Artful interviewing: Conducting oral history interviews for practice-led research

Van Luyn, Ariella (2010) Artful interviewing: Conducting oral history interviews for practice-led research. In Ignite10! Creative Industries Postgraduate Research Conference, October 27th - 29th, 2010, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia. (Unpublished)

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Recently, there has been an increased use of oral history as source material and inspiration for creative products, such as new media productions; visual art; theatre and fiction. The rise of the digital story in museum and library settings reflects a new emphasis on publishing oral histories in forms that are accessible and speak to diverse audiences. Visual artists are embracing oral history as a source of emotional, experiential and thematic authenticity (Anderson 2009 and Brown 2009). Rosemary Neill (2010) observes the rise of documentary and verbatim theatre — where the words of real people are reproduced on-stage — in Australia. Authors such as Dave Eggers (2006), M. J. Hyland (2009), Padma Viswanathan (2008) and Terry Whitebeach (2002) all acknowledge that interviews heavily inform their works of fiction. In such contexts, oral histories are not valued so much for their factual content but as sources that are at once dynamic, evolving, emotionally authentic and ambiguous. How can practice-led researchers design interviews that reflect this emphasis? In this paper, I will discuss how I developed an interview methodology for my own practice-led research project, The Artful Life Story: Oral History and Fiction. In my practice, I draw on oral histories to inform a work of fiction. I developed a methodology for eliciting sensory details and stories around place and the urban environment. I will also read an extract from ‘Evelyn on the Verandah,’ a short story based on an oral history interview with a 21 year-old woman who grew up in New Farm, which will be published in the One Book Many Brisbanes short story anthology in June this year (2010).

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ID Code: 50822
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Keywords: creative writing, interviews, oral history, methodology
Divisions: Past > Schools > Creative Writing & Literary Studies
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Deposited On: 07 Jun 2012 23:15
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2012 22:51

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