Monday, November 5, 2012

Is Boston College Still Clueless about Oral History?

H-Oralhist is running a thread of responses to an oral historian who is seeking IRB approval. One response came from Jillian Maxey, a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Theology at Boston College.

She writes,

I am working through my IRB proposal right now. I am interviewing key scholars in my field and will be identifying them by name in my dissertation. One person to whom I spoke who serves on the IRB balked at this at first. When I insisted that it was necessary she gave me some tips for articulating the need to the IRB. I'm just wondering if anyone has experience with this or knows of any oral history publications that name participants that I could use to backup my proposal.

Can it be that a year and a half into an international legal controversy involving oral history recordings stored at Boston College, its IRB still doesn't know that oral historians identify their narrators by name? If so, that's all the more reason to think that IRB oversight is not the right response to the Boston College case.

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