A Basque in Boise

Oral History Workshop in Boise, Idaho – Friday, August 10

Date: Friday, August 10, 2012
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Location: Basque Museum & Cultural Center (611 Grove Street)
Lunch: 12:30-1:30 – No host lunch at Leku Ona
Cost: Free

Call to Reserve your Place Now:  208-343-1285 – Patty Miller

Pedro Oiarzabal, Research Scholar on Migration Studies at the Pedro Arrupe Human Rights Institute, is volunteering his time and skills to hold the workshop.  Organizations sharing the cost of his transportation – Basque Museum & Cultural Center, Euskal Lagunak – Mountain Home; & Txoko Ona – Homedale.

OVERVIEW.  According to the American Oral History Association, “oral history is a field of study and a method of  gathering,  preserving  and  interpreting  the voices  and  memories  of  people, communities, and participants in past events. Oral history is both the oldest type of historical inquiry, predating the written word, and one of the most modern, initiated with tape recorders in the 1940s and now using 21st-century digital technologies.” The one-day workshop is aimed at providing an overview of oral history methodology, while giving specific guidance on doing interviews. The workshop is structured around four thematic modules of one and a half hours each. The first module deals with Oral History, the second with the interviewing process, the third one addresses the ethics of conducting oral histories, and the fourth module deals with processing the interview.

Workshop tentative schedule:

First Part (9:30-12:30)

Optional readings:  Paul Thomson. “The Voice of the Past. Oral History” & Studs Terkel, with Tony Parker. “Interviewing an Interviewer”

Module A: An introduction to Oral History
– Introduction to Workshop
– History, Time, Memory
– Definitions: What is oral history? What makes an interview an oral history? How is oral history different from other forms of directed inquiry? Oral History, Interviews, Life Histories, Ethnographic Interviews…
– Interviewing exercise I

Module B: Research project design and the interviewing process
– Research project design: Preparation, equipment
– Interviewing: Tips and framing questions
– Interviewing exercise II

Second Part (13:30-16:30)

Optional readings:  Kathryn Anderson and Dana S. Jack. “Learning to listen. Interview techniques and analyses” Hugo Slim and Paul Thompson, with Olivia Bennett and Nigel Cross. “Ways of listening”

Module C: The ethics of conducting oral histories

Discussion on the ethical obligation for oral historians to use either consent or copy-right release forms, as a form of legal agreement between interviewers and interviewees, and provide ethical guidelines to ‘research with human subjects’.

– Principles and Best Practices for Oral History by the Oral History Association
– Human Subjects by the Oral History Association

Module D: Processing the interview and advanced suggestions for interviewing
-Processing: What to do with recordings once you’ve got them
-Advanced suggestions for interviewing: Interviewing and inter-subjective relationships (interviewer and interviewee/chronicler): Communication Accommodation Theory, and the “healing” effect.

Auzolan:  collaboration among


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