A busy June for the Oral History Cluster

The Oral History Research Cluster of Landscapes of Injustice had a busy week in early June 2015.  First, on June 1st, Alexander Pekic competed on behalf of the cluster at the SSHRC Storytellers competition in Ottawa, Ontario.  A new event, held in conjunction with the SSHRC Congress each year, the Storytellers competition highlights student engagement with research at universities across Canada.  The first step in the competition is a video submission; the Oral History Cluster’s video, produced with significant assistance from Elena Kusaka, was selected as one of the top 25 videos across the country back in February of 2015.  The second stage in the competition was the presentation in Ottawa, where Alex gave a simple and moving presentation about the work of the cluster.  Congratulations Alex on representing Landscapes well!  You can see the cluster’s top 25 submission here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjNNMUk9jL0&list=PLww1dvjSoO4OUlyHJtogMTDsOCi-G4iq-&index=18 

Then, on June 2, Dr. Pamela Sugiman delivered a keynote lecture as part of being honoured with the annual Outstanding Contribution award from the Canadian Sociological Association, and presented a talk reflecting on her career as a sociologist.  In her talk, she discussed some of her early research into the stories of non-Japanese Canadians related to her work on Landscapes of Injustice, confronting the challenges of listening empathetically to the memories of those whose families were directly involved in the events of the dispossession.  The cluster is quite proud of Pam’s accomplishments; congratulations Pam!

And finally, on June 3, 2015, Dr. Pamela Sugiman, Dr. Heather Read, and 5 members of the Oral History Research Cluster (Kyla Fitzgerald, Alicia Fong, Joshua Labove, Alexander Pekic, and Momoye Sugiman) presented a panel at the Canadian Historical Association Conference.  Dr. Jordan Stanger-Ross was also present as the panel’s moderator.  Held as a part of the annual SSHRC Congress, the three-day annual CHA conference focused on exploring the theme of interdisciplinarity in historical studies.  The cluster’s presentation fit well within that theme, as the team discussed the complexities of the Landscapes of Injustice oral history interviews.  The interviews will deal with issues of race, gender, power and place, and will contribute to the work of the other research clusters working in other disciplines, in addition to documenting the individual stories of people involved.  The presentation was well attended, and several important contacts were made within the Ottawa area community of Japanese Canadians.

Now returned to their various parts of the country, the cluster is beginning an intensive summer of interviewing.  If you have any suggestions for people who might like to share their stories related to the dispossession, please let us know!

General Email: oralhistory@arts.ryerson.ca

Submitted by Dr. Heather Read, Post-doctoral Fellow

Oral History Research Cluster

Landscapes of Injustice