Oral history
in The houses of history
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This chapter briefly outlines understandings about the nature of memory and remembering and looks at key developments in the analysis and interpretation of oral histories and oral traditions. There are three subsets of memory: sensory memory, short-term memory and long-term memory. What is particularly important for oral historians is the long-term memory. Increasingly oral historians began to look at the role of imagination and myth in story-telling. The chapter presents an example in which Canadian anthropologist Julie Cruikshank explored the ways in which myth continued to play a critical role in oral tradition. Development in oral history interpretive theory draws upon the ideas of poststructuralism. The chapter also presents an article, by Alistair Thomson, which explores the links between private and public memory for one Australia New Zealand Army Corps soldier.

The houses of history

A critical reader in history and theory, second edition

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