Memory and Narration: About This Issue

David Beorlegui, Lauren Kata, and Bernardo Buarque

Journal Issue:

This issue is organized into three sections.  Section 1, “Presented @ IOHA,” is our offering of talks delivered onsite at the biennial gathering, beginning with the four invited Keynote speakers from Finland, presented in order as they were delivered at the conference, in textual form. We thank the speakers for their generosity in sharing their ideas and presentations for inclusion in this issue. 

Paula Hamilton, in the first of the four keynote talks, invites audiences to consider the “Landscape of Memory” and the limits of oral history in transmitting memories between generations. Following Hamilton, Ene Kõresaar in Keynote II provides a “Baltic Perspective” on the politics of memory, followed by Shelley Trower’s presentation of experiences of “Oral History Reading.”  IOHA 2018 concluded with a final keynote talk delivered by Alessandro Portelli, who at our invitation generously created a textual document from his original notes that include his ideas and presentation on “Working Class Culture and Globalization.” Included in IOHA 2018 are also two session papers presented by associates who responded to our call to “upgrade” their themed talks. Finally, as a sort of epilogue to our “Presented @” section, we are pleased to share Martha Norkunas’ talk from IOHA 2016 in Bangalore, India.  Dr. Norkunas, who currently serves as North American representative for the IOHA Council, reflected in Bangalore on the role oral history can and should play in encouraging the voicing and listening of global stories of women’s oppression. We thought that this post-conference issue was a good opportunity to present this early expression of ideas and experiences that pre-date the global #metoo movement.  

Section 2 of this issue features two articles submitted to IOHA in response to our 2018 call for papers that follow the theme “Memory and Narration. And Section 3 we have titled “Pedagogy and Practice,” as it offers reflections and practical considerations from colleagues regarding current trends, methods and ideas in oral history. 

Our wish for readers is to engage these ideas with an interest toward response. What are your reactions, impressions, and thoughts about these authors’ presentations? As a digital publication and website, we invite both online comments as well as offline responses, which may be sent to our organizational email,

Thank you for your interest in our 2019 issue.  We hope that the ideas shared in this forum prove interesting and thought-provoking.  We hope to hear from you, as well as see you at the 2020 IOHA Congress in Singapore next year. 

Until next time,

David Beorlegui (Spanish co-editor and lead translator)
Lauren Kata (English co-editor)
Bernardo Buarque (editorial peer reviewer)