DSDP Interviews and Oral History (Doctoral School Training Workshop)

Interview with Prime Minister

Professor Joe Cain teaches this module at UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies (STS) for UCL Doctoral School.

Interviews and Oral History

This practical course is designed for those wishing to use interviews and oral history as a strategy for data collection. This course aims (1) to improve skills for those wishing to create recorded interviews as part of their data gathering, (2) introduce processes involved in the preparation, conduct, and processing of recorded interviews, and (3) discuss questions relating to the dissemination, preservation, ethics, and budgeting of interviews and resulting materials. The course involves eight hours scheduled in two half-day sessions.

Intended audience

  • year 1 and 2 postgraduate research students, before they’ve undertaken fieldwork in their research

Course content

This workshops takes place over two days. Day 1 focusing on interviewing skills and related methodological considerations. Interviewing is not simply about talking; it’s a research methodology with specific strengths and weaknesses. We explore and practice. Day 2 focuses on compliance, ethics, and equipment.

Aims

This course has three aims.

  1. improve skills for those wishing to create recorded interviews as part of their data gathering
  2. introduce processes involved in the preparation, conduct, and processing of recorded interviews
  3. discuss questions relating to the dissemination, preservation, ethics, and budgeting of interviews and resulting materials

This practical course will be of particular use to those creating recorded interviews, such as oral histories and participant interviews, as part of their research.

Objectives

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate basic interview methods
  2. construct an interview strategy appropriate to their interests, reflecting on choices
  3. identify key processes in the production, deposit, dissemination, and citation of recorded interviews
  4. identify key legal, ethical and budgetary issues in recorded interviews
  5. weigh advantages and disadvantages of different interview technologies

Additional resources

I’ll suggest this book in class:

Robert Perks and Alistair Thomson (eds.) 2015. The Oral History Reader, 3rd (Taylor and Francis). Print ISBN: 9780415707329. eBook ISBN: 9781315671833. Adobe ISBN: 9781317371328. (UCL Library catalogue; UCL students can download)

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