Oral history and herstory / Oral history w sluzbie herstory. Miejsce kobiecych relacji i wywiadów w procesie tworzenia feministycznej wizji przeszlosci w Polsce

December 15, 2017

The third public seminar organized by the Polish CRUSEV team was held at the University of Warsaw on Friday, November 24 2017. Our guest was Dr Dobrochna Kalwa, a historian from the Institute of History at the University of Warsaw. Dr Kalwa gave a lecture about the history of development of women-oriented oral history research in Poland. She discussed a number of important feminist history projects conducted in recent years by Polish historians, providing a critical framework that was needed for the later introduction of the concept of “oral herstories.” The lecture also covered several issues concerning the methodological and ethical problems facing “oral historians” in their studies of women’s biographies, including the problematic nature of a “witness of history,” differences between memory and history, or the many rhetoric strategies that can be adopted by the interviewees. Further points about the application of this methodology to study “hidden” LGBTQ narratives were raised during the discussion, as well as the need to continue oral herstory research among non-normative witnesses of the recent past.