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Wolfson Guest Lecture by Professor Arthur McIvor - 25th May 2012

(23 April 2012)

The Wolfson Research Institute is delighted to welcome Professor Arthur McIvor, Director of the Scottish Oral History Centre at Strathclyde University to deliver a lecture entitled 'The body and the workplace: Oral history methodology in the study of occupational health and disability in the 20th century'. 


12:30 - Tea/coffee refreshments available-The Street, WRI
13:00 - Welcome and introduction
13:05 - Guest lecture by Professor Arthur McIvor
14:00 - Questions and Answers
14:30 - Close

Places are limited, therefore please register on the following web page: http://www.dur.ac.uk/wolfson.institute/events/mcivor


This presentation explores the value of oral history interviewing as a methodology in the study of occupational health and disability. It draws upon over 80 oral interviews undertaken in Britain by my colleague Ronnie Johnston and myself, which focus primarily upon work-related respiratory disease, including pneumoconiosis, bronchitis and mesothelioma. It will be argued that whilst oral interview material requires critical and sensitive treatment (necessitating reflective evaluation of how memories are constructed and the past recalled), nonetheless such narratives provide a wide range of insights into the employment-health interaction, work and health cultures and the lived experience of chronic disease and disability, including on lifestyles and identities.


Arthur McIvor is Professor of Social History at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, and a specialist in the history of work and occupational health. He is the Director of the Scottish Oral History Centre and a founder member of the Centre for the Social History of Health and Health Care - a joint research centre of the University of Strathclyde and Glasgow Caledonian University. McIvor is the joint author, with Ronnie Johnston, of Lethal Work: A History of the Asbestos Tragedy in Scotland (2000) and Miners' Lung: A History of Dust Disease in British Coal Mining (2007). He is currently working as part of a consortium (headed by Anne Borsay and David Turner) on the Wellcome Trust Research Programme Award: 'Disability and Industrial Society: A Comparative Cultural History of British Coalfields' (2011-16).