Journal Article

Oral History and Adult Community Education: Notes from the Field

Stacey Zembrzycki, Erin Jessee, Eleanor Beattie, Audrey Bean, Mireille Landry and Sandra Baines

in The Oral History Review

Published on behalf of Oral History Association

Volume 38, issue 1, pages 120-135
Published in print January 2011 | ISSN: 0094-0798
Published online April 2011 | e-ISSN: 1533-8592 | DOI:
Oral History and Adult Community Education: Notes from the Field

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In May 2009, Concordia University’s Institute for Community Development (ICD), the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling, and L’Abri en Ville, in Montreal, Canada, organized a collaborative oral history workshop. As part of the ICD’s Open University program, it aimed to give a group of adults, several of whom were coping with mental illnesses, an opportunity to learn about this craft in a setting that was free of the barriers that tend to divide communities and universities. In many respects, facilitating this oral history workshop, whether it was in an organizational, teaching, learning, or support capacity, was similar to conducting an oral history interview. For it to be effective, everyone who was involved in this experiment had to trust the process, committing to sharing authority and a flexible approach. This article offers a reflection on the sustained conversation that took place throughout this workshop and a discussion about the ways that it impacted its facilitators, teachers, and participants.

Keywords: adult education; community-university collaboration; mental illness; oral history; pedagogy

Journal Article.  6453 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Oral History

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