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Summer School on "Oral History: Recording Georgia`s Past and Training Scholars for the Future"

The Center for Social Sciences (CSS), Ilia State University (ISU), and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) organized a summer school for motivated junior scholars interested in the methodology of oral history:

"Recording Georgia's Past and Training Scholars for the Future"

Dates: 12-18 September, 2016
Venue: Dedoplistskaro, Ilia State University
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 intends to create a cadre of Georgian scholars in multiple disciplines who will be knowledgeable about and willing to apply the methods of oral history in their research. Within the project, 12 junior scholars interested in oral history will be trained in various methodologies, such as narrative analysis, critical discourse analysis, sociolinguistic approaches, participant observation, etc.

The Oral History Summer School is the first step in training the junior scholars who will 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, Czech Republic, 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.