Call for papers: Displaced childhoods

Displaced childhoods: Oral history and traumatic experiences
Annual Conference of the Oral History Society at the University of Reading, United Kingdom

When: July 13-14
Deadline: Jan 21

Papers are invited that draw on current projects or recently completed work using oral history and related methods, which address the themes of disrupted and traumatic childhoods.

This conference aims to bring together oral history practitioners in academic, community and therapeutic settings who explore the effects that evacuation, forced migration or long-term separation can have on children. Oral history interviewing is often used to document the experiences and study the long-term psychological and emotional impact of disrupted childhoods as a result of war, conflict, evacuation or natural and civil disasters.

Other themes may include internal or global movement of children throughout the twentieth century the ‘Forgotten Children’ forcibly migrated to Australia/USA/Canada childhood experience of natural and civil disasters; disrupted childhoods, long-term separation and segregation including children’s homes, hospitalisation, the development of therapeutic environments for children and young people with emotional, social and behavioural disorders; experiences of fostering, crime and juvenile delinquency, children of alcoholic or mentally disturbed parents, young people in mental institutions or those who have grown up in violent households.

We would particularly welcome papers on the methodological and ethical issues surrounding working with traumatic or potentially traumatic narratives of childhood – how to deal with sensitive issues, the question of interviewing adults recalling their childhood selves, reflection on the interview process and the experience of recording with children and the use of oral history within therapeutic contexts.

Please send an abstract of no more than 400 words by 21 January 2012 to:
Belinda Waterman
Department of History, University of Essex Wivenhoe Park, Colchester,
+44 (0)1206 872313

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