Journal Article

On the Other Foot: Oral History Students as Narrators

Stephen Sloan

in The Oral History Review

Published on behalf of Oral History Association

Volume 39, issue 2, pages 298-311
Published in print January 2012 | ISSN: 0094-0798
Published online August 2012 | e-ISSN: 1533-8592 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ohr/ohs086
On the Other Foot: Oral History Students as Narrators

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An understudied element of the oral history exchange is the experience of a narrator during the interview. Discussions of this topic in the literature on oral history have tended to focus on the potential of the approach to do harm (rouse emotion, incite trauma, etc.) or provide benefit (rise above physical limitations, alleviate depression, etc.). Although such impacts on the narrator are quite real, most oral historians more commonly navigate the broad middle terrain of the narrator experience. This piece on oral history pedagogy explores some of the primary themes that emerged from a writing assignment in a graduate oral history seminar that offered students the opportunity to critically examine their thoughts and feelings on their participation as narrator in an oral history interview.

Keywords: pedagogy; narrator experience; students; interviewing

Journal Article.  6073 words. 

Subjects: Oral History

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