Special Issue: “Confronting Mass Atrocities”In recent years, oral historians and related practitioners have been increasingly called upon to apply their expertise to contemporary human rights challenges around the world. Testimony and life histories have emerged as an essential means of documenting and commemorating mass atrocities, such as genocide and crimes against humanity. But before oral historians launch themselves headlong into this relatively new area of research, certain questions should be addressed: What are the benefits and limitations inherent in applying oral history methods and theory in such settings? How well can existing best practices in the field be adapted to settings of conflict? And to what end? What are oral historians poised to contribute to understandings of mass atrocities?
The Oral History Forum d’histoire orale seeks submissions to a special issue entitled ‘Confronting Mass Atrocities’. This special issue will explore questions of method, theory, and approach, and examine the ways in which oral history can enhance the study of mass atrocities. Topics might include (but are not limited to): the ethical and methodological dilemmas of using individuals’ and communities’ experiences of atrocity as ‘data’; negotiating danger and risk in conducting oral history fieldwork during and after mass atrocity crimes; the role of community groups and NGOs in collecting testimonies and documenting atrocities; trauma and negotiating oral history methodology and practice; translating local and global interests in the documentation of atrocities; digital media technologies and mass atrocity; and achieving standards of evidence for post-conflict judicial mechanisms.The Guest Editors invite submissions that engage the theme from a variety of methodological and thematic approaches. University researchers, community organizers, educators, oral historians, and related practitioners are welcome to submit academic articles, notes from the field, teaching notes and discussion papers, new media presentations, and reviews of recent academic texts of relevance to the theme. Contributors are free to experiment with format and may include artwork, annotated transcripts, audio and/or video files and other research materials that expand our understanding of the theme.
Submissions for to this special issue should include an abstract of the proposed paper (approximately 500 words), the author’s contact details and institutional/community affiliation, as well as a short biography of the author(s) (200 words). Papers should be submitted to Dr Erin Jessee by 15 April 2013. Academic articles should be between 7,500 and 10,000 words (excluding notes and bibliography); fieldwork notes/short discussion papers between 4,000 and 6,000 words; and book reviews approximately 1,500 - 2,000 words. All submissions must adhere to the stylistic requirements as laid out in Author Guidelines.For further information, please contact the Guest Editors, Dr Erin Jessee and Dr Annie Pohlman