ORAL HISTORY OF TANGIBLE AND INTANGIBLE HERITAGE

Second cycle degree in TECHNIQUES, HERITAGE, INDUSTRIAL LANDSCAPES

Campus: PADOVA

Language: English

Teaching period: Second Semester

Lecturer: ELISABETTA NOVELLO

Number of ECTS credits allocated: 5


Syllabus
Prerequisites: No special prerequisites are required (to know the English language).
Examination methods: Final assessment will be based on a presentation concerning methodological principles acquired during the lessons applied to the specific research topic of the student
Course unit contents: This course will explore the purpose, value, theory, method and achievement of oral history and cultural anthropology, focussing on the use of oral sources in the fields of business history, labour history and industrial archaeology. In particular, attention will be paid to the preservation of the memory of the production processes of both handcrafted and industrial goods.
The course is intended to provide students with opportunities to become familiar with theoretical and practical issues in collecting, interpreting, and preserving oral remembrances. Students will also gain experience in conducting, processing, and interpreting their own interviews.
Furthermore, this seminar will deal with the various steps that need to be taken when one embarks on an oral history project, focussing on the preparation, conducting and processing of the interview. First of all, the different types of interview – especially the life story and the structured and semi-structured interview – will be illustrated. After discussing possible topics for an oral history project, we will concentrate on the selection of potential informants and the importance of conducting preliminary reading to collect background information about the subject under investigation. Such information, in fact, proves very useful when preparing a list of relevant questions to be asked during the interview. From this we will proceed to the analysis of question lists and interview guidelines employed in major oral history projects. Students will then be offered practical advice on how to carry out successful interviews, on the best ways to establish a fruitful relationship with informants and maintain it throughout the interview.
The second part of this course will adopt a hands-on approach to the subject, furthering students’ knowledge through a process of learning by doing. In fact, participants in the seminar will be asked to put into practice what they have learnt, preparing for, conducting, processing and interpreting their own interviews.