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2023 OHA Annual Meeting
October 18-21, 2023

 
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Oral History As/And Education: Teaching and Learning in the Classroom and Beyond

Oral History Association

2023 Annual Meeting

October 18-21, Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor


Submission deadline extended to March 3, 2023

The Oral History Association invites proposals for papers and presentations for its 2023 annual meeting to be held October 18 – 21, 2023 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Oral history is the oldest form of education. For its 2023 annual meeting, the Oral History Association seeks to convene a variety of shared experiences that return the field’s consciousness to its most basic and practical roots of dialogical teaching and learning. The politics of education today are contentious, to say the least. Stories of educators being silenced have become alarmingly commonplace, and the pandemic has driven many teachers, especially secondary level, out of the classroom altogether. At the same time, however, educators have been proving their resilience and capacity for innovation. Likewise, as a field, oral history is undergoing a paradigm shift towards radical inclusivity. In this transitional moment, we hope to find new possibilities, generate new approaches, and recall and refurbish the fundamentally humanistic impulse of oral history as/and education.

The 2023 OHA meeting will provoke many generative discussions about the fundamental roles that oral history can play in educational processes, and the ways critical pedagogy can inform oral history practice. What can the spirit and methods of oral history contribute to modern-day educational endeavors, at all levels? How might a learner’s life be changed by an assignment of oral history work in college, high school, middle school, elementary school, or even for adult learners outside the classroom? How do we honor and maximize the educational potential of the oral history encounter, for both participants and audience members?

In this co-created conversation among oral historians as/and educators, what might educators teach oral historians about instructional methods and practices that are optimized for inclusive communities of learning? How, for example, can student-centered, discussion-based learning experiences provide conversational architecture that prioritizes listening? What might project-based learning models teach oral historians about participatory community work and active citizenship? How might oral history lessons synthesize with written, visual, embodied, and other pedagogies? Who else might inspire innovation in oral historians’ intellectual, institutional, political, aesthetic, cultural, and spiritual work? Our hope for the conference is to catalyze such transformations by creating space for teachable cases to be shared, probing discussions to be had, new connections to be forged. We hope to rejuvenate and broaden the reach of a generation of oral history educators, while also reminding oral historians that we are all, at bottom, educators.

These questions approach oral history as vital content that informs our knowledge of the past and present, as a method of inquiry that both expands and sharpens the lens with which we encounter the world, and as a set of ethical practices that govern our engagement with the many communities that impact and are impacted by our work. At the heart of this call is the desire to posit oral history as an essential element of critical pedagogy—inviting transformative critiques of power structures both inside and outside the classroom and equipping individuals and communities to more effectively and responsibly navigate and shape their realities. We also hope to increase understanding of oral history’s place in approaches to education foregrounded in indigeneity, non-dominant cultures, and holistic development. We welcome considerations of oral history’s relevance to educational methods, traditions, philosophies, and institutions of all kinds—and vice versa.

The Program Committee welcomes broad and creative interpretations of the conference theme. We especially encourage presenters to think about innovative delivery models that can be of practical service to educators, including workshops; interactive sessions; case studies of learning-environment-based oral history projects; personal reflections by students, teachers (K-12 and beyond), narrators, and other project participants; interpretive performance; and the use of digital media. In addition, we welcome proposals from the diverse communities that carry out oral history work – academics, independent scholars, activists, librarians, museum curators, web designers, teachers, community historians, documentary film producers, artists, creative writers, ethnographers, public historians, and others whose work relates to this year’s conference theme. We hope especially to welcome many first-time attendees who can take insights and ideas generated at the conference back into their own classrooms and learning environments.

We hope to have a significant international presence at the meeting and particularly welcome proposals that highlight oral history work in the Americas outside the United States. If accepted, international presenters may apply for partial scholarships, made available by the OHA in support of international presentations. Small scholarships are also available for accepted presenters and others who attend the meeting. We also look forward to making the most of the conference’s location in Baltimore, a city whose rich and checkered history testifies to the crucial and hard-fought role of grassroots education in the fulfillment of democracy’s promises, from the days of Frederick Douglass to those of Freddie Gray.

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