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Community, Environment and Oral History: Individual and Collective Memory

Community, Environment and Oral History: Individual and Collective Memory

Bengaluru, 11-22 February 2019

The Centre for Public History, Bengaluru announces the third Winter School in Oral History (WSOH 2019) on “Community, Environment and Oral History: Individual and Collective Memory” to be held from February 11 to 22, 2019 in Bengaluru. The WSOH, the first of its kind in India, began in 2013 with a focus on the role played by oral history in documenting social change. The last three editions of WSOH were very successful with students from India, Bangladesh, Singapore, Malaysia, Kazakhstan and Czech Republic and faculty from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Italy, USA, Czech Republic and Australia. Apart from training students, the WSOH has organized public talks and brought the concerns in the field a larger public beyond the classroom. WSOH has been funded by corporates and private trusts in order to bring this new field to India. Our sponsors in the past have been Dr. Reddy’s, Hyderabad and the Kalpataru Trust, Mumbai.

This Winter School is being held in partnership with the Archives of the National Institute of Biological Sciences. Bangalore.

This year’s Winter School will explore the relationship between memory, community and environment through oral history. Oral history has been frequently used as a tool through which to gain insights about the environment from communities who have witnessed environmental change or experienced environmental disasters. The practice of oral history enables us to move beyond mere documentation and filling the gaps to gaining new perspectives on communities and their practices and their relationship to the environment. In this course we will look specifically at communities – both urban and rural, that have experienced environmental change or have been displaced. How do communities recollect environmental change or environmental disasters? How can oral history enable the tracing of histories of environmental change through memories of food, artisanal work, and agricultural practices or through stories of migration into urban environments? Is it possible to think of oral history as an instrument for solving environmental problems and impacting policy? Finally, could the process of oral history – from the way in which sources are generated and interpreted – offer environmental historians insights that are otherwise inaccessible? This course will address these issues in a global context with examples from India and other South Asian countries, United States and United Kingdom.

The facilitators include eminent oral historians and scholars like Michael Frisch (State University of New York, Buffalo, USA), Graham Smith (University of Newcastle, UK), Annie Valk (Williams College, USA), Heather Goodall (University of Technology, Sydney, Australia), Nandini Oza (India), Indira Chowdhury (India) among others who will present latest research approaches through examples from their own work. The Winter School aims to have 20-25 participants who will have the opportunity to discuss their projects with the faculty.

The fee structure is listed below. Please feel free to contact us for any further information you may need.


  • Corporate/Institutional fee: Rs.30000-$400, Euros 365
  • Professionals [International] fee: Rs.20000-$266, Euros 244
  • Professionals [Indian/SAARC] fee: Rs.18000-$240, Euros 220
  • Students [International] fee: Rs.18000-$240, Euros 220
  • Students [from India and SAARC countries] fee: Rs.9000-$125, Euros 109

(The fee covers the cost of facilitator fees, reading materials, course handouts and tea/coffee. The fee does not include residential facilities, lunch, dinner and local transportation.)


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