2020 Conference CfP: Storytelling and Oral History

‘Storytelling and Oral History’

Maynooth University,
Maynooth, Co Kildare

19th & 20th June 2020

Keynote address by Prof. Lynn Abrams
Chair in Modern History
University of Glasgow


PLEASE NOTE: In light of the developing coronavirus pandemic, OHNI has decided to delay the opening of registration for our annual conference. We recommend that participants do not make any plans for travel and accommodation unless reimbursement is guaranteed. We are monitoring the situation closely and will keep participants updated on the status of this event. While we hope that it will take place as scheduled, we will follow guidance from the relevant public health authorities. 

The Oral History Network of Ireland (OHNI) is pleased to announce its 2020 conference on the theme of ‘Storytelling and Oral History’. Allowing participants to tell their unique stories in their own words is key to the work of oral historians. This conference offers oral history practitioners an opportunity to reflect on the role played by storytelling within interviews, the factors that shape the telling of a story and the potential future uses of those stories after the interview. This two-day conference will take place in Maynooth University on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th June 2020.

Continuing OHNI’s tradition of inviting keynote speakers of international renown, we are delighted to welcome Professor Lynn Abrams, Chair in Modern History, University of Glasgow.  Lynn’s research interests span women’s, gender and oral history of the modern period in Britain and Europe. She is the author of Oral History Theory as well as studies deploying oral history methodology including Myth and Materiality in a Woman’s World: Shetland 1800-2000 and The Orphan Country: Children of Scotland’s Broken Homes 1800-present. She is currently working on a book on post-war womanhood in Britain and is leading an AHRC research project on the history of knitted textiles in Scotland.

While we welcome proposals on any topic related to oral history, we are particularly interested in proposals that take an imaginative approach to the ‘Storytelling and Oral History’ conference theme. Potential topics could include (but are not limited to):

·         How and why we tell stories

·         Memories as stories

·         The role of oral tradition

·         Unlocking hidden stories

·         Digital storytelling

·         Storytelling in group interviews

·         Performing stories

·         Place based stories

·         Shaping stories through identity

·         Preserving stories

·         Storytelling and the Decade of Centenaries


Conference contributions are welcome in a range of formats:

·  Standard conference papers (20 minutes)

·  10-minute presentations for our ‘Moments’ panels, focusing on outstanding or memorable individuals, experiences, and/or incidents that influenced or changed the way the presenter practices oral history

·  Posters and visual presentations

To propose a paper, please submit an abstract (of not more than 250 words) along with your name, the name of your group, organisation or institution, and your email address to Please note that the deadline for papers has now been extended until Friday 6 March 2020 at 5pm. All proposals must demonstrate a clear engagement with oral history and/or personal testimony and we actively encourage the use of audio clips. The conference committee’s decision on successful abstracts will be communicated to potential presenters in March.

You can download a copy of our Call for Papers here – Call for Papers_ Storytelling and Oral History

Registration for the conference and further information will shortly be posted on the conference page of our website. For further details or queries please contact us through