Voices of the University: Anniversary Culture and Oral Histories of Higher Education

Grace Huxford, Richard Wallace

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This article uses the case study of the University of Warwick’s ‘Voices of the University: Memories of Warwick, 1965-2015’ project to explore the politics and practicalities of institutional oral histories and anniversary culture. It sketches the project's aims and its position within the university’s wider anniversary celebrations. We then explore how interviewees reflect on the University at fifty and argue that a significant portion of interviewees seek to use their interviews to tell an alternative institutional history. This article finishes with an exploration of student protest. Using interviews with students and staff, we reflect on how the highly-publicised protests in the 1970s have been remembered. Overall, this article argues that anniversary culture prompts individuals to consider who owns institutional memories.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-90
Number of pages12
JournalOral History Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • university
  • higher education
  • oral history
  • communicative memory
  • institutional memory


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