Archiving Orality and Connecting with Communities: Call for Papers

Imogen Gunn imogen.gunn at MAA.CAM.AC.UK
Tue Jun 29 13:19:17 UTC 2010

Dear Colleagues,

Please find the details of this year's project workshop below, along  
with paper submission guidelines. Feel free to circulate to others as  
you see fit. Apologies for cross posting.


Archiving Orality and Connecting with Communities:
World Oral Literature Project 2010 Workshop

Friday, 10 December and Saturday, 11 December 2010
Location: Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and  
Humanities (CRASSH), 17 Mill Lane, University of Cambridge

This workshop explores key issues around the dissemination of oral  
literature through traditional and digital media. Funding agencies,  
including our own Supplemental Grants Programme, now encourage  
fieldworkers to return copies of their work to source communities, in  
addition to requiring researchers to deposit their collections in  
institutional repositories. But thanks to ever greater digital  
connectivity, wider internet access and affordable multimedia  
recording technologies, the locus of dissemination and engagement has  
grown beyond that of researcher and research subject to include a  
diverse constituency of global users, such as migrant workers,  
indigenous scholars, policymakers and journalists, to name but a few.

Call for Papers:

When new publics consume, manipulate and connect with field recordings  
and digital archives holding linguistic and cultural content, their  
involvement raises interesting practical and ethical questions. We  
welcome proposals that address some of the following issues:

What kinds of political repercussions may result from studying  
marginalised languages or from working with the custodians of  
endangered oral traditions?
How can online tools help ensure responsible access to sensitive  
cultural materials?
Who should control decisions over how digitised heritage material is  
to be accessed, curated and understood?
How can researchers remain true to the fluidity of performance over  
time and avoid fossilisation in the creation of their digital documents?
When archives become primary sites for interaction and discussion  
rather than static repositories of heritage data, how do relationships  
between collections and their users change?
Building on discussions around orality and textuality, we hope that  
participants will reflect on the politics of ownership of cultural  
recordings that are increasingly born digital or even birthed directly  
into an archive. We welcome ethnographers, field linguists, community  
activists, curators, archivists, librarians and our project's own  
grantees to exchange ideas at this second workshop.

Professor John Miles Foley (W.H. Byler Chair in the Humanities;  
Curators Professor of Classical Studies and English; Director, Center  
for Studies in Oral Tradition; Director, Center for eResearch and  
Editor, Oral Tradition) from the University of Missouri has kindly  
agreed to be our keynote speaker and principal discussant.

Submission Guidelines and Considerations:

If you are interested in presenting at the workshop, please submit an  
abstract of no more than 300 words and a short biography, in Word, RTF  
or PDF format, to Imogen Gunn <ilg22 at> by Friday, 30 July  
2010. Abstracts will be reviewed and assessed, with notification of  
acceptance by 31 August 2010.

Accepted abstracts will be included in the conference programme which  
will be made available online. Abstracts and presentations should be  
in English. Individuals may submit no more than one proposal each.  
Registration fees will be waived for participants whose abstracts are  
accepted and who present at the workshop, and the costs of two lunches  
and one dinner will be covered by the organising committee. Please  
note that presenters are responsible for their own travel and  
accommodation fees.


Imogen Gunn
Research Assistant
World Oral Literature Project

Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
University of Cambridge
Downing Street
Cambridge CB2 3DZ
United Kingdom

email: imogen.gunn at
phone: 01223 333508
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