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  • Toward an Ethics of Silence? Negotiating Off-the-record Events

Toward an Ethics of Silence? Negotiating Off-the-record Events

Date: Friday 10 May 2019, 5:30pm to 7pm
Cost: Free. Booking is not required but please email for background reading.
Contact details: ATLOutreach@dia.govt.nz

Silences are a constitutive part of oral history interviews. In a workshop led by Professor Alexander Freund, we examine oral historians’ troubled and troubling relationship with these silences; in particular, those that emerge from “off-the-record” incidents. Co-hosted by NOHANZ, the National Oral History Association of New Zealand.

Silence as a form of agency

Silences are a constitutive part of oral history interviews. In a workshop led by Professor Alexander Freund and moderated by Linda Evans, we examine oral historians’ troubled and troubling relationship with these silences, in particular, those that emerge from “off-the-record” incidents. How can we attempt to contain these instances and maintain control of the interview while accepting the interviewees’ silence as a form of agency? This event is co-hosted by NOHANZ, the National Oral History Association of New Zealand. Our thanks to Associate Professor Anna Green and the Stout Research Centre for allowing this to happen.

Participants are invited to join us afterwards at a user-pays meal at the nearby Historic Thistle Inn.

About the speaker

Professor Alexander Freund is the Chair of Canadian-German Studies at the University of Winnipeg, and Co-Director of the University’s Oral History Centre. Dr Freund is also the author of books and papers on migration history, Germans in Canada, and oral history. His publications include Oral history and photography, with Alistair Thomson (2011) and Oral history and ethnic history (2014). He is currently undertaking a study of migrants to Manitoba since 1945. Linda Evans is Curator, Oral History and Sound, at the Alexander Turnbull Library.

A portrait of Professor Alexander Freund in a study with bookshelf in background.
Professor Alexander Freund