ceremony; the modern spaces of the School of Economics for the duration of the conference; the Theater Archa for a free presentation and one performance by Prague actors; or the Prague Václav Havel´s Crossroads, for the farewell ceremony, a place designed specially for intercultural exchange.

It is also our wish that conference participants enjoy their stay in Prague. That is why we have contacted a number of hotels and dormitories in the vicinity of our venue and have arranged some significant discounts for accommodations.

Last but not least let me mention something about the conference fees. At the moment the fees have been set as following: 210 Euros for IOHA non-members, 190 Euros IOHA members and 60 Euros for students. Our budget is mostly comprised of arriving conference fees. For this purpose, the IT officer and webmaster is currently working on the on-line payment system, which will support credit card payments and bank transfers. We expect it to be functioning by mid-November. We have also submitted several grants proposals and should have know more about possible funding by the end of the year. We established partnerhsip with media partners (Czech Television, Czech Broadcasting) and we also negotiate with several potential sponsors from private sector.

We would like that all conference participants leave Prague next year with a feeling that their time as well as their conference fees have been well “invested”.We believe our preparations will continue smoothly and we are looking forward to seeing you next July.

Welcome to the heart of Europe!

Miroslav Vanek | [email protected]
COHA President, Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee


Conference on ‘Life Writing and Intimate Publics’ for the International Auto/Biography Association

Call for Papers The 7th Biennial International Auto/Biography Association Conference. University of Sussex. 28 June-2 July 2010.

Conference Topic: Life Writing and Intimate Publics

The Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research and the International Auto/Biography Association invite scholars and life writers to attend the 7th IABA conference, at the University of Sussex, Brighton, England. Keynote speakers include Nancy K. Miller, Sidonie Smith, Jenny Diski, Liz Stanley, Alistair Thomson, Dorothy Sheridan, Nadje Al-Ali and Alessandro Portelli.

Late modernity has spot-lit intimate relations. Families, feelings and love lives have been opened to public politics through pressures of globalisation, digitisation, the mass media and social movements such as feminism. At the same time, traditional citizenships of public rights and responsibilities find new definition through trauma, consumption, identity and care. As boundaries between ‘public’ and ‘private’ multiply, new constituencies of belonging and claim are convened, from Fathers for Justice to flood survivors to Facebook. This conference begins from Lauren Berlant’s term ‘intimate public’ to explore these new constituencies in relation to life writing and life storying across media, discipline and profession.

Life writing and life story construct intimate publics in autobiographies, biographies, diaries, oral histories, blogs, reality television, photography, letters, life histories, documentaries, graphic memoirs, quilts, exhibitions, mobile phone texts. They have also been crucial agents in constructing counter-publics. We welcome papers dealing with the following questions, and others which may be related to the conference theme:

  • How do life writings construct citizenship, civic relations and/or counter-publics? How is life history used in non-governmental public actions and activisms? And how have governmental organisations used life history and life writing?

  • What intimacies are facilitated by life writings and life stories?

  • How does life writing relate to life story, life history and oral history?

  • How has life writing and life story participated in care contexts such as parenting, social work, health, education? What discourses of risk, claim, vulnerability, rights and responsibilities are revealed in life writings and their uses?

  • What engagements do/should life writing and life history have with therapeutic cultures?

  • How does the economy of life story production and consumption relate to the construction of intimate publics and who are its consumers and producers?

  • In what ways can we compare ethical codes for life writing, oral history and life history? How do these manage the nature of intimate publics?

  • How do life writing and life history contribute to public and private archives and to public history/heritage?

  • How does life writing construct or obstruct cross-cultural or cross-linguistic relationships?

  • As we understand more about the work of life writing, how is life writing making us work?

  • What relationships persist between life writing as aesthetic and as social act?

Because our primary concern will be stimulating and sustaining conversation between conference participants, papers should be limited to fifteen minutes in length. This will ensure time in all sessions for questions and discussion. Panels on a single topic and submitted together are welcome. (Panels and sessions will have three presenters.) Panels and individual papers may be conducted or delivered in the language of the participant’s choice -let us know well in advance so we may make all necessary arrangements. All participants should inform the organizers about media requirements -DVD, internet, visual projection, audio, and so on.

Abstracts for papers should be @300 words long. There should be an abstract for each paper in a panel presentation. The deadline for abstracts will be 1 September, 2009. Though e-mail is preferred, abstracts can be submitted by mail or fax to the following numbers and addresses.

IABA Conference Call for Papers c/o. The Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research Centre for Continuing Education. University of Sussex. Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QQ, England e-mail: [email protected]. fax: 01273 877534

We would be happy to answer questions.

Margaretta Jolly |
Director, Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research

The International Auto/Biography Association website: The conference website:


Times of Crisis, Times of Change: Human Stories on the Edge of Transformation

Call for Papers. 2010 OHA Annual Meeting. October 27-31, 2010. Sheraton Hotel Downtown. Atlanta, Georgia

Proposal Deadline: Friday, January 15, 2010.

Times of great crisis may offer the prospect and promise of great change. The economic, political and environmental tensions of the present moment are powerfully reshaping our world. People find themselves trapped within global forces, whether economic collapse, war and genocide, forced displacement and relocation, or the threat of environmental disaster. These forces often appear to act upon people in ways beyond their control. At the same time, moments of great crisis engender powerful new visions of change and transformation. Whether as involuntary subjects or active agents, leaders or witnesses, people live and embody these changes. Their memories are critical windows on human struggles, resilience, myth-making, and the political power of stories, forcing a reckoning with the past as well as a reconsideration of the future. Such stories speak to both collective and contested understandings of life on the edge of transformation.

The theme of the 2010 annual meeting of the Oral History Association is inspired in part by the conference setting. Atlanta, Georgia is an historic city, define by a vibrant history of activism for civil and human rights, and a site for new immigration. Focusing on the use of oral history to reconstruct stories of/in crisis and change, we ask: How have people struggled and survived in times of crisis?   How do people create change and bear witness to it?  How do they construct their stories of these moments?  In what ways have stories of crisis and change shaped public memories of pivotal historical eras? How do we reconcile contradictory stories of crisis and change?

The Program Committee welcomes broad and diverse interpretations of the conference theme in proposals for panels, individual papers, performances, exhibits and roundtables. We especially encourage presenters to think about non-traditional delivery models, such as interactive sessions, dialogic formats that engage audience, and use of digital media. Presenters are reminded to incorporate voice and image in their presentations. OHA welcomes international participants, who may also apply for partial scholarships. For more information on scholarships consult the OHA website:

All proposals should be submitted via email to [email protected], or if available, through the online submission page on the OHA website,

The Cover Sheet and all proposal documents must be combined into one attachment in Microsoft WORD format. Please do not send the documents as separate attachments. If you do not receive email confirmation by January 29, 2010, please contact the OHA office to make sure your submission has been received.

Proposal queries to Program Co-Chairs:

David A. Reichard | [email protected];
Tomás F. Summers Sandoval | [email protected]

Submission queries to Executive Secretary:

Madelyn Campbell | [email protected]