‘Performing for the Camera’ ?: Oral History Interviews of Female Military Service Personnel
This paper examines the discourse female military service personnel use to describe their military service. Using video-recorded oral history interviews available online from the Library of Congress Veterans History Project, the author tests the claim of filmmaker Marcia Rock (Service: When Women Come Marching Home) that the video camera “makes the story important,” compelling interviewees to share more because of the camera (Rock). Female military service personnel’s contributions and accomplishments have historically been redacted or omitted from military and national histories, compelling these women to hide/neglect their military service (Ryan, 2009; Benedict, 2009). Comparing oral history interviews that were not video recorded, which the author collected, as well as those available online from the Betty Carter Women Veterans Historical Project; the author offers future research and deliverables on the affordances of various modalities for collecting military service personnel’s oral histories.