Plenary discussants I


Fanny Julissa García is an oral historian, and a graduate of the Oral History Master of Arts program at Columbia University. She researches and teaches applied oral history methods with a focus on immigrant incarceration, family separation, and the transnational impact of failed border policies. She is the Director for “Separated: Stories of Injustice and Solidarity”, an oral history project which documents the lived experiences of families separated by the United States government. She served for more than 15 years as a social justice advocate to combat the public health and socioeconomic impact of HIV/AIDS on low-income communities, working closely with organizations fighting for the end of family detention and supporting survivors of sexual violence. She currently serves on the editorial board of the “Oral History Review” and is a member of the Nominating Committee for the Oral History Association. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2022–2023 National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship in oral history.


Ngozika Anthonia Obi-Ani is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of History and International Studies at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Her research focuses on the connection between women, memory, and conflict. Her exploration of memory and conflict studies provides a nuanced understanding of the socio-political dynamics that have shaped contemporary Nigeria. Her doctoral research was based on interviews with Igbo survivors/victims of the Nigeria-Biafra War. In that project, she aimed to understand how post-war unease in Igboland, trauma, memory, and gender issues in conflict were interconnected with various socio-political challenges in southeast Nigeria. To further her research, she collaborates with the Conflict Continuities Collaboration Research Group (CRG) at the African Studies Center, University of Leiden. She is currently on a research fellowship at Maison de la création et de l’ Innovation, MACI, Université Grenoble Alpes, UGA, France. Her research addresses how the transmitted memory of the Nigeria-Biafra war is performed in social media by the generation of material by the Biafran survivors to counter the official hegemonic control of the past.


Natalia Otrishchenko is a sociologist and researcher at the Center for Urban History in Lviv. She has been involved in many international projects, including the “Region, Nation and Beyond” at the University of St Gallen, Switzerland, “Memories of Vanished Populations” at Lund University, Sweden, “Historical Cultures in Transition” at Collegium Civitas, Warsaw, Poland, and “Legacies of Communism?” at ZZF, Potsdam, Germany. In 2022–2023, she conducted research as a Fulbright scholar at the Department of Sociology, Columbia University, USA. In 2023, she was a visiting professor at the School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences in Paris. Since March 2022, she has been leading the Ukrainian team in the international documentation initiative “24.02.22, 5 am: Testimonies from the War”. She is the author and editor of the book Conversations with Those Who Ask about War (forthcoming 2024). Her academic interests include qualitative research methods, oral history, urban sociology, sociology of expertise, and spatial and social transformations after state socialism.


Gabriele Proglio is an Associate Professor of Modern History at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy. From 2014 to 2018, he was based at the European University Institute within the framework of the project “Bodies Across Borders: Oral and Visual Memory in Europe and Beyond”, headed by Luisa Passerini, where he conducted oral history research on postcolonial diasporas of Somali, Eritrean, and Ethiopian subjectivities to Europe, which was then published in the volume The Horn of Africa Diasporas in Italy. An Oral History (2020). From 2015 to 2017, he was a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, USA, and an Assistant Professor of Modern History at the Université de Tunis “El Manar”. From 2017, he was based at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, where he conducted research on the mobilities and memories of migrant people across the Mediterranean, publishing the book Bucare il confine. Storie dalla frontiera di Ventimiglia (2015) as well as many articles. He also published a book on the Genoa G8 Summit protests, based on oral history interviews: I fatti di Genova: Una storia orale del G8 (2021). Currently, he is working on a volume dedicated to Porta Palazzo, the largest European open-air market in Turin, approaching oral history and memory from the perspective of the senses.


Naoko Shimazu is a Professor at Tokyo College, International Institute of Advanced Study, University of Tokyo. Formerly, she was Research Cluster Leader of Inter-Asia Engagements at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, and Professor of Humanities at Yale-NUS College in 2016–2023. She is a global historian of Asia. Together with Gerard McCarthy and Yang Yang, she initiated the oral history project “Living with Covid-19 in Southeast Asia: Crisis, Control, and Community” which gathered data from ten ASEAN countries during 2020–2022 and created an archive of oral history and visual repository of over 100 interviews. Her current major project is on the cultural history of global diplomacy. Her major publications include Japan, Race and Equality: Racial Equality Proposal of 1919 (1998), and Japanese Society at War: Death, Memory and the Russo-Japanese War (2009). She is co-editor of The Russian Revolution in Asia (2022), Cold War Asia: A Visual History of Global Diplomacy (2023), and the Oxford Handbook of the Cultural History of Global Diplomacy, c.1750––2000 (forthcoming 2024).