April 17 2023 at 11:45


FEEDBACK ON ABSTRACTS:                                  21 June 2023.

CONFERENCE DATE:                                              13-15 September 2023.


THEME: Oral History as Activism: Memory, Narration, and Locating the Locality
The new political dispensation ushered in imperatives that desist the polarization of South African societies on cultural and heritage issues. We cannot ignore that history is written by researchers or academics who, amongst other methods, collect their information orally from people who witnessed and/or experienced   the atrocities inflicted by the colonial or apartheid governments; and some of the political and cultural activists were hunted down by the police, arrested, and occasionally forced to escape the country into exile. This oral history conference intends to offer as many people as possible the opportunity to share their stories and experiences directly with the audience to correctly locate the arduous journey to freedom.
Importantly, life was not only about fighting, though this was a significant part of the country’s history; people fought for land, livestock or leadership. However, it is the objective of this conference that the presenters must also share or narrate about ‘ordinary’ people’s daily lived experiences; how    members of families helped each other during trying times; consulted with traditional healers; marriage proposal; and the usage of indigenous knowledge system. Comparisons can be drawn between then and the present.  
The conference will be open to non-academics to present their oral history projects, using their indigenous language.  Members of the community are encouraged to attend.

  1. Remembering local struggles

  2.  Biography of local unsung heroes/heroines
  3.  Oral History in the classroom and Beyond
  4.  Oral history and other sources
  5.  Oral history in the era of social media and pandemics
  6.  Memories of homeland ‘states’
  7.  Indigenous Knowledge System and contested memories
  8.  Land Struggle/Dispossession, Narratives and Counter-narratives
  9.  Archiving local oral history/histories
 10. Oral History, heritage sites and local tourism
 11. Oral history, ethics and good practices
 12. The importance of democracy
Abstracts are invited for contribution to the 9th Mpumalanga Oral History Conference. Although the conference is primarily academic, case study reports and other contributions by non-academics are welcome. The contributions must be based on original work and have a clear focus on oral history.
The envisaged end-product of the conference will be a compilation of the proceedings. Interested contributors are encouraged to bring along to the conference papers that are photo-ready.
NB: The conference will be 100% physical
If you are interested, please send us a short proposal, that includes:

  1. An abstract of your paper or case study report (100-300 words).
  2. The relevant conference sub-theme and a title for the paper.
  3. A short biography of yourself (50-100 words).
  4. Your contact information (name and surname, email address, and cell number).

The duration of presentation will be twenty (20) minutes and this will be followed by ten (10) minutes for discussion. The papers should not be longer than 5000 words.

Send abstracts to:
Convener: Mr. Nkitseng Mahalefa.
Department of Culture Sport & Recreation
Mpumalanga Provincial Archives and Records Service.
Tell: 013 766 5081.
Cell: 067 429 0866.