chapter  4
Subjectivity and intersubjectivity
Pages 24

This chapter considers what has become a significant sub-genre in oral history practice: the collection and analysis of histories of extreme human experiences, sometimes termed crisis oral history. It explains that research on trauma narratives has grown exponentially in the last decade; so that a distinctive field has grown up around the methodological, conceptual and ethical approaches. The chapter surveys the field of oral history as it has deliberately engaged with narrators recounting experiences which are likely to have caused a trauma response. Accounts of genocide, war, terrorism, physical and sexual violence, imprisonment and torture, forced flight as well as of natural and man-made disasters, are now a legitimate and growing field within oral history practice. The chapter delves into a particular field of oral history which has produced new methodological and analytical insights. It addresses the ethics of oral history in crisis scenarios, and the problems associated with speaking to individuals who may not have satisfactorily processed their experiences.