1st Edition

Practicing Oral History with Immigrant Narrators

By Carol McKirdy Copyright 2015
    177 Pages
    by Routledge

    177 Pages
    by Routledge

    In addition to the problem of language, conducting oral histories with immigrant narrators often requires special considerations: past violence, cultural sensitivity, and lack of trust. Yet, these narrators are often witnesses to, or participants in, important historical events, or can describe otherwise-undocumented social phenomena. The first book to focus specifically on oral history practices with immigrant narrators, it -gives both the novice and experienced oral historian insights into their narrators’ needs;-provides the tools to effectively plan and execute an oral history project in an immigrant community;-includes case studies, additional resources, and templates of important oral history processes.

    Foreword Preface 1. Introduction to Oral History 2. Working with the Immigrant Community 3. Trauma 4. Cultural Awareness 5. The Importance of Language 6. Using an Interpreter in an Oral History Interview 7. Using Images to Support Oral History Narrative 8. An Oral History Project Step by Step 9. Savan – A Case Study with an Immigrant Narrator Appendix A: Oral History Project Written Appendix B: Project Details, Field Notes, and Annotated Log Appendix C: Generic Introduction and Initial Interview Questions Appendix D: Trauma Support Services Appendix E: Networking: Organizations and Professional Associations Notes Glossary Further Reading Index About the Author


    Carol McKirdy is proprietor of the oral history company HistoryHerstory based in Sydney, Australia. She has conducted numerous oral history projects through universities, communities and societies, including an extensive project with Sudanese immigrant communities in Australia.

    "This most recent contribution to the publisher's 'Practicing Oral History Series,' written by the proprietor of an oral-history consulting firm, points out the special considerations of interviewing immigrants. The importance of awareness of cultural differences and trauma experienced by refugees, as well as the decision to use an interpreter, are all examined... Handbooks like this will ensure that the practice rests on a firm foundation of knowledge. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All libraries. All levels."

    CHOICE Reviews

    "...by producing a text that outlines the issues one faces in interviewing immigrant narrators, she provides strategies to deal with these challenges, and, at the same time, explores some of the profound insights such interviews can create. McKirdy has done both the oral history community and immigrants an enduring service."

     Anne Spry Rush, Oral History Review