Speakers at OHAI 2015


Alexander von Plato is a well-known public historian from Germany. He is the founder and long-time director of the Oral History Centre at the Open University, Hagen, and the founding editor of the German oral history journal BIOS. He is also a founder, former secretary and vice president of the International Oral History Association. He has taught at the Universities of Essen, Hagen, and Vienna from 2006 to 2010, and has served as a member of the Historical Commission of Dresden, which evaluated historical documents about the bombing of Dresden in February, 1945. His writings include The Unification of Germany – A World Political Power Game and Bush, Kohn, Gorbachev and the Internal Moscow Protocols. His book Hitler’s Slaves (2010) is an important study on forced labour during the Second World War.


meghana guhathakurta

Meghna Guhathakurta is the executive director of Research Initiatives, Bangladesh (RIB), and a post-doctoral fellow working on a collaborative capacity-building project between the University of Dhaka and ISS. Through her work she helps supervise and coordinate action research among the marginalised communities of Bangladesh. Her areas of specialisation are development, gender, minority rights and South Asian politics. She was a Professor of International Relations at the University of Dhaka from 1984 to 2006, and a member of the Netherlands Development Research Council (RAWOO) from 1996 to 2002, when she chaired the sub-committee on post-conflict development.



Heather Goodall is a Professor of History at the University of Technology, Sydney. She has researched and published in three major areas – indigenous histories and relationships in Australia; environmental history and social conflicts and inter-cultural social relations, and inter-colonial networks, particularly those between Australia and India and around the Indian Ocean. She has worked in collaborative research projects with aboriginal communities in New South Wales and in central Australia. Her recent publications include Rivers and Resilience: Aboriginal People on Sydney’s Georges River, co-authored with Allison Cadzow (2009) and Isabel Flick: The Many Lives of an Extraordinary Aboriginal Woman, co-authored with Isabel Flick (2004).


Miroslav Vanek during Alessandro  Portelli's lecture. Winter School, 12 Nov 2013, Bangalore.

Miroslav Vanek is the director of the Oral History Centre at the Institute of Contemporary History, Czech Academy of Science, Prague. He also teaches at Charles University in Prague and was the president of the International Oral History Association from 2010 to 2012. His scholarly focus is on the young generation under socialism, including student and ecological movements, as well as oral history as a method. His latest book is Around the Globe: Rethinking Oral History with its Protagonists (2013).  In Winter School 2013, Miroslav Vanek talked about, among other things, the significance of oral history in the Czech Republic.