Deindustrialisation, heritage and memory: Reflections on 2018-2019 network

Deindustrialisation, and the understanding of how it continues to reverberate through working-class communities, is a relatively new but growing interdisciplinary field. Alongside academic interest, community activist groups, heritage organisations, trade unions and artists are engaged in examining the impact of structural economic change. The Deindustrialisation, Heritage and Memory Network came together through three workshops – held in Glasgow, Newcastle and Canterbury – which brought together research from across academia and the heritage sector, offering an important space where significant and lasting connections have been made. In this post, network contributors Paul Barnsley and Emma Copestake reflect on their experiences of the workshops, and consider future directions in the field.

Continue reading

From reflective to prospective practice: an oral history of the Lockerbie disaster, 1988

Last year, Dr Andy Clark was awarded a British Academy / Leverhulme Trust Small Grant to conduct a scoping project on the Lockerbie disaster, 1988. Working with Dr Colin Atkinson, Lecturer in Criminology at UWS, they will conduct interviews with a number of witnesses involved in the aftermath of the disaster. In this Lug post, Andy reflects on how to prepare for such a project. There is an extensive literature on reflections of oral historians once projects have been completed, but in this piece, Andy discusses his thoughts and approaches before beginning the interview process. Continue reading

Foodbank Histories: Placement Reflection by Jack Hepworth

Foodbank Histories is a collaborative project between Newcastle West End Foodbank, Northern Cultural Projects, and Newcastle University Oral History Unit & Collective. The project began in 2018, recording approximately 30 short oral history interviews with foodbank clients, volunteers, and supporters. Over the past five weeks, PhD candidate Jack Hepworth has completed a short-term placement on Foodbank Histories, funded by the Newcastle University Social Justice Fund. Here he reflects on his experience. 

Continue reading

Living Deltas Hub: UKRI and GCRF

The Oral History Collective is delighted to be associated with the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Living Deltas Hub. As part of a large, multi-disciplinary team, Professor Graham Smith and head of Newcastle University’s School of History, Professor Helen Berry, will lead a team of Research Associates and collaborative partners in history and oral history that will explore popular memories of environmental change across three of the world’s major delta regions. Here Graham reflects on just why the project is so exciting. 

Continue reading

Children under the Nazis: Exhibition, Education, and Website

What was it like to be a child during Nazi rule, and what have children said about their experiences? These are the central questions driving Dr Beate Müller’s impact and engagement project on ‘Children under the Nazis’. Continue reading

Community Experiences of Serious Organised Crime in Scotland

In this Lug post, Andy Clark discusses his experience conducting research for the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Justice. Along with a team of researchers, he contributed to, and co-authored, a major report focused on community experiences of Serious Organised Crime in Scotland. He reflects on utilising oral history methods to examine current experiences and problems in relation to organised crime, and contributing to a policy report.

Continue reading

Talking film with the Oral History Collective: Seminar Series

We’ve been getting into movies lately…

Our Alison Atkinson-Phillips has been working with Leeds University to plan the Post-Work Mini Film Season (see bottom of the page for event listing) on behalf of Newcastle’s Labour & Society research group. The films shown explore the way ‘work’ has changed and the impact of deindustrialisation and neoliberalism.

In May, our regular Seminar Series is kicking off with a visit from Steve Humphries of Testimony Films on Tuesday 9 May. Although best known as a film-maker, Humphries is possibly one of the most prolific oral historians in the UK, basing his documentaries on detailed interviews with his sources.

Continue reading

‘Interviewing, but not as we know it’: Oral History and Broadcasting

How can oral historians interact with other forms of interviewing, voice recordings and publication of oral sources? In this Lug post, Andy Clark discusses his experiences of interviewing and producing features for BBC Radio Scotland. He considers the differences between this style and his oral history work, and the ways in which oral history training can be advantageous when undertaking broadcasting work.

Continue reading