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Undergraduate Module Descriptor

ARA3048: Oral History: Principles and Practice

This module descriptor refers to the 2021/2 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • What makes Oral History Different?
  • Voices from the Past: the Potential and Uses of Oral History
  • Oral History and Poisonous Knowledge: Trauma and Testimony
  • Perspectives from Practitioners: Q and A with oral historian
  • Memory and Oral History
  • Ethics and Risks workshop
  • Technical Skills workshop
  • Partners in Knowledge Production: Interview Skills workshop
  • Preparing for the Archive: Transcription and Editing workshop

Theoretical Perspectives covered will include:

  • Oral History as Public History
  • Oral History and the Subaltern
  • Oral History as Performance
  • Subjectivities and Identities

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities3011 x 2 hour classes plus 8 x 1-hour lectures. You will need to complete all readings prior to class and be ready to participate.
Guided independent study999 hours per week: allocated readings/sources, general seminar/workshop preparation
Guided independent study20First formative assessment
Guided independent study16Second formative assessment (using methodology to generate questions)
Guided independent study25Planning and risk assessment
Guided independent study60Completing major assignment (interview, preparation of materials, transcription of entire interview, presentation)
Guided independent study50Analytical essay

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).

Some relevant online Oral History projects and initiatives:

Middle East:

Al-Nakba’s Oral History Project

Arab Immigration Oral History Digital Collection

Arabic Communities: People Portraits by Duke Students

The Iranian Oral History Project

Young People From Diyarbakir and Mugla Speak Out (Gencler Anlatiyor)


Local to Devon:

Telling our Stories, Finding our Roots: Exeter’s Multicultural History

Cornish Story



The Oral History Society

Oral History Collections of the British Library

Oral History Collections at the Library of Congress