Artful shaping: the ethics of fictionalising oral history

Van Luyn, Ariella (2010) Artful shaping: the ethics of fictionalising oral history. In: Proceedings of XVI International Oral History Association Conference . From: IOHA 2010, 7-11 July 2010, Prague, Czech Republic. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The paper documents the development of an ethical framework for my current PhD project. I am a practice-led researcher with a background in creative writing. My project invovles conducting a number of oral history interviews with individuals living in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. I use the interviews to inform a novel set in Brisbane. In doing so, I hope to provide a lens into a cultural and historical space by creating a rich, textured and vivid narrative while still retaining some of the essential aspects of the oral history. While developing a methodology for fictionalising these oral histories, I have encountered a derserve range of ethical issues. In particular I have had to confront my role as a writer and researcher working with other people's stories. In order to grapple with the complex ethics of such an engagment, I examine the devices and stratedgies employed by other creative practioners working in similar fields. I focus chielfy on Miguel Barnet's Biography of a Runaway Slave (published in English in 1968) Dave Eggers' What is the what: The autobiography of Valentino Achek Deng, a novel (2005) in order to understand the complex processes of mediation invloved in the artful shaping of oral histories. The paper explores how I have confronted and resolved ethical considerations in my theoretical and creative work.

Item ID: 24748
Item Type: Conference Item (Non-Refereed Research Paper)
Keywords: oral history, fiction, ethics, creative writing, methodology, Dave Eggers, Miguel Barnet
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Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2014 05:40
FoR Codes: 19 STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing > 190402 Creative Writing (incl Playwriting) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950203 Languages and Literature @ 100%
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