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Call for Papers for the 9th Symposium of the Finnish Oral History Network FOHN

Memory in Movement: Pace, Connection & Introspection

28th–29th November 2024, University of Jyväskylä, Finland


This conference critically explores the concept of ‘movement’ in relation to oral history and memory studies. ‘Movement’ is defined broadly and inclusively: it can refer to social movements, physical movement, or movement across concrete or conceptual borders. It can be interpreted as the movements that have shaped oral history as a discipline, from its inception to today. Moreover, the memories oral historians study are constantly in motion, with the present framing people’s recollection and understanding of the past. In this conference ‘movement’ is therefore paired with the notion of ‘pace’, accentuating the importance of temporality for the study of oral history. We invite researchers and practitioners to approach their work from an introspective angle, examining how subjective experiences and social factors impact the speed at which oral history is conducted.


The ninth international symposium of the Finnish Oral History Network (FOHN) will focus on the themes of movement, pace, and introspection in oral history and memory studies research from a critical and exploratory perspective. The conference offers researchers an interdisciplinary setting in which to connect and present cutting-edge ideas. The conference’s keynote speakers are Lynn Abrams (University of Glasow), Daniele Salerno (Utrecht University), Kirsti Jõesalu (University of Tartu) and Samira Saramo (Migration Institute of Finland).


They wish to invite contributions involving methodological, analytical, and ethical questions, as well as case studies. Proposals may be submitted for individual papers or panels and can address, but are not limited to, the following themes and topics:

  • Social movements and oral history.
  • Does conceptualising researchers as activists challenge established oral history practices?
  • The ways in which emotions can move the interviewer and/or responder.
  • What ethical considerations must we account for when incorporating the study of emotions into oral history and memory studies?
  • How does speed and timing influence how emotions are recorded, analysed, or internalized in our research processes?
  • Physical movement, the body and oral history interviewing. For example, how might moving through memorable spaces evoke visceral reminiscences?
  • Digital humanities and changes to how we collect, process, and analyse memories. Technology and how it shapes oral history into a reproducible, codable, and ‘fast’ process. How much time do we need to meaningfully connect with our research subjects?
  • The pace at which change within oral history has occurred. What connects/distinguishes oral historians working across the decades?
  • Has oral history ‘matured’ into a stable and agreed upon methodology?

Individual paper submissions require a title and a maximum 250-word abstract. Panel proposals should include a title and a 250-word description of the panel, and a title plus 250-word abstract for each individual paper (maximum five papers per panel). The conference language will be English.


To learn more and submit your proposal, please visit the conference website or alternatively email them at