University of Cambridge > > Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Seminars > CANCELLED! Asking your mother: race, gender and positionality in remote oral history interviews

CANCELLED! Asking your mother: race, gender and positionality in remote oral history interviews

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Stefanie Ullmann.

Postponed to 13th June 2023

Abstract: In this paper I reflect on two small sets of oral history interviews, conducted remotely during the first pandemic lockdown in 2020, all with women of colour who are around my mum’s age and in some cases are my friends’ mums or my mum’s friends. I explore how this – and my positionality as a British Gujarati woman in the ivory tower – impacted the dynamics of the interviews. The ‘mum’ aspect intersected with race and gender, specifically as the women in question were speaking to a younger woman of colour of a similar age to their children, meaning (I argue) that there was a maternal and educative aspect to their narratives. Overall, I explore the ways that positionality impacts the results of oral history interviews, and how power dynamics can become fluid in the context of oral history interviewing.

Speaker Bio: Saffron is a new Adrian Research Fellow at Darwin. Her work focuses on histories of race and antiracism in Britain, with particular interests in political Blackness and gender, as well as memory and the politics of history. She completed her PhD on antiracism in Southall at University College London.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Seminars series.

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