Past Event

Navigating Ethics, Trauma, and Risk in Oral History

June 13, 2019
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
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Anarad Hığutyun Binası Papa Roncalli Sk. No: 128 Harbiye 34373 Şişli İstanbul

On June 13, Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul, in collaboration with the Hrant Dink Foundation, will host Zoë West, adjunct faculty in the Oral History Master of Arts, Columbia University and the Harry Van Arsdale, Jr. Center for Labor Studies, SUNY Empire State College, for a workshop on "Navigating Ethics, Trauma, and Risk in Oral History."

*The participation is limited to 20 people. Please fill out the form to apply by Monday, June 10. Successful applicants will be notified by Tuesday, June 11.
**The language of the workshop will be English.  

About the Workshop

As oral history projects increasingly focus on oppression, conflict, and crisis, the workshop will focus on the tools that should be equipped by researchers in confronting ethical dilemmas, trauma, and risk. Therefore, this workshop is particularly tailored for oral historians, activists and journalists who are interested in digging into the question of how to effectively and ethically using oral history methods for documenting difficult stories.

During this workshop, participants will explore how to be conscious of and responsive to ethical issues that are present in different stages of an oral history project, including power dynamics, accountability, political context, activist aims, and security risks. In addition to these issues, the question of trauma will be another theme of the workshop. Particularly, workshop will focus on preparing for and responding to trauma before, during and after interviews; considering interviewer wellbeing; and thinking through questions of resilience, repair and healing. All these themes and questions will be discussed through participatory activities and exploring case studies.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own ideas for a future project or their current project if they already have one. They will leave this workshop with some guidelines for thinking through ethical questions and power in oral history projects, and practices for trauma-informed interviewing.

Zoë West is an anthropologist and oral historian whose work centers on labor, migration, and human rights. Her current research projects focus on alternative labor organizing models and precarity. Zoë positions herself at the intersection of grassroots and academic work, rooted in the commitment to helping social movements use research and documentation to fuel and strengthen their work. As a founding member of Rhiza Collective, Zoë works with organizations to develop frameworks for implementing collaborative research, leadership development, narrative and healing work, and political education. She co-edited and compiled the oral history collection Nowhere to Be Home: Narratives from Survivors of Burma’s Military Regime (McSweeney’s, 2011; NDSP Books, 2016). Zoë received her Ph.D. in social anthropology from the University of Oxford. She is currently adjunct faculty in the Oral History Master of Arts, Columbia University and the Harry Van Arsdale, Jr. Center for Labor Studies, SUNY Empire State College.

This event will take place at the Hrant Dink Foundation in Harbiye.