Theme: Storytelling and Intergenerational Memory

Date: 23 & 24 March 2023

*CFP deadline extended to January 22, 2023*

The Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling at Concordia University invites graduate students and recent graduates to submit paper and research-creation proposals for our 10th Emerging Scholars Symposium on Oral History, Digital Storytelling, and Creative Practice. This hybrid two-day event will offer emerging scholars an opportunity to present their work at any stage, to exchange ideas, and to connect with other researchers and creators.

The title and main theme of this year’s Emerging Scholars Symposium is Storytelling and Intergenerational Memory. The emergence of oral history as a field of study has diverse lineages, but its origins are often traced to its development as an academic research method in the mid-20th century in the United States. However, storytelling and oral traditions as modes of knowledge transmission have existed for millennia through such forms as poems, songs, legends, and lessons. Recognizing that oral histories of communities can serve as counter-history to dominant representations of an event, we must also consider the wider social and intergenerational contexts within which stories are told. The act of sharing stories is as much a social process as it is history-making. Who is sharing stories is just as important as the topic, who is listening, and where.

The Organizing Committee of this year’s Symposium invites emerging scholars to think about storytelling practices and contexts within which intergenerational memory transmission takes place, and reflect on the wider politics of what gets classified as history and what is left out. We encourage you to share your research while thinking through the varied approaches to oral storytelling that exist, the politics of distinguishing between oral history and oral tradition, and the various differences and similarities between them.

We look forward to accepting proposals that engage with the conference theme in creative ways and also those that take us into unexpected directions. While your proposal may present finished works, we strongly encourage proposals of works-in-progress. 

Emerging scholars are welcome to submit proposals on the following themes:

  • Oral history and oral tradition approaches to storytelling
  • Migration stories, movement, and intergenerational memory
  • Memory, place, and mapping
  • Family oral history and the ethics of interviewing family
  • Orality, voice, and speech; “How stories are told”
  • The politics of interpretation and representation of stories
  • Community storytelling and Collective forms of memory 
  • Telling difficult stories
  • Doing oral history/tradition across mediums.

This symposium is an interdisciplinary gathering that invites proposals from emerging scholars in oral history, digital storytelling, and creative practice. Scholars in related fields, including museum studies, education, documentary filmmaking, memory studies, literature, creative writing, new media arts, geography, sociology, anthropology, etc. are encouraged to submit proposals.

How to apply

Participants may present their work in a variety of formats, including research-creation projects and paper presentations. In order to be able to showcase a broad range of projects, presentations will be limited to no more than 15 minutes, followed by time for questions and discussions. We particularly encourage creative forms of expression other than papers (e.g., poetry, fiction, video/audio submissions, artwork, etc.). While we ask that papers and presentations be in either French or English, creative projects and performances may be carried out in any language. This year’s symposium will be hybrid with both in-person and online presentations.

To submit your presentation proposal, please email us at with the subject line “2023 Emerging Scholars Symposium Proposal” along with the following documents:

  • Abstract with short statement of how your research engages the conference themes (300 words) and up to 5 keywords,
  • Your CV (2 pages max),
  • A brief bio (70 words),
  • Technical specifications: Please tell us if you will be presenting in person or online, and if you need to play audio or video as part of your presentation.

As this year’s symposium will be taking place in a hybrid format, we welcome you to consider innovative approaches for presentation while keeping in mind that your audience will be both in-person and online. If you have creative ideas for a conference session beyond a talk or webinar-style presentation – especially those that inspire interaction and active engagement – we encourage you to submit!

We get how overwhelming it can be to submit a proposal, especially for the first time. We’re here to help! If you have any questions, please email

The new deadline for submissions is January 22, 2023.