African Oral History
Oral history across generations
A research programme with the universities of Dakar and Algiers
Recovering the motivations, experience and memory of Algerian and Senegalese veterans of the Algerian War through comparative and transgenerational oral history.
This British Academy-sponsored project investigates a little-explored aspect of the shared history of Algeria and Senegal: the participation of Senegalese soldiers in the French army during the Algerian War of Independence. Postgraduate students and young scholars in both African countries will be trained and equipped to carry out this oral history project amongst the older generation, with a particular focus on interviews in rural areas. This research will produce an oral archive accessible to all via internet, and students and scholars will also be analysing some of the key themes that emerge from veterans’ accounts. In the light of these interviews, a further central aim of this project is to reflect on how we conduct oral history in the African context, from ethical and methodological perspectives and, arising from this, to develop and provide training in the relevant skills for conducting such research.