Institute for Oral History News

Proposals Due Soon for OHA Meeting in Oklahoma City in October

Jan. 3, 2013

Hidden Stories, Contested Truths: The Craft of Oral History

The 2013 annual meeting of the Oral History Association will offer an opportunity to showcase the ways in which oral history has been used to unearth hidden stories and contest accepted truths. Through work to address silences, oral history provides a method by which unknown experiences and fresh perspectives can come to light and provide scholars and communities a more robust understanding of the past. It holds the power to defy stereotypes and challenge simple generalizations.

Conference organizers invite proposals for panels or individual papers exploring the ways in which oral history has recorded and presented critical counter narratives, bringing needed diversity and enhanced complexity to the study of events, ideas, or issues. Our hope is that oral historians from a wide range of settings and disciplines will contribute to this discussion of how their work has uncovered new stories or defied popular notions.

For 2013, Oklahoma City offers an ideal setting to host this discussion. Since its instant founding during the Land Run of 1889, Oklahoma City's rich history runs from great triumph to profound tragedy. OKC now stands as a key metropolitan center among the Plains States of Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota. It is a place where the distinctive regional influences of the South and Midwest mix with the conventions of the American West. The location for our 2013 meeting is the city's grand Skirvin Hilton Hotel. Opened in 1911, the hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and stands in the heart of a downtown that has undergone a dramatic renaissance in the past twenty years centered on a revitalized river district.

As with all previous OHA meetings, the Program Committee welcomes broad and diverse interpretations of the conference theme as reflected in proposals for panels, individual papers, performances, exhibits, and roundtables. In the spirit of the theme, we especially encourage presenters to think about nontraditional delivery models, such as interactive sessions, dialogic formats that engage audiences, and use of digital media.

Presenters are reminded 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, literature, sociology, anthropology, American and ethnic studies, cultural studies, gender studies, political science, information science and technology, 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 on the craft of oral history.

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 or others who attend the meeting.

Proposal format: For full sessions, submit a title, a session abstract of not more than two pages, and a one-page vita or resume for each participant. For individual proposals, submit a one-page abstract and a one-page vita or resume of the presenter. Each submission can be entered on the web at: http://forms.oralhistory.org/proposal/login.cfm The deadline for submission of all proposals is January 18, 2013.

Proposal queries may be directed to:
Beth Millwood, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2013 Program Co-Chair: beth_millwood@unc.edu
Todd Moye, University of North Texas, 2013 Program Co-Chair: moye@unt.edu
Stephen Sloan, 2013-14 OHA President: stephen_sloan@baylor.edu

To learn more about OHA, visit www.oralhistory.org




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