What if the study of the Canadian past was understood as an interdisciplinary field? Steven High’s new paper offers oral history as an example of an interdisciplinary craft that has made such a transition. High, Canada Research Chair in Public History and Associate Professor of History at Concordia University, examines this and other issues surrounding oral history.
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Thanks for this excellent paper on oral history – as an active oral historian, I am often asked what oral history can add as “evidence” to historical arguments – to defend its value as a historical method. High’s points that it is the subjectivity of oral history that makes it most valuable and interesting, that it provides access to how people have made meaning about their experiences, and that that it redefines the investigative stance as “knowing with” rather than “knowing about” are important to remember.