© 2013

Oral History Off the Record

Toward an Ethnography of Practice

  • Editors
  • Anna Sheftel
  • Stacey Zembrzycki

Part of the PALGRAVE Studies in Oral History book series (PSOH)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxv
  2. Introduction

    1. Anna Sheftel, Stacey Zembrzycki
      Pages 1-19
  3. Reflections on a Lifetime of Listening

  4. Encounters in Vulnerability, Familiarity, and Friendship

  5. The Intersection of Ethics and Politics

  6. Considering Silence

About this book


Because oral history interviews are personal interactions between human beings, they rarely conform to a methodological ideal. These reflections from oral historians provide honest and rigorous analyses of actual oral history practice that address the complexities of a human-centered methodology.


Christoph Willibald Gluck ethics ethnography feminism history Holocaust identity interaction interview memory methodology politics

About the authors

Sherna Berger Gluck, California State University, USA Julie Cruikshank, University of British Columbia, Canada Tatiana Argounova, University of Aberdeen, UK Joan Sangster, Trent University, Canada Martha Norkunas, Middle Tennessee State University, USA Alan Wong, Concordia University, Canada Elizabeth Miller, Concordia University, Canada Pamela Sugiman, Ryerson University, Canada Monica Eileen Patterson, Concordia University, Canada Nancy Janovicek, University of Calgary, Canada Nadia Jones-Gailani, University of Toronto, Canada Alexander Freund, University of Winnipeg, Canada Luis van Isschot, City University of New York, USA Steven High, Concordia University, Canada Alessandro Portelli, University of Rome "Sapienza", Italy

Bibliographic information


“By acknowledging the personal impact of doing oral history work, this valuable collection of reflections is a wonderful bridge among academic disciplines as well as for those of us who practice oral history outside of academia: all practitioners are important to include in these ethical and theoretical discussions.” (Sady Sullivan, The Oral History Review, Vol. 44 (2), 2017)

' the essays in this collection reflect on those sensitive, uncomfortable and sometimes daunting moments in interviews that are usually left unmentioned. They show that the required skills of openness and patience can be gained only through practice and conscious critical evaluation of what we learn in theory. I found the essays wise and constructive in presenting the political, ethical and personal challenges that researchers face in interactions with subjects of their studies.' - LSE Review of Books Blog