Opportunity to join the editorial team at the Oral History Society


The UK Oral History Society is looking for new editorial members for the Oral History Journal – a gret opportunity to get involved with an exciting team and journal:

Oral History is one of only a handful of journals worldwide with a specific interest in research, debate and developments in the field of oral history and memory. Since 1970, the journal has been at the cutting edge of oral history work, publishing leading exponents as well as those who are newly arrived on the scene and who are making their mark.

Oral History is looking to increase its current editorial group by recruiting active oral historians teaching and researching in Higher Education or have commensurate interests, skills and experience.

As the journal of the UK Oral History Society (www.ohs.org.uk), the journal aims to contribute to developments in the theory and practice of oral history by encouraging the sharing of ideas, experience and good practice of those who are aware of developments in the field of oral history, internationally. For this reason the editorial group is keen to expand its membership amongst those who are at the cutting edge of developments in the teaching of oral history and who have published in the area of memory studies, history and approaches to research.

Oral History encourages contributions from a wide range of disciplines and practices, including history, women’s studies, sociology, cultural studies, anthropology, politics, social policy, social administration, museum studies, archive work, health studies, education, library and information services, community publishing, folklore, media studies, photography, broadcasting, nursing, social work, psychology, psychiatry, and in fact any area where the significance of orality, personal testimony and remembering is understood and valued.  The journal also welcomes a variety of approaches from people from different countries and from different backgrounds.

ohjOral History is published twice a year (Spring and Autumn); members of the OHS receive a hard-copy of each issue and can also access back issues (issues more than two years old), through JSTOR. The editorial group meets quarterly at the British Library. Two, or more, of the issue editors take responsibility for one issue each year. The spring issue has a copy deadline of 15 December with final preparation of copy taking place during January-February each year. The autumn issue has a deadline of 30 June with final preparation of copy taking place during August-September each year.

Editorial duties include:

  • Commissioning or encouraging writers to produce papers
  • Reading through and commenting on submissions together with members of the issue editorial group
  • Liaising with the editorial assistant
  • Attending quarterly editorial meetings
  • Taking on responsibility for working with authors – drafting responses conveying editors’ views, and reviewers’ responses, seeking illustrations etc.
  • Liaising with the journal designer throughout the production period of a journal issue
  • Preparing articles for copy editing and liaising with the copy editor
  • Proof-reading and correcting proofs
  • Attending oral history events such as conferences with a view to encouraging writers
  • Keeping up-to-date with what is going on in oral history particularly in relation to learning developments in higher education, community engagement, public history and publishing.

Those interested should email a CV, highlighting their relevant editorial experience and skills, and accompanying this with a brief statement showing what they feel they have to offer the journal Oral History.

Deadline for applicants: 10 April 2015

Reply to journals [AT] ohs.org.uk

An Anthropology of Ourselves: Exploring Mass Observation for Creative Projects

Strike a Light attended this course some time ago and found it a really rich and creative experience utilising archives in a new and accessible way.

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An Anthropology of Ourselves: Exploring Mass Observation for Creative Projects

Tutor: Dr Sam Carroll

Venue: The Keep

Dates: 7th March, 14th March, 21st March and 28th March 2015

Four day schools on Saturdays, 10am to 3:30pm

Cost £101.35/ £48.35 unwaged or Student

Discover the unique Mass Observation (MO) Archive and its inspirational value both for creative arts and community projects, in the beautiful bespoke setting of The Keep archive. This course will suit writers, photographers, dramatists and anyone with an interest in setting up a creative community enterprise that engages with life history. Throughout this four week course you will be supported in and encouraged to nurture your own ideas for a project.

The course will consist of four day schools each lasting five hours. The first, ‘Introduction to Mass Observation’ uncovers the unique history of the archive with a particular focus on the diaries within the project. As a group we will spend the morning exploring MO’s fascinating origins in the 1930s documentary movement, its revival in the 1980s and issues such as ethics, representation and historical value. The afternoon will be spent working with archive material, where you will explore and discuss original MO materials and reflect on the issues raised in the morning in practice.

The second day school ‘Using MO for Creative Writing’ will introduce you to how writers have made use of MO material as a source of creative inspiration for their work such as novels, theatrical performances and films. The group will then return to work with original archive material in order to start creating their own pieces of work and formulating ideas for potential projects.

Day school three ‘Observing the Masses’ will involve an overview of the role of photography and observation in the early MO project. We will collaboratively explore Humphrey Spender’s Worktown Collection as part of his extraordinary record of working class life in Britain. You will then engage in your own observations in the local area before regrouping, ready to discuss the related issues. By now you will have decided upon a project of your own you might wish to develop further. For the following week you will be asked to prepare a short presentation or poster to share your ideas with the group for constructive discussion.

The final day school ‘Using MO for Developing Community Projects’ will explore how MO techniques can be used within communities to record the history of everyday lives and to utilise the collected resources creatively. We will look at potential ways of funding creative and community projects. You will have the opportunity to share your early ideas and as a group we will consider what might be the most appropriate way forward for each project. Overall the course will provide the students with the opportunity to learn about MO and to use it as a source for inspiration and techniques to work creatively with resources that record everyday lives.

Dr Sam Carroll is a life historian with a range of experience in both the academic and

community arenas across many diverse research projects as tutor, project manager and oral history consultant. She is a community heritage researcher (University of Kent), a steering group member of the Centre for Research in Memory, Narrative and Histories (University of Brighton), a working group member of the Centre for Life History and Life Writing (University of Sussex), on the management committee of QueenSpark Books and a member of the Oral History Society.

Refreshments will be provided but please bring your own lunch

The Keep is an accessible venue

If you wish to enquire further please contact moa@sussex.ac.uk

To register for the course www.massobs.org/events