Faculty of Arts


Insider Histories


Insider Histories explores the production of histories from "the inside" – that is, histories typically written from subject positions, inside and on behalf of particular communities. Such histories often rely on oral histories as a key source of evidence, therefore the course will examine current debates about oral history and discuss oral history practice in New Zealand. The course has a practical component which will include discussions of oral history collections and interview practice as students are guided through an oral history interview they will conduct as part of their course work.

Within the frame of Insider Histories, readings and class discussions will include the nature and use of oral sources and oral histories in New Zealand history; ethical considerations; the limits, potential and problems with oral histories; balancing and merging oral and written sources; Māori and other indigenous historical narratives.

Participation in the course offers students opportunities to both study and practice writing history from the inside. In the process, they will also learn about aspects of twentieth-century New Zealand history and how they can be differently (or similarly) represented through the use of oral, documentary and other sources. Using examples from Māori and indigenous histories, you will study the use of oral sources, particularly oral histories, and you will apply that learning to the assessments you undertake in completion of your coursework. Note that though the case studies used to teach the course will have a Māori focus, students will not be restricted to Māori topics for their course work.

To complete this course students must enrol in HISTORY 712 A and B.

Availability 2021

Not taught in 2021


Coordinator(s) Dr Aroha Harris


Recommended Reading


HISTORY 712A: 15.0 points

HISTORY 712B: 15.0 points

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