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2014 Oral History Association Annual Meeting: Oral History in Motion
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10/8/2014 to 10/12/2014
When: 10/8/2014
Where: Madison Concourse Hotel
Madison, Wisconsin 
United States
Contact: Gayle Knight

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Oral History in Motion: Movements, Transformations, and the Power of Story


Motion suggests many things: action and transformation; dynamism and fluidity; migration and the power to move. By its very nature, oral history is constantly in motion – in the evolving relationship between the two parties in an interview; in the interplay between the past and the present; in conjunction with emergent technologies and diverse applications. Oral history also has played a crucial role in documenting and understanding the central movements of our time, from a broad array of social movements to transnational migrations.


The 2014 annual meeting of the Oral History Association will offer the opportunity to assess various dimensions of oral history in motion. The digital revolution has ushered in myriad new possibilities in the collection, curation, presentation, and interpretation of oral history interviews, with complex consequences and implications. Many of the currents and developments of the contemporary world – from war to trauma to the global migration of people, capital, culture and ideas – have oral historical ramifications. In particular, oral historians have had a varied and complicated relationship with movements for social change both in the U.S. and around the world. What is the relationship between scholarship and advocacy, between history and journalism, between personal memories and collective consciousness, among diverse social movements? Conference organizers invite proposals for panels or individual papers that address any and all themes of oral history in motion.


Long known as a vibrant cultural hub and site of political ferment, Madison, Wisconsin, offers an excellent place to facilitate discussions about movements. Madison was the home of Governor Robert M. "Fighting Bob” La Follette, who promoted the Wisconsin Idea of using higher education to advance the welfare of all citizens of the state.  It was a major center for the social movements of the 1960s and their aftermath. Most recently Madison was at the heart of animated debate and protest over public policy and workers’ rights. In the 1950s and 1960s the University of Wisconsin was the incubator for a cohort of critical and influential historians, and Madison hosts some of the most significant collections in the country on the history of social movements.


The Program Committee welcomes broad and diverse interpretations of the conference theme as reflected in proposals for panels, individual papers, performances, exhibits, and roundtables. We especially encourage presenters to think about innovative delivery models including dramatic performance, interactive sessions, dialogic formats that engage audiences, and use of digital media.


Presenters are encouraged to incorporate voice and image in their presentations. OHA is open to proposals from the variety of fields traditionally represented in our meetings, including, but not limited to, history, folklore, music, literature, sociology, anthropology, American and ethnic studies, cultural studies, gender studies, political science, information science and technology, business, communications, and urban studies.


In recognition of the important work occurring outside the United States, we also hope to have a significant international presence at the meeting. And, as always, OHA welcomes proposals from independent scholars, community activists and organizers, archivists, librarians, museum curators, web designers, documentary producers, media artists, ethnographers, public historians, and all practitioners whose work is relevant to this meeting’s focus.


If accepted, international presenters may apply for partial scholarships, made available by OHA in support of international presentations. Please note that OHA’s resources allow for limited support. Small scholarships are also available for accepted presenters and others who attend the meeting.


Proposal format: Submissions must be made through the online system, available HERE. For sessions, submissions require a title, a brief abstract, and a one-page vita or resume for each participant. Individual paper submissions require a title, a brief abstract, and a one-page vita or resume of the presenter.

The deadline for submissions is February 1, 2014.


Proposal queries may be directed to:

-Natalie Fousekis, California State University, Fullerton 2014 Program Co-chair:

-Kathryn Newfont, Mars Hill University, 2014 Program Co-chair:

-Paul Ortiz, University of Florida, 2014-2015 OHA President:


For submission queries or more information, contact:

Gayle Knight, Program Associate
Oral History Association
Georgia State University
Telephone (404) 413-5751


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