[SIGCIS-Members] Discipline-Specific Debates in Oral History?

Andre Brock brocka at umich.edu
Wed May 24 14:29:26 PDT 2017

No, i believe she meant 'unmediated vessels of their own experience'.
Having been a researcher of technology, society, and culture for nearly 15
years now, i find that white people are rarely reflective about their
technological selves.  Instead, they often interpellate beliefs about
technoculture to situate their remembered selves as technical subjects,
innocent of cultural values.   When histories of marginalized figures in
those communities become available, then cultural and social dimensions of
technoculture become visible, and if lucky, popular.  see also, "Hidden


Andre Brock
Assistant Professor, Communication Studies
University of Michigan

On Wed, May 24, 2017 at 5:16 PM Al Kossow <aek at bitsavers.org> wrote:

> On 5/24/17 1:41 PM, Laine Nooney wrote:
> > For some reason, in the history of computing and games particularly,
> there can be a lingering attachment to interpreting
> > oral history sources as unmediated vessels of their own experience, even
> though this has been roundly debunked by oral
> > history scholarship going back to the mid-1970s.
> What do you mean by "unmediated vessels of their own experience" ?
> Did you mean "infallible records of their own experience" ?
> Having been on the staff of CHM for over ten years now and having done my
> share of oral histories with people
> whom I am very familiar with, remembrances are not exact, nor would anyone
> expect them to be, especially with
> long temporal distances from the events being discussed. Any interview
> should be taken with a grain of salt and
> compared to historical documents and contemporary and historical
> interviews of others.
> Oral histories can also be biased by the research interests and knowledge
> of the interviewer through his line of
> questioning.
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