International Conference of the Oral History Institute 20-22nd Oct. 2016, Cluj-Napoca

CFP: 2016 International Conference of the Oral History Institute, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Deadline for applications: 31st July 2016
Date conference: 20-22 October 2016
Location: Napoca 11, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Portrayed as delinquents or surrounded by a mixture of exoticism and mystery, Roma people have come under attention of state authorities, media and public opinion. Each actor involved put forward his or her own perspective on “the Roma issue” that recycled old stereotypical ideas describing how Roma people supposedly are, how they behave, what their lifestyle was and how mainstream society should have reacted to forestall the “Roma menace”.

The purpose of this conference is to make a contribution to cutting through the thick fog of myths, labels and prejudices surrounding this population and finally ask Roma people to tell their own diverse stories of the most important and mundane issues and events in their lives. Thus, we welcome proposals for individual papers and panels that aim at understanding Roma people’s recent past through what they have to say about it. While an oral history’s approach is favoured,we also welcome interdisciplinary contributions from history, ethnology, anthropology, sociology, media and communications, political sciences and literature.

Prospective applicants should address following themes: the specificities of Roma people’s experience in Europe during and after the Cold War how Roma are speaking about the European Union and member states approaches on the “Roma problem” the influence of both communism and post-communism on restructuring Roma people’s everyday life and traditions both secular and religious migration and its effect on reshaping social relations, practices of mobility and immobility, economic strategies, and sense of belonging of Roma people and raising awareness of national and European authorities towards their fate and existence the religious dimensions of Roma people’s lives and how adherence to certain religious creeds changed (or not) their way of interaction within communities and between local communities and state authorities preservation of their cultural heritage (literature, music, handicraft, religion) and its contribution to forging identities ways of (self)representation of Roma people in relation to ethnic majorities (media, film, literature etc.)

The conference will be organized by the Institute of Oral History of Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, and the University of Iceland, Reykjavik, between 20 and 22 October 2016, in Cluj-Napoca. The conference is organized within the project The Untold Story. An Oral History of the Roma People in Romania, which has received funding from EEA Financial Mechanism 2009 - 2014 under the project contract no. 14SEE/30.06.2014.
We have the privilege of announcing the participation of Professor Alessandro Portelli, one of the founders of oral history and the author, among other, of books such as The Order Has Been Carried Out: History, Memory and Meaning of a Nazi Massacre in Rome, The Battle of Valle Giulia: Oral History and the Art of Dialogues, The Death of Luigi Trastulli and Other Stories: Form and Meaning in Oral History, and more recently They Say in Harlan County: An Oral History. The participation of other specialists on oral history and/or Roma issues will be announced at a latter moment, upon confirmation.

For those interested in submitting individual papers or panels, please send an abstract of no more than 400 words and a 200-word biography to Manuela Marin at the email: The deadline for applications was extended until the 31stof July 2016, and the accepted speakers will be notified by the 15th of August 2016.

Accommodation and the meals will be covered by the organizers and a conference fee of 200 lei (approximately 45 euro) per person will be paid onsite.