Unwritten Histories

The Unwritten Rules of History

Tag: agricultural history

Guest Post: Checking Cows to Find the Crow: How Oral History Influenced my PhD Research

An image of Crow's Nest Pass, during the spring or summer. There are rocky outcroppings in the foreground, a green valley in the middle, and the Rocky Mountains in the distance, with some cloud cover.

By dave_7 from Lethbridge, Canada (Crowsnest Pass) CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Note from Andrea: Today we have a very special guest post from Laura Larsen on the adventure that is oral history! As a fellow oral historian, this is right up my alley. Enjoy!

 

Laura Larsen

Laura Larsen is a PhD Candidate in the Department of History at the University of Saskatchewan. Her dissertation explores rail rationalization and agricultural policy under the Pierre Trudeau government. It focuses on the tensions between government, farmers, grain companies, and railways created by attempts to modernize the grain handling and transportation system as well as the substantial changes to the underlying structure of prairie agriculture caused by these changes.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that oral history changed my life. If I had not conducted oral histories I probably would be doing a different dissertation project than I am.

On paper, doing oral history sounds relatively straight forward. Do some background research. Come up with a list of questions. Find a person. Ask them your questions. However, in reality, oral history is a messy and complicated process that, while at times extraordinarily difficult, is immensely rewarding on both a professional and personal level. In this blog post, I’m going to talk about my personal experiences doing oral history, how the interviews I conducted for my master’s thesis shaped my doctoral dissertation, and, hopefully, convince you to integrate some into your future research.

 

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Canadian History Roundup – Week of August 6, 2017

Two Inuit girls standing together out side.

Daughters of two fishermen (The girl on the right has been identified as Susie Etok, here aged 14). Circa 1960. Rosemary Gilliat. Library and Archives Canada, e010835968. CC by 2.0.

The latest in blog posts, news, and podcasts from the world of Canadian history.

 

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Canadian History Roundup – Week of February 5, 2017

"Valentine Greetings to a Good Little Boy I Know," Greeting card, Valentine, 1900-1960, 20th century (Source: McCord Museum)

“Valentine Greetings to a Good Little Boy I Know,” Greeting card, Valentine,
1900-1960, 20th century (Source: McCord Museum)

The latest in blog posts, news, and podcasts from the world of Canadian history.

 

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Canadian History Roundup – Week of January 8, 2017

Mount Grady, Mount Burnham, village of Nakusp, and Rothwell Bay on Upper Arrow Lake, as seen from above Rothwell Point, on January 9, 1963. Arrow Lakes Historical Society, 1999-019-6

Mount Grady, Mount Burnham, village of Nakusp, and Rothwell Bay on Upper Arrow Lake, as seen from above Rothwell Point, on January 9, 1963. Arrow Lakes Historical Society, 1999-019-6 CC by 2.0

 

The latest in blog posts, news, and podcasts from the world of Canadian history.

 

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Best New Articles from November 2016

Best New Articles November 2016

Because, let’s face it – who has time to catch up on all the journal articles published in Canadian history?

 

Welcome back to the Best New Articles series, where, each month, I post a list of my favourite new articles! Don’t forget to also check out my favourites from previous months, which you can access by clicking here.

This month I read articles from:

Here are my favourites, in no particular order:

 

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