Oral History in Latin America : Unlocking the Spoken Archive book cover
1st Edition

Oral History in Latin America
Unlocking the Spoken Archive

ISBN 9780415717595
Published April 6, 2017 by Routledge
252 Pages

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Book Description

This field guide to oral history in Latin America addresses methodological, ethical, and interpretive issues arising from the region’s unique milieu. With careful consideration of the challenges of working in Latin America – including those of language, culture, performance, translation, and political instability – David Carey Jr. provides guidance for those conducting oral history research in the postcolonial world. In regions such as Latin America, where nations that have been subjected to violent colonial and neocolonial forces continue to strive for just and peaceful societies, decolonizing research and analysis is imperative. Carey deploys case studies and examples in ways that will resonate with anyone who is interested in oral history.

Table of Contents

Forward – Alessandro Portelli

Introduction: Oral History in Latin America

1. Techniques of Oral History

2. Archiving and Dissemination

3. Ethics, Power, and Activism

4. Language, Performance, and Translation

5. Interpretation and Memory

6. Topical Oral History

7. Oral Life History and Testimonios

Conclusion: Oral History in Twenty-First-Century Latin America

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This book is two fine books in one. It offers both a how-to guide on the practice of oral history research, and a perceptive commentary on the ways ethics, power, language, and context shape such research in Latin America.  Remarkably wide ranging, this work is a welcome resource for students and senior scholars alike.

- Steve J. Stern, Alberto Flores Galindo and Hilldale Professor of History, University Wisconsin-Madison


Oral History in Latin America is a triumph. David Carey Jr. gives us  

* Excellent practical advice about what to do – and not to do – in oral history.

* An extremely useful round-up of oral history research throughout the region.

* Insightful commentary on class, race, gender, sexuality, politics, silences and memory.

Valuable for beginners and veterans alike.

- Elizabeth Dore, Director, Memories of the Cuban Revolution and Professor Emeritus of Latin American Studies, University of Southampton, UK


"With uncommon humbleness, he shows his expertise in reconstructing political events and the nuances of complex scenarios in which disenfranchised individuals and communities are compelled to take life-changing decisions or forget painful memories. (...) The courageous legacy of Carey’s work must be taken on by younger historians in ways that enhance his theoretical and political commitment to make this world a better place for all, despite neoliberalist dictates."

- Dolores Figueroa Romero, Centre of Research and Advanced Studies of Social Anthropology (CIESAS), Mexico