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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Postgraduate - Unit

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedCaulfield First semester 2011 (Day)
Caulfield First semester 2011 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Professor Alistair Thomson


Previously coded HYM4660


This unit examines the theoretical and methodological issues posed in the creation of oral history interviews, drawing upon the rich inter-disciplinary and international literature in the field and through critical reflection on students' own oral history interview practice. Students will explore: debates about memory and oral history; approaches and issues in interview preparation; approaches and issues in conducting oral history interviews; digital audio recording techniques and issues; ethical, epistemological and political issues posed by the oral history relationship; and approaches and issues in the documentation and preservation of oral history interviews.


Students successfully completing this unit will be expected to demonstrate:

  1. a comprehensive and critical understanding of the key intellectual and political debates about the nature of recorded memory and its use as a source for social and historical research;
  2. a thorough grasp of the essential elements of oral history project preparation, of the techniques of oral history interviewing and recording, of the debates about oral history methodologies and the oral history relationship, and of the ethical guidelines of the Oral History Association of Australia;
  3. a thorough grasp of the main approaches to the documentation of oral history interviews, and of the debates about transcription and documentation;
  4. strong skills in critical oral and written assessment of the academic scholarship, including methods, assumptions and uses of evidence, and in organising and defending a verbal and written argument based upon those assessments;
  5. a capacity to devise, plan and successfully complete an oral history interview project, including research and preparation, an extended interview and appropriate documentation;
  6. a capacity to evaluate issues posed within the course of an oral history recording project by drawing upon oral history scholarship
  7. at level 5, students will have developed an enhanced appreciation of these issues through more extensive understanding of theoretical approaches.


Written work: 100% (9000 words)

Chief examiner(s)

Al Thompson

Contact hours

Regular seminars totaling 24 hours per semester


ATS4297, APG5297