Call for papers

Biennial conferences of the International Oral History Association (IOHA) allow for reviewing the global conditions and problems of oral history, regardless of the actual conference theme. This time, however, the organizers of the 23rd IOHA Conference call on oral historians worldwide to consciously rethink the idea and practice of their discipline.

Oral history today faces both old and new challenges with long-lasting and unpredictable consequences: the crisis of liberal democracy, growing tensions in international politics, climate change with its devastating outcomes on human life, increasing inequalities, wars, and mass migrations. All of the foregoing not only affect the conditions in which oral history is made, but also compels us to rethink its very aim. For Central and Eastern Europe, the full-scale Russian aggression in Ukraine beginning in February 2022 and its consequences are an especially painful reminder of that. Though oral history was, and still is a part of history, it has always been conscious of the responsibility (oral) history has for the current society. Aware of that mission, we encourage the global oral history community to return to the core questions of our practice: what kind of histories should we tell and pass on to the current and future generations? 

Therefore, we invite oral historians to rethink this essential issue during the conference that will take place in September 2025 at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland. Participants are encouraged to address one or more of the following questions in their proposals:
  • Political involvement or independence: is ethical neutrality achievable and morally correct in a polarized world?
  • Methodological standards: how much does the technological development of AI challenge them?
  • Healing the wounds: how far can the therapeutic role of oral history go?
  • Oral history responses to human crises: what methodological and ethical problems of emergency documenting and archiving may we use?
  • “Lending our ears” (Portelli): how can we provide silenced and marginalized voices access to the public discourse?
  • Oral history and environmental history: what are the areas of cooperation?
  • Empowering community archives: how to teach them to create their own oral histories?
  • How do we balance the dominance of Western academia with the voices of the non-Western world? – agency and resources.
  • Globality versus locality of oral history: how to translate local practices into internationally recognized scholarship?
  • Post-coloniality: how does oral history help societies reckon with colonial pasts and assist in building post-colonial futures?
  • Disseminating oral history: what new methods can we use to present interviews to our audiences?
  • Multilingualism as a challenge to global oral history: how to record stories in mother tongues?
Proposals for individual papers, session panels (5 papers each), or audio-visual presentations (film/play screenings followed by round table discussions) are to be submitted by July 31, 2024, via the online form on the conference website: More information on abstract submission rules: HERE
Members of national oral history associations are encouraged to check the appropriate box and provide the name of the relevant organization.

English will be the main language of the conference. Only the plenary events will be translated into Spanish.

Decisions on the acceptance or rejection of proposals will be announced by the end of September 2024. Registration will be open between October 2024 and January 2025. The conference's program will be ready by February 2025.

The organizers will not cover travel and accommodation costs; however, IOHA may provide a limited number of travel grants (more information on how to apply can be found on the IOHA website).

If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact the IOHA2025 Local Organizing Committee  via email: 


PDF version: HERE