Undergraduate Module Descriptor

ARA3047: Oral History: Principles and Practice

This module descriptor refers to the 2020/1 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

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 activities2211 x 2 hour classes. You will need to complete all readings prior to class and be ready to participate
Guided independent study555 hours per week for allocated readings and general seminar/workshop preparation
Guided independent study10First formative assessment (interviewing each other and group presentation)
Guided independent study5Second formative assessment (generating questions, clearing them with the teacher)
Guided independent study12Risk and ethics assessment
Guided independent study46Completing major assignment (interview, preparation of materials, presentation)

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