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High, Steven. "Introduction." In Beyond Testimony and Trauma: Oral History in the Aftermath of Mass Violence, edited by Steven High, 3-23. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2015.


In the Introduction to this anthology, Steven High explains his unique approach to editing this collection about survivors of mass trauma: he selected accounts that focused on “collaborative approaches” that reflect on political and ethical implications regarding how to acquire survivors’ testimonies and retell/share their accounts. High uses anecdotes from a laid off Detroit autoworker to make the point, “Deindustrialization is devastating for those directly affected, but it is not genocide… acts of witness range across many sites of resistance to mass violence.” High links the collection of 13 chapters to the work of the six year Montreal Life Stories project and the March 2012 “Beyond Testimony and Trauma: Oral History in the Aftermath of Mass Violence” international conference. The chapters are organized into three parts: The Political Work of Witness, Working with Survivors, and Acts of Composure and Framing. High concludes that his goal is to go, as Henry Greenspan wrote, “beyond testimony…move toward useful and respectful partnership” regarding how oral history is shared, and “if we are lucky, we (will) also learn something more about ourselves.”

Shannon Leggett