In this Book

summary

Illustrated with numerous stories collected from Alaska, the Yukon, and South Africa and further enlivened by the author's accessible style and experiences as a longtime oral historian and archivist, So They Understand is a comprehensive study of the special challenges and concerns involved in documenting, representing, preserving, and interpreting oral narratives. The title of the book comes from a quotation by Chief Peter John, the traditional chief of the Tanana Chiefs region in central Alaska: "In between the lines is something special going on in their minds, and that has got to be brought to light, so they understand just exactly what is said."

William Schneider discusses how stories work in relation to their cultures and performance settings, sorts out different types of stories-from broad genres such as personal narratives and life histories to such more specific and less-often considered types as presentations at hearings and other public gatherings-and examines a variety of critical issues, including the roles and relationships of storytellers and interviewers, accurate representation and preservation of stories and their performances, understanding and interpreting their cultural backgrounds and meanings, and intellectual property rights. Throughout, he blends a diverse selection of stories, including his own, into a text rich with pertinent examples.

William Schneider is curator of oral history and associate in anthropology at the Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he introduced oral history "jukeboxes," innovative interactive, multimedia computer files that present and cross-reference audio oral history and related photos and maps. Among other works, his publications include, as editor, Kusiq: An Eskimo Life History from the Arctic Coast of Alaska and, with Phyllis Morrow, When Our Words Return: Writing, Hearing, and Remembering Oral Traditions of Alaska and the Yukon.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. p. v
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  1. Illustrations
  2. p. vi
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Part One - How Stories Work
  2. p. 1
  1. 1 Introduction
  2. pp. 3-16
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  1. 2 A Career Full of Stories
  2. pp. 19-31
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  1. 3 What's in a Story9
  2. pp. 37-52
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  1. 4 Sorting Out Oral Tradition and Oral History
  2. pp. 53-66
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  1. Part Two - Types of Stories
  2. p. 69
  1. five Personal Narratives Shared One to Another
  2. pp. 71-79
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  1. 6 Gathering to Tell Stories: The Neglected Genre of Oral History
  2. pp. 81-92
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  1. 7 In Search of the Story: Interviewers and Their Narrators
  2. pp. 95-106
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  1. 8 Life Histories: The Constructed Genre
  2. pp. 109-121
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  1. Part Three - Issues Raised by Stories
  2. p. 123
  1. 9 The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth
  2. pp. 125-135
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  1. 10 Issues of Representation
  2. pp. 137-147
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  1. 11 Intellectual Property Rights and the Public Unfinished Business
  2. pp. 149-160
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  1. 12 The Public Record
  2. pp. 161-167
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  1. Appendix A: Oral History Gift and Release Agreement
  2. pp. 169-170
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  1. Appendix B: Interview Restrictions
  2. pp. 171-172
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  1. Appendix C: Internet Use of Oral History Programs
  2. pp. 173-174
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 175-179
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  1. References
  2. pp. 181-190
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 191-198
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780874214888
Related ISBN
9780874215502
MARC Record
OCLC
53946610
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
Yes
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