GUWAHATI, Sept 30 - The Oral History Association of India (OHAI) is holding its annual conference in the city with a two-day programme from November 13. The conference, to be held for the first time in the North East, is being organised in collaboration with the Department of History, Gauhati University.The theme of the conference is – ‘Public Memory and Oral History’. It is expected to address the growing interest in the study of the relationship between public memory and oral history.
Oral history has been gaining popularity since the 1960s and ’70s, as an alternative source for filling up gaps or major lacunae, such as the history of the marginalised people namely, women, peasants, workers, ethnic communities, among others, which are not found in the records and other written documents of the archives.
The conference will seek to popularise oral history in the region as a detached and academic process of inquiry into the memories of people, who have experienced the recent past directly or have been witness to the events in question.
The discussions would centre around public memory and oral history of cultural heritage, museums and archives, public events, verbal arts, media, migration, nation and identity, urban spaces and cultures, natural disaster and environment and collective remembrance.
Scholars from all over the country and abroad have expressed their willingness to participate in the conference. The keynote speakers will be renowned oral historians Allesandro Portelli and Urvashi Butalia.
Founded in 2013, OHAI is a platform for networking, sharing and communication among those working with recording and interpreting oral history. It was established with the objective of promoting the creation, collection, digitisation, archiving and dissemination of oral history in India, so as to encourage and stimulate publications and research in oral history.