CfP Oral History and Ethics

CfP Oral History and Ethics

First Call For Papers

Oral History and Ethics

Helsinki, 3–4 December 2008

Papers are invited for contributions to the Oral History and Ethics
symposium hosted by the Finnish Literature Society in collaboration
with the Graduate School of Cultural Interpretations, the Department
of Folklore Studies, University of Helsinki and the Finnish Oral
History Network (FOHN).

The Oral History and Ethics symposium is the second international
symposium organized by the Finnish Oral History Network. We aim to
stimulate discussion and bring together scholars interested in the
ethical and normative issues within oral history research. Symposium
will offer a discussion forum for researchers working in the field.
Key note speakers are Alistair Thomson (Monash University, Australia)
and Arja Kuula (University of Tampere, Finland).

Ethics have been discussed in oral history research since the late
1960s when the first guidelines for professional oral historians were
issued. In the beginning ethical issues concerned mainly the
conducting, processing, and preserving of oral history materials.
Since then the development of documenting and publishing technology
and the expansion of oral history research has brought forth not only
totally new ethical and normative considerations, but also the
continuous need to revise and discuss these more profound questions.
Legal and ethical issues characterise the practice of oral history
research in all its phases. Whereas legal issues are about conducting
oral history according to the law, ethical issues are more subjective
and demand taking notice of the particular circumstances within which
oral history is practiced.

Thus, ethical perspective open up a wide field of specific concerns.
How to predict and secure the informed consent, the protection from
risks and harms, the privacy and the human dignity of informants? How
to achieve a balance between the objectives of the research project
and the perspectives of the interviewees? How to construct and
maintain confidentiality? How to promote ethical concerns without
hindering future research on sensitive issues?

We welcome all scholars working within the field of oral history and
life history. Proposals may be submitted for individual papers or
workshop sessions. The program will include keynote lectures, paper
sessions and a final panel. The principal conference language will be


Participants of workshops are invited to send abstracts to the
organizers. Workshop paper submissions will require a title and a
maximum 250 word abstract. Please send us a single page proposal
including the title of the presentation, the abstract and the
following information:

- name (with your surname in CAPITAL letters)
- affiliation
- postal address
- e-mail address
- telephone and fax numbers.

Proposals will be evaluated according to their focus on oral history
and research ethics. Proposals must be written in English. Please
e-mail your proposal as an e-mail attachment by 15 May 2008 to
and write to the headline of your e-mail FOHN
abstract. The acceptance or rejection of proposals will be announced
by 16 June 2008. The deadline for the papers is 15 October 2008.

The admission to the symposium is free of charge for participants.

- Dr. Ulla-Maija Peltonen, Finnish Literature Society,
- Dr. Kirsti Salmi-Niklander, University of Helsinki,

Finnish Literature Society, P.O. Box 259, 00171 Helsinki, Finland