Violence, Oral History, and Mourning

I wrote this a while ago, when I was finishing my book proofs. I wasn’t sure whether or not I was going to share it. But as I worked through Truth and Reconciliation Commission testimonies today for a project, I felt compelled. I was reading the Commission’s decision on South African Police officer Brian Mitchell’sContinue reading “Violence, Oral History, and Mourning”

Local Elections and the Legacies of War

This is the fourth of an oral history scraps series.*  When commentators consider the contemporary state of South Africa, they discuss it as a country still transitioning from apartheid. Not enough is made of the fact that parts of the country are also recovering from civil war sponsored by the apartheid state. Between 1985 and 1996, at least 20,000Continue reading “Local Elections and the Legacies of War”

Oral Historians & Breakthroughs in Performance

This is the second of an oral history scraps series.*  In this, and the next post, I want to talk about my favorite interview–favorite for the friendships, for the laughs, and for the research breakthroughs. Before kicking off the oral history portion of my fieldwork, my host family took me to the chief for a proper introduction. TheContinue reading “Oral Historians & Breakthroughs in Performance”

On Power, Politics, and Oral History

This is the first of oral history scraps that may or may not become a series depending on my dedication.*  Today, I juxtapose two powerful excerpts on power – on politics and development. But they are also comments about history and the conditions of power within oral history interviews (for readings, see below). In this first snippet,Continue reading “On Power, Politics, and Oral History”