As oral historians, we are always interested in hearing people’s voices–literally as well as figuratively. We knew that the experience of 14 days of striking had been a significant one for many other those involved–we knew through our own informal conversations, through Twitter posts (see the #USSstrikes hashtag for some of this), and indeed through our own varied experiences. But when we decided, on Monday 12 March, that we would take our recording equipment the next day’s picket, we had no idea what was about to happen.
Launch of the Oral History Collective and Unit @ Newcastle
Wednesday 10 January, 5.30 pm
Curtis Auditorium, Herschel Building,
Professor Alessandro Portelli
Professor of American Literature Sapienza, University of Rome
Alessandro Portelli has played a leading role in transforming oral history. Through a number of key studies, he has promoted an appreciation of oral history as a literary genre that throws light on the significance of subjectivity in history. By interpreting the themes and structures of eyewitness testimony, Portelli has consistently demonstrated new ways of understanding memory. In this lecture Portelli reflects on his work to date, illustrating his intellectual journey with reference to the stories of the personal, and the historical, victories and defeats that have inspired his critical contribution.