Oral Literary Performance in Africa: Beyond Text (eds. Nduka Otiono & Chiji Akoma)

Co-edited by Nduka Otiono and Chiji Akọma

Book Description

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

  1. Elfrieda Binga’s “Berseba”: Constructing History and Identity in a Rural Namibian Village–Hein Willemse
  2. “The Crocodile’s Wife”: Content and Communication Strategy in A Tale of Transformations–Ernst R. Wendland
  3. ‘The aged, the infirm and the effeminate’: Rhetorical Strategies in Election Rally Songs from Nigeria and Lesotho–Chris Dunton
  4. Orality, Masculinities and Narrative Strategies in The Arabian NightsNduka Otiono
  5. Translation of African Oral Narrative-performances to the Written Word–Harold Scheub
  6. Asiyefunzwa na Wazazi na Mzuka Swahili Supernatural Homiletics in an Age of Promiscuity–Aaron Rosenberg
  7. History, Mofolo’s Chaka, and the Postcolonial “Bastard”–Obiwu
  8. Globalisation of Sango: Wole Soyinka’s Adaptation of Oedipus at ColonusFemi Euba
  9. African Verbal Arts Online: Intermediality and “Technauriture”–Daniela Merolla
  10. Writer-Reader Interaction in Newspaper Serial Writing in Tanzania: The Transformation of an Oral Storytelling Mode–Uta Reuster-Jahn
  11. The Manipulation of Verbal Folklore Genres in Mass Media Communication–Rosaleen O. B. Nhlekisana
  12. Go Fetisa Lekoalo/Beyond Literature: Orality, Poetry and Music in Post-apartheid Spoken Word Poetry–Raphael d’Abdon
  13. Isidore Okpewho – An Intellectual Portrait–F. Abiola Irele
  14. In Praise of Counter-Hegemony: Isidore Okpewho and the Alternative Discourse in African (Oral) Literature–James Tar Tsaaior
  15. Isidore Okpewho: Scholarship, Imaginative Writing, and the Assertion of the African Sensibility–J.O.J. Nwachukwu-Agbada
  16. Choosing Two Sides Equally: An Interview with Isidore Okpewho–Chiji Akọma