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Center for the research and training of the experts in the field of "Oral History"

04 December 2013
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Center for the research and training of the experts in the field of "Oral History"
The research center of the “Oral History” was opened in the Kazakh National Pedagogical University named after Abai.

The main aim of creating the "Oral history":

To save the memories of the people of Kazakhstan with the help of oral interviews and distribute the transcripts of oral history to researchers, students, and society in general;

To identify new historical facts through the memories of witnesses or contemporaries of the historical events of the past;

To create a fund of oral memories in CSA of the Republic of Kazakhstan and periodically replenish this fund with major sources of research for the future generations;

To conduct the scientific and research work based on the obtained data

The special course "Oral History: Theory and Practice".

This course focuses on the study of oral history as the direction of the local history and the history of everyday life, which at the present moment are the current trends of historical science that allows us to navigate from the study of a "great men and events" to "history of everyday life" and the stories of "little" man.

The objective of the course is to introduce students to the basic approaches of the study of human perception of the features of the past that are based on the analysis of oral sources. The development of a critical approach to oral sources; the discussion about the valid areas of implementation of oral and historical analysis; the presentation of the tools and methods for the analysis of individual and collective memory; the task training with the use of oral memories, are the main goal of the course.

The information on the course: the "Oral History" is a new scientific direction, which is intensively developing since the second half of the twentieth century. The term "oral history" was introduced by Barbe d' Orevilli (1852), but became known only after the work of Professor Allan Nevins from the Columbia University. In 1948, he organized a study of oral history dedicated to the pioneers of marine geophysical and seismological studies. Later on, the oral history was actively used by the historians of the science, especially of the natural science. Recently, in connection with understanding of the fact that we are losing the veterans of the war generation, as well as due to the lack of a special access for scientists to the documents on the history of local wars, the methods of oral history are being used by the military historians.

The oral history has a long tradition within the framework of Kazakhstan science. The record of the memories and gathering information from the eyewitnesses of events, etc. began to take place since the ancient times. However, the audio equipment began to be used only in the second half of the twentieth century while the dissemination of the oral history as a particular scientific field, took place in recent years.

Today, the “oral history” is a scientific discipline, with its own method of research – interview, through which we could realize the fixing of the subjective knowledge of the individual human personality about the era in which the man lived.

The essence of this research direction is to write (usually with the use of audio and video) the storytelling of eyewitnesses about certain events and memories on a specific topic or about a particular life period. As a method of historical science, the oral history:

- Allows to keep the evidence of direct participants of the historical events, "little people" who appear in official sources only as statistical units and frequently remain forgotten;

- Provides the material for other branches of historical studies - historical anthropology, historical psychology and historical hermeneutics;

- Provides the translation of the value system and cultural and semantic code from generation to generation.

Thanks to oral history, we are now have the ability to study the past through the outlook of ordinary participants of the historical process; it also helps to recreate the different historical pictures, a piece by piece, like a mosaic. After all, one of the "critical" questions about the validity of history as a science, was delivered in the first half of the twentieth century by the French School "Annales" - the "totality" of history.

This direction of local research solves the problem of maintaining the subjective source materials in the form of memories imprinted in the form of a story, interviews, and personal notes.

In the process, the oral history records the individual memory, the evaluation and interpretation of the events by authors and respondents, the collection of notes, documents and photographs from the personal archives, the publishing of a collection of memories, conducting the workshops and conferences, the use of materials in the educational process in schools, universities and postgraduate education.

Quiz

How do you appreciate a teaching degree of history subject in schools?