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The University of Southampton
Humanities Graduate School

Memory & Oral History Reading Group

This group is currently inactive, waiting for someone to pick up the baton from the previous group leaders Elena Caoduro and Akuarela Gutierrez. If you are interested in the topic and work in similar areas, please get in touch with Elena Caoduro to resume the activities listed below:

Contact details:

Elena Caoduro (PhD student in Film Studies)

Group Description:

The Memory & Oral History reading group prompts reflection on the interdisciplinary nature of these fields of study. The challenge is to reconcile the very different theoretical and methodological models that are deployed in different research areas involved. The aim of the reading group is therefore to offer an opportunity to discuss theories and methodologies about memory and oral history in a relaxed and supportive environment. It is addressed to all PGR, taught and research students, with a keen interest in memory studies and/or oral history and their relation to other disciplines, such as philosophy, history, modern languages, literature, music and film.


The format of the group is to hold monthly 2-hour meetings with a predefined theme, and circulate a relevant text from which the discussion can begin. Sessions could involve presentations from members of our group, discussions of work-in-progress and film screenings with Q&A. Examples of topics include: ‘Dealing with oral sources’, ‘Mediated memories’, ‘Incompatible? History and Memory’, ‘Oral history and the study of communities’, ‘Life stories and collective memories’’ among others. The participation of members of staff who want to give short presentations or lead a workshop/seminar is welcomed. For the final session of the semester, a guest speaker is usually invited to give a lecture.


Texts for consideration:

Halbwachs, M. (1992), On Collective Memory, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Hodgkin, K. and S. Radstone(eds.) (2006), Memory, History, Nation: Contested Past, Brunswick, NJ: Routledge
James, D.(2000), Doña Maria’s Story: Life History, Memory and Political Identity, Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.
Kaplan, E. A. (2005), Trauma culture: the politics of terror and loss in media and literature, Rutgers University Press.
Passerini, L. (ed.)(1989) Personal Narratives Group Interpreting Women’s Lives: Feminist Theory and personal narratives, Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Perks, R. and A. Thomson (ed.), (2006) The Oral History Reader, second edition, New York: Routledge.
Portelli, A (1991) The Death of Luigi Trastulli and Other Stories: Form and Meaning in Oral History, Albany: State University of New York Press.
Radstone, S. and K. Hodgkin (eds.) (2004) Regimes of Memory, New York: Routledge.
Thompson, P. (2000) The Voice of the Past: Oral History, third edition, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Contact information

If you would like to set up your own reading group, please contact Prof. Andrea Reiter.

Reading groups lead to fruitful discussions!
Discussions of a set text

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