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Trying to be good : lessons in oral history and performance

Rouverol, AJ



R Perks

A Thomson


In this essay, Alicia Rouverol assesses an oral history performance event based on life review interviews in a US prison. She explores how life review helped inmates to make new sense of their lives, the challenges of sharing authority in a prison setting, and how performing inmates' stories to young people on the edge of prison life 'changed some futures'. Alicia Rouverol ( has worked as an assistant director at the Southern Oral History Program (where her oral interviews can be accessed at, and is currently a Creative Writing PhD student and Presidential Doctoral Scholar in England at the University of Manchester's Centre for New Writing. Her fiction focuses on many of the issues she explored previously through folklore and oral history, including worker culture, time and the effects of economic decline. Extracted from Della Pollock (ed), Remembering: Oral History Performance, New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2005, pp. 19-43. Reproduced with permission of Palgrave Macmillan.


Rouverol, A. (2015). Trying to be good : lessons in oral history and performance. In R. Perks, & A. Thomson (Eds.), The oral history reader (636-655). London: Routledge

Acceptance Date Feb 15, 2015
Publication Date Nov 17, 2015
Deposit Date Sep 12, 2022
Publisher Routledge
Pages 636-655
Series Title Routledge Readers in History
Book Title The oral history reader
ISBN 9780415707336
Publisher URL