Abstract

In a recent article in the Oral History Review, “‘Confessing Animals’: Towards a Longue Durée History of the Oral History Interview,” Alexander Freund traces the evolution of the interview in the West, from Catholic confessions to YouTube, in order to provide a historicized critique of the oral history interview. In April 2014, at the request of the Review’s social media staff, Freund expanded on the ideas presented in the article through a series of e-mail exchanges with cultural anthropologist and oral historian Erin Jessee. Taking Freund’s article as their starting point, they tackle changing approaches to “storytelling,” address the importance of adapting interview techniques to the research environment, and discuss avenues for further research into the oral history interview’s past. An earlier, shorter version of this exchange appeared on Oxford’s OUPBlog on April 25, 2014 and May 23, 2014.

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