Call for papers

Sixth international Finnish Oral History Network symposium

Fragile Memories: Doing Oral History with Vulnerable Narrators
24–25 November 2016
Helsinki, Finland

Papers are invited for contributions to the sixth international symposium of the Finnish Oral History Network Fragile Memories: Doing Oral History with Vulnerable Narrators hosted by the Finnish Literature Society in collaboration with the Academy of Finland. The symposium aims to bring together scholars of oral history and life writing to discuss vulnerability. Invited speakers include Sean Field (University of Cape Town), Malin Thor Tureby (University of Linköping), Anna-Kaisa Kuusisto-Arponen (University of Tampere) and Ulla Savolainen (University of Helsinki).

The symposium addresses vulnerability from several perspectives.  It may refer to individuals or groups coping with or recovering from the consequences of natural disasters or man-made crises, poverty, war or other experiences of violence. Vulnerability is also about lack of power and its impact: seclusion, insecurity and helplessness. Additionally, researchers and persons working with oral history often define individuals -or groups under scrutiny- as vulnerable. This may have a negative impact on individuals and communities and also the oral historian and interviewee relationship.

We encourage papers which explore how people cope with strain; socially, culturally and materially in practice, in narratives and/or in images, but also examine theoretical, methodological and fragile ethical issues related in doing oral history with vulnerable narrators. The symposium invites scholars to investigate power-relations between oral historians and interviewees related to vulnerability.

The language of the conference is English. Proposals may be submitted as individual papers or workshop sessions. The proposed papers should focus on individual remembering and methodological aspects related to the topic. All proposals should include a title and an abstract maximum of 250 words (per paper). Proposals for whole sessions should include all abstracts of the suggested papers. Please include in the proposal the following information: your name (with your surname in CAPITAL letters), affiliation, postal and e-mail addresses and telephone.


Proposals will be evaluated according to their focus on the topic. Please e-mail your proposal as an e-mail attachment by 16 May 2016 to Notifications of acceptance will be communicated in mid-June 2016.

Admission to the symposium is 50€ (standard)/ 35€ (Concession: students/postgraduates/unwaged). Registration by 16 September 2016.



Anne Heimo                                                            Kristiina Takkinen

Chair, FOHN                                                            Course Secretary, FOHN

UNIVERSITY OF TURKU                                           UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI


Further information:
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