Srishti School organises the 2nd Winter School in Oral History

Bangalore: The Centre for Public History at Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore is organising the second Winter School in Oral History with the theme ‘Boundaries, Politics And Narratives: The Intersection Of Oral History, Place And Memory'.

The course, the only one of its kind in India, will focus on the overarching theme of how oral history narratives deal with boundaries, imagined and real. It will look at people's engagement with environment and geography; of how people articulate memories of places they have left behind or have never seen; and the different kinds of boundaries that exist between people and what it does to their lives. It will be held from 6th to 16th January 2015.

Srishti School organises the 2nd Winter School


The previous Winter School, held from 6th to 15th November 2013, had focussed on ‘Orality, Memory and Social Change'.

One of the key focuses of the course - which has attracted advanced-level students from different countries in Asia, Europe and the US this year - is to expose participants to the oral history practices in different parts of the world and provide them with a platform to understand and interact with other oral historians and research scholars in this field to gain a fresh perspective on their own projects. To attain this objective of an international exposure, CPH invites faculty from different parts of the world to come and share their knowledge and practice of oral history.

Srishti School organises the 2nd Winter School

This year, the faculty includes:

  • Alexander von Plato, public historian from Germany, and the founder and long-time director of the Oral History Centre at the Open University Hagen and the German oral history journal BIOS
  • Miroslav Vanek, director of the Centre of Oral History and a senior researcher at the Institute of Contemporary History at the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague
  • Anne Valk, a historian who specialises in 20th century US social history and is currently leading the public humanities initiative at Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts in the USA.
  • Heather Goodall, professor of History at the University of Technology, Sydney, who works with indigenous histories; environmental history; social conflicts; and inter-cultural social relations and inter-colonial networks, particularly those between Australia and India and around the Indian Ocean.
  • Devleena Ghosh, associate professor at the University of Technology, Sydney, and Pavel Mücke from the Department of Oral History and Contemporary History, Faculty of Humanities, Charles University, Prague, who is also a researcher at the Oral History Center, Institute for Contemporary History, Czech Academy of Sciences.

Some well-known practitioners of oral history from the sub-continent will also be part of the Winter School this year and will focus on the themes of Partition and the political and social conflicts within the states. It includes:

  • Furrukh Khan, assistant professor at the Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences, Lahore.
  • Meghna Guhathakurta, executive director of Research Initiatives, Bangladesh (RIB), and a post-doctoral fellow working on a collaborative capacity-building project between the University of Dhaka and ISS.
  • Kathinka Sinha-Kerkhoff, a research scholar based in Ranchi, Jharkhand, and former director regional representative for South Asia at the International Institute of Social History.
  • Urvashi Butalia, co-founder and CEO of Zubaan, and a well-known writer.
  • Kavita Panjabi, professor at the Department of Comparative Literature at Jadavpur University, Kolkata.
  • Meeta Deka, professor and head of the Department of History at Gauhati University, Assam.
  • Indira Chowdhury, director of Centre for Public History, Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore.

Public Events

As part of the Winter School, the Centre organises a number of public events with its venue partners in the city. This year, there will be three public events, which includes a public lecture by an eminent public historian from Germany, Alexander von Plato, a panel discussion on ‘Community, Landscape and Memory' with Heather Goodall, Anne Valk and Nitin Rai, and a puppet show curated by the Antara Artists Collective, Bangalore.

8th January, 2015 (Thursday) 4:30 PM: Panel discussion with Heather Goodall, Annie Valk and Nitin Rai on 'Community, Landscape and Memory' at Centre for Contemporary Studies Hall, IISc, Bangalore

13th January, 2015 (Tuesday) 6:00 PM: Public Lecture by Alexander Von Plato on ‘The End of the Cold War? International Conditions before, during and after German Re-Unification' at Max Mueller Bhavan, Bangalore

14 January, 2015 (Wednesday) 10.15 AM: Public Lecture by emminent South Asian scholars who have worked in the fied of oral history entitled: Division and Memories: Oral History and the Partition of India

16th January, 2015 (Friday) 6:00 PM: Puppet Show curated by Antara Artists Collective at NCBS, Bangalore

About the course

The school is open to post-graduate students, young researchers, community workers and university or college faculty and oral historians. Topics to be covered at the Winter School will introduce students to the emerging ideas in the field and will include sessions on memory and orality, historical events and the life story interview as well as understanding gender, class and social change through oral history methods.

Apart from hour-long lectures and master classes followed by Q&A sessions, students will also participate in workshops on interviewing techniques, editing, indexing and annotating and creating a web presence with oral history recordings. There will be one-on-one counselling sessions with the faculty members and presentations by participants about their projects.

About the Centre for Public History

Established in 2011, the Centre for Public History (CPH), under Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology works on public history, community history and institutional history by creating archives and by engaging with oral history practice and pedagogy in an Indian context. CPH aims to democratise historical resources by using new media technologies to document, preserve and disseminate both marginalised and mainstream voices.

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