Indexing and interpreting emotion: Joy and shame in oral history

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The history of emotions has been one of the most
prominent historical ‘turns’ of recent years, yet oral
historians have been working with emotions for decades.
In this article I explore how indexing emotions recorded
in Australian Generations interviews can pinpoint the
range and significance of emotion in Australian lives.
By linking directly to the audio recordings archived at
the National Library of Australia, I show how hearing
the voice and sound of personal testimony can expand
and enrich our understanding of its emotional register.
Focusing on joy and especially shame, I consider how
this focus on emotion in Australian life stories might
illuminate the historical and cultural experience of
emotion, how the meanings and feelings of emotion
are shaped by historical circumstance and negotiated
in social lives, and how emotional registers vary across
time and culture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalStudies in Oral History
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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