Journal Article

Oral History and Hurricane Katrina: Reflections on Shouts and Silences

Stephen Sloan

in The Oral History Review

Published on behalf of Oral History Association

Volume 35, issue 2, pages 176-186
Published in print January 2008 | ISSN: 0094-0798
Published online June 2008 | e-ISSN: 1533-8592 | DOI:
Oral History and Hurricane Katrina: Reflections on Shouts and Silences

Show Summary Details


In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, many oral historians throughout the nation began to consider the role their methodology could serve in documenting the storm and its aftermath. Interviewing so soon after such a traumatic event creates new considerations for oral history as an approach to recording experience. The problems and possibilities of oral history at such a moment initiated a vibrant discussion on H-Oralhist and at professional meetings in the fall of 2005. This article reflects on many of the topics raised in that dialogue, including issues of historical distance, objectivity, reflection, and emotional trauma. The piece also offers an early review of the work of the Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage at the University of Southern Mississippi to document the impact of Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi.

Keywords: historical methodology; Hurricane Katrina; Mississippi; oral history; trauma

Journal Article.  5128 words. 

Subjects: Oral History

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