CfP: Remembering War, Genocide and other Human Rights Violations, Oral History, New Media and the Arts (Event, Montreal, 11/2009); DL: April 13, 2009

The Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling & the Montreal Life Stories Project Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

November 5-8, 2009
Proposals Due: Monday April 13, 2009

It has frequently been said that we live in an „age of testimony.“ Eye-witness accounts from survivors of war, genocide and other human rights violations fill our airwaves and our bookshelves. Large Holocaust testimony projects such as Steven Spielberg’s Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation have recorded tens of thousands of survivors. Thousands more have told their horrific stories to truth and reconciliation commissions and international tribunals in a growing number of countries including Canada.

Oral history, we believe, has a pivotal role to play in educating ourselves and our communities about the social preconditions, experiences and long-term repercussions of war, genocide and other human rights abuses (broadly defined). What do people remember and why? How have we approached the interview? Digital technologies and the arts have likewise opened up new possibilities for community engagement and research. In what ways have we incorporated the life stories of survivors in art, documentary media and practice, performance, museum exhibition, classroom pedagogy, and other digital environments? When is oral history and storytelling a catalyst for collective dialogue and political action? Digital technologies and the arts have opened up exciting new possibilities for community engagement and research. How do we share the stories that we record?

We invite proposals in English and French from a wide range of community-based projects, university researchers, artists and educators, whose work is publicly engaged and intellectually consequential. Please indicate if you are proposing an individual presentation or panel session, one hour workshop, short performance, film screening/discussion, or booth/display. We are hoping to avoid concurrent sessions if possible.

You are asked to submit a 250 word proposal, curriculum vitae, and a short biographical statement (to be placed on the web site if your proposal is accepted) by Monday April 13, 2009.

Please send your proposals to Steven High, Canada Research Chair in Public History, at .

The conference is co-sponsored by the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling at Concordia University ( and the Life Stories of Montrealers displaced by War and Genocide project (, an ambitious five year Community University Research Alliance that is comprised of 40 researchers and 18 community partners from the city’ss Rwandan, Cambodian, Jewish and Haitian communities as well as arts, education and human rights organizations. A publication, perhaps an anthology, is expected to result.


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