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Arts & culture

Oral History and Oral History Performance

Similarities and Differences

Date & time
Thursday, February 15, 2024
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Luis C. Sotelo Castro, Steven High, Barbara Lorenzkowski


This event is free, but you need to register! To register, contact us at:




J.W. McConnell Building
1400 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.
Room In-person in LB-1042.03 (Moonroom), ALLab

Wheel chair accessible


with professors Steven High, Barbara Lorenzkovski and Luis Carlos Sotelo Castro in conversation with students of the Oral History Performance class (Department of Theatre).

In this conversation, we will discuss similarities and differences between oral history and oral history performance when preparing for an interview, listening, and doing an interview guide. The event’s main goal is to give practitioners in both fields tools to better craft questions and prepare for the interviews they will make for their project.


Luis C. Sotelo Castro is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre at Concordia University, Montreal (Quebec, Canada). In 2018 he founded at COHDS the Acts of Listening Lab, a hub for research-creation on the transformative power of listening to painful narratives, with reference to testimonies by exiles from sites of conflict. His latest publications explore listening in the context of post-conflict performances of memory.


Steven High is an interdisciplinary oral and public historian with a strong interest in transnational approaches to working-class studies, forced migration, community-engaged research, as well as oral history methodology and ethics. 

He has published extensively on deindustrialization and the postindustrial transformation of North American cities. His most recent monograph, Deindustrializing Montreal: Entangled Histories of Race, Residence and Class (2022) was awarded three major prizes in Quebec History and Politics: le Prix du livre politique de la Présidence de l’Assemblée nationale du Québec, le Prix Lionel-Groulx de l’IHAF, and the Clio-Québec Book Prize from the Canadian Historical Association. He recently co-edited a special issue of Labour/le travail with Lachlan Mackinnon and has several others forthcoming. He is currently leading a seven-year SSHRC Partnership project on “Deindustrialization & the Politics of Our Time” (DePOT – 

His second area of expertise involves oral history, particularly as it relates to mass violence. Steven High led the prize-winning Montreal Life Stories from 2005 until 2012, where he worked in close partnership with survivor groups. He authored or co-edited a number of books and articles out of this project. He was recently awarded a Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media for his work in this area. 


Barbara Lorenzkowski is the Lead Co-Director of Concordia’s “Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling” and Associate Professor in the Department of History at Concordia University. Her first monograph Sounds of Ethnicity: Listening to German North America, 1850-1914 (published by University of Manitoba Press in 2010) listened to the popular musical life that flourished in both Canada and the United States and strained to hear the languages spoken in German North America. Her FQRSC-funded book project The Children’s War is a large-scale oral history project on children’s sensuous and emotional life-worlds in Atlantic Canada during the Second World War. As both an oral historian and a teacher, Dr. Lorenzkowski seeks to explore the ways in which global processes of migration, displacement, and violence have shaped small people’s lives in outsized ways.


Please note that all of our events are free and open to all, but you need to register! To register, contact us at:

In-person in LB-1042.03 (Moonroom), ALLab

ALLAB is located on unceded Kanien’kehá:ka territory, in Tiohtiá:ke/Montreal.

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