Irish COVID-19 Project

Dublin City University has today launched the Irish COVID-19 Oral History Project. It focuses on orally archiving the Irish lived experience of the COVID-19 pandemic, for historical purposes. Led by Caitriona Ni Cassaithe and Professor Theo Lynn, the project will curate a collection of oral histories, detailing the Irish experience of the COVID-19 pandemic and how Irish communities are living through it, both at home and abroad. The findings are intended to be used by historians, researchers and policymakers in years to come to inform responses to future pandemics. It was inspired by work being undertaken by Prof Jason Kelly (IUPUI) on the US-based COVID-19 Oral History Project, a partner project of A Journal of the Plague Year, and efforts are being coordinated with the IUPUI project. For full story click here.

Teachers and Oral History

“History happens every day in every place. Whether it be a bill passing in the halls of Congress or a television program playing in your living room, it all counts as the great and messy drama of the human experience, worthy of historical consideration. Yet given the current global crisis in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are acutely aware of “history happening” in this particular moment, especially as New York City occupies the epicenter of the virus in the United States. Historians of the future will no doubt spend countless hours and pages analyzing the pandemic’s impact on politics, economics, and daily life—and we’re living right through this watershed moment.” Read more of this story and follow links here, some of which may be applied to Australian classrooms.

Oral History and Oral Tradition

Book Review

Rethinking Oral History and Oral Tradition: An Indigenous Perspective by Nepia Mahuika. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019 (Oxford Oral History Series). 288 pp. 978-0-1906-81685, Hardcover, $74.00
“Nepia Mahuika has authored a book deeply needed by the field of oral history. It is a book that has the potential to destabilize productively and transform how we as oral historians think about our work.” For full review click here.
Read selected pages here.

Oral History in Primary Schools

“Gosia Brown, one of the Head Teachers at St. Francis Melton Catholic Primary School in Leicestershire, England, discusses the ways that oral history has become a part of its curriculum, a subset of a larger project about the school’s heritage and history within the community.” For full story, including a link to a free resource page, click here.

Using oral history archives

“The Southern Oral History Program is guided by the philosophy that “you don’t have to be famous for your life to be history.” Since 1973, it has collected 6,000 interviews that document the American South.” The program has a competition for people who use the archived oral histories and bring them into the present. Perhaps we could do that here. Read the full story and listen to an interview with the winners of the competition here.

Japanese Americans in WWII

U.S. occupation forces landing in Japan at the end of World War II immediately needed staff who could communicate with the defeated Japanese. Japanese American soldiers formed the core of the translation and interpretation service, putting them in the often awkward position of being conquerors who shared a heritage with the enemy. One of the most common questions they were asked by the Japanese was: “What is democracy?” Read full story here.

Retirement Village Oral Histories

“Condensing more than 100 years of history into 23 minutes is no easy task. But that’s what Phil Audibert is doing as he works with Dogwood Village to capture the life stories of some of its residents for “Memories: An Oral History Project.” For full story (with video trailer at bottom of article) click here.