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"Between Past and Future: Oral History, Memory and Meaning"

CAS 31/07/2009


Papers are invited from around the world for contributions to the XVIth International Oral History Conference hosted by the International Oral History Association in collaboration with the Czech Oral History Association and the Institute of Contemporary History of the Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic.

This year our attention will focus on finding and making meaning of the past and human identity through oral history. We will focus on number of research fields where oral history can contribute to better understanding not only of our past but our lives in general. Also, for the first time our conference will take place in an ex-totalitarian country. This enables us to analyse the specific role of oral history research in societies where other, especially official records about the past have been submitted to censorship or have been discarded.

We encourage scholars all around the world and all those who have worked with oral history in a wide range of settings such as museums, heritage agencies, academic institutions, law courts, radio and television, performing arts and community projects to participate in XVI International Oral History Conference in Prague, Czech Republic.


Proposals may be for a conference paper or a thematic panel. Only those proposals clearly focused on oral history will be given consideration. Proposals will be evaluated according to their oral history focus, methodological and theoretical significance and relevance to the conference theme and sub-themes.

Individual papers - these will be grouped by the conference organizers into panels or workshops with papers which have a similar focus

Thematic panels - proposals for a thematic panel should contain no more than four presenters, representing different countries

During the conference Special Interest Groups will take place. These network sessions are intended for oral historians to meet, establish contacts, share resources and ideas. The places and times of SIGs will be announced in the programme of the conference. Suggestions and offers about possible themes are invited (please contact the local organisers).

Master classes led by internationally recognized oral history scholars and practitioners will be held before the Conference. To apply to these paid classes or workshops, please follow the Master Classes link at our website.


Please submit a 300-word maximum proposal summarizing your presentation, via the Conference Website: www.ioha2010prague.cz

Proposals (and subsequent papers) must be written in English or Spanish.

You will also be requested to supply the following information:

• Name
• Institutional or Academic Affiliation (not compulsory)
• Postal Address
• Email Address
• Telephone and Fax numbers
• Theme/s for your proposal
• Indication if the proposal is an individual paper or a thematic panel

Deadline for proposals: 6 September 2009

Presenters will be required to send their final paper in idiomatic English or Spanish, with a summary in both languages. Summaries will be published in the conference Book of Abstracts. Translations should be of publishable quality, preferably written or reviewed by a native speaker or professional translator in that language. The Organizing Committee will notify acceptance or rejection of proposals by October 31, 2009.

The Conference will allow as much as possible to the conference audiences to hear the voices of narrators and will provide all the necessary technical equipment.


1. Memories of violence, war and totalitarianism. The persecuted, civil rights, trauma and forgetting
2. Memory and Politics: Experiences of political participation
3. Islands of Freedom: The role of subculture, folklore and oral traditions in society. Alternative culture, music, dance and identity.
4. Memories of Family: Motherhood, fatherhood and generational exchange
5. Migrations: Exile, migratory movements, diaspora and the search of identity
6. The World of Work: Memories and experiences. Gender and the perception of labour
7. Gender/ing memories and the making of sexual identities. Oral Histories of gays and lesbians.
8. Health and Healthcare: health centres, the elderly and disabled; health workers
9. Ecology and Disasters: Environmental issues, natural heritage and cultural change
10. Sharing/Passing on Beliefs: Religion and oral traditions
11. Organizing Oral History: Institutions, archives, museums, organizations and grassroots groups.
12. Methodological, archival and technological issues Theory and Method in Oral History: Legal and ethical issues.
13. Teaching Oral History: Experiences in formal and informal education
14. Oral History and the Media


The International Oral History Association (IOHA) has a small Travel Scholarship Fund aimed at providing partial financial support for travel to and/or accommodations at the Conference, particularly for those participants from developing countries. Unfortunately, the fund is small so only a part of the costs can be covered. Therefore we suggest the potential applicants to start their fundraising at the same time of sending in their paper proposal. All IOHA Scholarship applicants will be asked to explain from where else they expect funding.

To be eligible for a travel scholarship, candidates must first have their paper proposals accepted. To receive a scholarship, finalists must submit their final paper by the published deadline.

Related information ON IOHA Scholarship and application forms will be available on the IOHA Website (http://www.iohanet.org/index.html) from May 2009.


Acceptance or rejection of proposalс - By 31 October 2009
Receipt of papers for publication on conference CD-Rom - By 28 February 2010

Notification of award By 5 December 2009


If you have questions or would like advice from an IOHA Council member about a conference proposal, you may contact your regional representative:

Europe: Mirek Vanek (Check Republic) -
Miren Llona (Spain)

To contact the Conference organizers in Prague, please email or write to:

Pavel Mücke

Oral History Center
Institute of Contemporary History
Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Vlašská 9
118 40 Praha (Prague)
Czech Republic

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