Co-edited by Nduka Otiono and Chiji Akọma
This book delivers an admirably comprehensive and rigorous analysis of African oral literatures and performance.
Gathering insights from distinguished scholars in the field, the book provides a range of contemporary interdisciplinary perspectives in the study of oral literature and its transformations in everyday life, fiction, poetry, popular culture, and postcolonial politics. Topics discussed include folklore and folklife; oral performance and masculinities; intermediated orality, modern transformations, and globalisation; orality and mass media; spoken word and imaginative writing. The book also addresses research methodologies and the thematic and theoretical trajectories of scholars of African oral literatures, looking back to the trailblazing legacies of Ruth Finnegan, Harold Scheub, and Isidore Okpewho.
Ambitious in scope and incisive in its analysis, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of African literatures and oral performance as well as to general readers interested in the dynamics of cultural production.
Table of Contents
Introduction: A Heritage of African Oral Literary Performance Studies
Nduka Otiono and Chiji Akọma
Part I: Recapturing Tradition: The Oral Performance in Transition
- Elfrieda Binga’s “Berseba”: Constructing History and Identity in a Rural Namibian Village–Hein Willemse
- “The Crocodile’s Wife”: Content and Communication Strategy in A Tale of Transformations–Ernst R. Wendland
- ‘The aged, the infirm and the effeminate’: Rhetorical Strategies in Election Rally Songs from Nigeria and Lesotho–Chris Dunton
- Orality, Masculinities and Narrative Strategies in The Arabian Nights—Nduka Otiono
- Translation of African Oral Narrative-performances to the Written Word–Harold Scheub
- Asiyefunzwa na Wazazi na Mzuka Swahili Supernatural Homiletics in an Age of Promiscuity–Aaron Rosenberg
- History, Mofolo’s Chaka, and the Postcolonial “Bastard”–Obiwu
- Globalisation of Sango: Wole Soyinka’s Adaptation of Oedipus at Colonus—Femi Euba
- African Verbal Arts Online: Intermediality and “Technauriture”–Daniela Merolla
- Writer-Reader Interaction in Newspaper Serial Writing in Tanzania: The Transformation of an Oral Storytelling Mode–Uta Reuster-Jahn
- The Manipulation of Verbal Folklore Genres in Mass Media Communication–Rosaleen O. B. Nhlekisana
- Go Fetisa Lekoalo/Beyond Literature: Orality, Poetry and Music in Post-apartheid Spoken Word Poetry–Raphael d’Abdon
- Isidore Okpewho – An Intellectual Portrait–F. Abiola Irele
- In Praise of Counter-Hegemony: Isidore Okpewho and the Alternative Discourse in African (Oral) Literature–James Tar Tsaaior
- Isidore Okpewho: Scholarship, Imaginative Writing, and the Assertion of the African Sensibility–J.O.J. Nwachukwu-Agbada
- Choosing Two Sides Equally: An Interview with Isidore Okpewho–Chiji Akọma
It is a common notion that Africa has, and indeed ought to have, learned much from the west. This is not wrong; all cultures rightly learn from each other. But less is said of what there is to learn from Africa: from her stories, myths, music, proverbs, insights – and more. Here an acclaimed African scholar steps into the gap by uncovering for us something of the great legacy of African thought and practice in ways that will astonish many. Written with verve and authority and directed above all to students and sixth formers, this book will also delight and often surprise those who know something of Africa as well as those hitherto ignorant.
In a world where new technologies are being developed at a dizzying pace, how can we best approach oral genres that represent heritage? Taking an innovative and interdisciplinary approach, this volume explores the idea of sharing as a model to construct and disseminate the knowledge of literary heritage with the people who are represented by and in it. Expert contributors interweave sociological analysis with an appraisal of the transformative impact of technology on literary and cultural production. Does technology restrict, constraining the experience of an oral performance, or does it afford new openings for different aesthetic experiences? Topics explored include the Mara Cultural Heritage Digital Library, the preservation of Ewe heritage material, new e-resources for texts in Manding languages, and the possibilities of technauriture. This timely and necessary collection also examines to what extent digital documents can be and have been institutionalised in archives and museums, how digital heritage can remain free from co-option by hegemonic groups, and the roles that exist for community voices. A valuable contribution to a fast-developing field, this book is required reading for scholars and students in the fields of heritage, anthropology, linguistics, history and the emerging disciplines of multi-media documentation and analysis, as well as those working in the field of literature, folklore, and African studies. It is also important reading for museum and archive curators.
Series: World Oral Literature Series (Book 7 )
Publisher: Open Book Publishers (May 15, 2017)
Afrikaanse letterkunde, published in May 2019, is a brand new edition at Amsterdam University Press. Mineke Schipper first published the book in 1983 and then in an updated version in 1990.
The new AUP edition was co-written by Mineke Schipper, Daniela Merolla and Inge Brinkman and is so far the one and only handbook of African literature in the Dutch language. It includes new developments in African literatures over the last 25 years, information on literature in African languages, and it explores the literary connections between Africa south of the Sahara and North-Africa.
In June 2019, the book received very favorable reviews in one of the major Dutch national newspapers, Trouw: “It is not easy to present the ever-expanding literatures of the entire African continent in 350 pages. Three scholars take the risk, and this provides good reading tips. By the abundance of knowledge, a beautiful monument for African literatures.”
Publisher: Amsterdam University Press (2019).