- The Oxford Handbook of Oral History
- Introduction: The Evolution of Oral History
- The Dynamics of Interviewing
- Those Who Prevailed and Those Who Were Replaced: Interviewing on Both Sides of a Conflict
- Interviewing in Cross-Cultural Settings
- Case Study: Oral History and Democracy: Lessons from Illiterates
- Memory and Remembering in Oral History
- Can Memory Be Collective?
- Case Study: Rome's House of Memory and History: The Politics of Memory and Public Institutions
- How Does One Win a Lost War? Oral History and Political Memories
- Disappointed Remains: Trauma, Testimony, and Reconciliation in Post-apartheid South Africa
- Case Study: Memory Work with Children Affected by HIV/AIDS in South Africa
- The Stages of Women's Oral History
- Race and Oral History
- Remembering in Later Life: Generating Individual and Social Change
- The Proust Effect: Oral History and the Senses
- After Action: Oral History and War
- Case Study: “Above all, we need the WITNESS”: The Oral History of Holocaust Survivor
- Case Study: Field Notes on Catastrophe: Reflections on the September 11, 2001, Oral History Memory and Narrative Project
- Doing Video Oral History
- Case Study: Opening Up Memory Space: The Challenges of Audiovisual History
- Achieving the Promise of Oral History in a Digital Age
- Oral History: Media, Message, and Meaning
- Messiah with the Microphone? Oral Historians, Technology, and Sound Archives
- Case Study: Between the Raw and the Cooked in Oral History: Notes from the Kitchen
- The Legal Ramifications of Oral History
- Ethical Challenges in the Oral History of Medicine
- The Archival Imperative: Can Oral History Survive the Funding Crisis in Archival Institutions?
- Case Study: The Southern Oral History Program
- Case Study: What is it That University-Based Oral History Can Do? The Berkeley Experience
- Toward a Public Oral History
- Motivating the Twenty-first-Century Student with Oral History
- Oral History in Universities: From Margins to Mainstream
- Case Study: Engaging Interpretation Through Digital Technologies
- Oral History in the Digital Age
Abstract and Keywords
This article focuses on the catastrophe of September 11, 2001; its memory sustained through oral history and captured in narratives. The purpose of this article is twofold: to explore the natural capacity of oral history, an ethical practice, for supporting the active process of historical remembrance even in its most nascent stages; and to use the September 11, 2001, Oral History Narrative and Memory Project as a means of defining a possible approach to documenting historical trauma through oral history. Psychologists who study the impact of massive catastrophic events, from genocide and war to natural catastrophes, define this range of work as “trauma mental health.” Oral history has demonstrated its value in recording traumatic and catastrophic events, whether natural or human-made. This article further traces the case studies conducted weeks after the attacks. One records trauma in the immediate context and the other records the aftermath of trauma followed by a reflection on the same.
Mary Marshall Clark is the director of the Columbia University Oral History Research Office and the co-founder and co-director, with Peter Bearman, of the Master of Arts in Oral History at Columbia University. Clark and Bearman also directed the September 11, 2001, Oral History Narrative and Memory Project.
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