On September 12-18, 2016, ARISC in conjunction with the Center for Social Sciences (CSS) and Ilia State University (ISU) organized a summer school on oral history entitled:
“Recording Georgia’s Past and Training Scholars for the Future”
Dates: 12-18 September, 2016
Venue: Dedoplistskaro, Ilia State University campus
Working Language: English
Today, oral history research is one of the important methods used in historiography that helps in recording and documenting the memories of eyewitnesses, preserving the unique and authentic evidence of the past that otherwise will be lost. The importance of oral history is accepted in many academic fields – anthropology, history, sociology, political science, and gender studies are among the most notable. Like any research method, it demands scrupulous attention, rules, cross checking, and careful interpretation. Oral history is a collaborative process in which both the participant and the researcher can discover new depths, new memories, and new perspectives. Oral history is of particular importance for societies where written history is scarce, or where it has been distorted by censorship, ideological pressures, or officially imposed narratives. Therefore, the current summer school intended to create a cadre of Georgian scholars in multiple disciplines who would be knowledgeable about and willing to apply the methods of oral history in their research. Within the project, 13 junior scholars interested in oral history were trained in various methodologies, such as narrative analysis, critical discourse analysis, sociolinguistic approaches, participant observation, etc.
The Oral History Summer School was the first step in training the junior scholars who would participate in a three-year project on documenting the memories of the eyewitnesses of Georgia’s recent history of 1972-2003.
The summer school involved scholars from Georgia, US, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands, etc. The academic supervisors of the project are Professor Stephen Jones from Mount Holyoke College, USA and ARISC Vice-President, Dr. Lika Tsuladze from the Center for Social Sciences and Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, and Dr. Oliver Reisner, Ilia State University.
The project was funded by the Rustaveli National Science Foundation, and co-sponsored by ARISC, CSS and Ilia State University.