In November 2022, the QDA team co-organized a series of three seminars under a common title ‘Biographical Sociology and Oral History in Poland (Review of Good Neighbor Relationships)’.
Oral history and sociological biographical research are close to each other. In the Polish context, this neighborliness is particularly intense – one can even speak of an intersection, or even a partial overlap, between the two approaches and research practices. Oral history researchers are eager to use the theoretical and methodological background of biographical sociology. Sociologists are active in oral history research and documentation projects.
This intensive collaboration, however, does not invalidate important questions about the similarities and differences between these – intrinsically heterogeneous – ways of recording, analyzing and interpreting the individual and collective experiences of our interlocutors, interviewees, or witnesses to history.
We believe it is a good time to bring together practitioners and theorists of sociological biographical research and oral history to update and re-discuss some of these questions. We have arranged the issues for discussion into three groups, choosing the category of experience (biographical, social, historical, but also research experience) as central to both approaches, though not necessarily defined in the same way.
Panel I – November 10, 2022, Łódź
Biographical sociology: theory – method – practice. What actually happens, between the meeting with the person and the scientific text?
Panelists: Professor Adam Mrozowicki, Professor Katarzyna Waniek, Professor Agnieszka Golczyńska-Grondas, Professor Mariusz Granosik, Dr. Jerzy Stachowiak
Panel II – November 16, 2022, Warszawa
The category of experience in sociology and oral history. What does biographical sociology speak about, and what does oral history speak about?
Panelists: Professor Kaja Kaźmierska, Dr. Jakub Gałęziowski, Dr. Andrzej Czyżewski, Dr. Anna Wylegała, Dr. Dominik Czapigo, Dr. Danuta Życzyńska-Ciołek (moderator)
Panel III – November 23, 2022, Wrocław
Oral history: practice – method – theory. What kind of past does oral history re/construct and why?
Panelists: Professor Marta Kurkowska-Budzan, Professor Dobrochna Kałwa, Dr. Piotr Filipkowski, Dr. Marcin Stasiak, Dr. Marcin Jarząbek, Dr. Katarzyna Bock-Matuszyk
Organizers: The Depot History Centre, The ‘Remembrance and Future’ Center, Polish Oral History Association, Wrocław Yearbook of Oral History, Polish Sociological Association, Center for Biographical Research and Oral History of the University of Łódź, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences (in particular: the Qualitative Data Archive).
Organizing Committee: Piotr Filipkowski, Ewa Maj, Katarzyna Waniek, Danuta Życzyńska-Ciołek