This book brings together in one volume two earlier books by the authors, now revised to meet the callenges of 21st century scholarship in African performance and cultural studies. Topics covered range from sources of oral traditions, the relevance of cosmology to oral performance, myths and legends, occupational and heroic poetry to name but a few. The central theme is performance and the reader is provided with projects and exercises intended to keep them involved in research and performance experience.
Throughout Africa, oral literature is flourishing, though it is perceived by some as anachronistic to the modern world. This work refutes this idea in its entirety by presenting 22 chapters, which firmly place the study of oral literature within contemporary African existence. The study analyzes how oral literature relates to media, music, technology, text, gender, religion, power, politics and globalization.
This book discusses globalization trends and influences on traditional African oral literary performance and the direction that Ilorin oral art is forced to take by the changes of the twenty-first century electronic age. It seeks a new definition of contemporary African bourgeois in terms of their global reach, imitation of foreign forms, and collaboration with the owners of primary agencies. Additionally, it makes a case that African global lords or new bourgeoisie who are largely products of the new global capital and multinational corporations' socio-political and cultural influences fashion their tastes after Western cultures as portrayed in the digital realm. Abdul-Rasheed Na'Allah is Vice-Chancellor, Chief Executive Officer, and Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Kwara State University, Nigeria. He is co-author of Introduction to African Oral Literature and Performance (2005), and author of Africanity, Islamicity and Performativity: Identity in the House of Ilorin (2009), African Discourse in Islam, Oral Traditions, and Performance (2010), and Cultural Globalization And Plurality: Africa and the New World (2011).
Through an engaged analysis of writers such as Wole Soyinka, Ola Rotimi, Niyi Osundare, and Tanure Ojaide and of African traditional oral poets like Omoekee Amao Ilorin and Mamman Shata Katsina, Abdul-Rasheed Na'Allah develops an African indigenous discourse paradigm for interpreting and understanding literary and cultural materials. Na'Allah argues for the need for cultural diversity in critical theorizing in the twenty-first century. He highlights the critical issues facing scholars and students involved in criticism and translation of marginalized texts. By returning the African knowledge system back to its roots and placing it side by side with Western paradigms, Na'Allah has produced a text that will be required reading for scholars and students of African culture and literature. It is an important contribution to scholarship in the domain of mobility of African oral tradition, and on African literary, cultural and performance discourse.
In her focus on irony and meaning in postcolonial African fiction, Gloria Nne Onyeoziri refers to an internal subversion of the discourse of the wise and the powerful, a practice that has played multiple roles in the circulation of knowledge, authority, and opinion within African communities; in the interpretation of colonial and postcolonial experience; and in the ongoing resistance to tyrannies in African societies. But irony is always reversible and may be used to question the oppressed as well as the oppressor, shaking all presumptions of wisdom. Although the author cites numerous African writers, she selects six works by Chinua Achebe, Ahmadou Kourouma, and Calixthe Beyala for her primary analysis. Modern Language Initiative
Ruth Finnegan's Oral Literature in Africa was first published in 1970, and since then has been widely praised as one of the most important books in its field. Based on years of fieldwork, the study traces the history of storytelling across the continent of Africa. This revised edition makes Finnegan's ground-breaking research available to the next generation of scholars. It includes a new introduction, additional images and an updated bibliography, as well as its original chapters on poetry, prose, "drum language" and drama, and an overview of the social, linguistic and historical background of oral literature in Africa. This book is the first volume in the World Oral Literature Series, an ongoing collaboration between OBP and World Oral Literature Project. A free online archive of recordings and photographs that Finnegan made during her fieldwork in the late 1960s is hosted by the World Oral Literature Project (http: //www.oralliterature.org/collections/rfinnegan001.html) and can also be accessed from publisher's website.
"This is the first detailed study in African oral literature that examines the complementary elements of praise and criticism in traditional oral poetry. . . . One of the few studies today that give us an insight into the folklore of less well known African communities, as against the vast majority of works that concentrate on larger groups like the Yoruba. . . . There is a freshness about this work that recommends it greatly."--Isidore Okpewho, SUNY-Binghamton "A very important and welcome addition to the growing scholarship on song traditions in Africa."--Helen Nabasuta Mugambi, California State University, Fullerton Conventionally, scholars of oral literature have studied works of praise and criticism as distinct from one another. Ogede examines the ways in which praise and criticism work in tandem in the oral performance of the Igede of West Africa. He explains how they are used in negotiating social relationships and in navigating the political, religious, and spiritual spheres. He further demonstrates how oral performance among the Igede is not the exclusive preserve of any particular group but is ultimately a means of public expression, available to and employed by all in dealing with powerful emotions and events. Ogede focuses on the minority Igede of Nigeria's Benue State in order to extend the study of oral literature beyond such familiar majority ethnic groups as the Yoruba, Igbo, and Zulu. By drawing from work by leading oral artists and younger composers, he examines how oral materials are created and transmitted among the unlettered Igede, how they vary from one performance to another, and how mutual influences between the audience and the artist are essential to the power of the oral performance. Ode Ogede is professor of English at North Carolina Central University and author of Ayi Kwei Armah, Radical Iconoclast and Achebe and Armah: Language, Narrative, and Metaphors of Death and Beauty. He has published numerous essays on modern African poetry and fiction.
Taking an innovative and multi-disciplinary approach to literaturefrom 1947 to the present day, this concise companion is anindispensable guide for anyone seeking an authoritativeunderstanding of the intellectual contexts of postcolonialliterature and culture. An indispensable guide for anyone seeking an authoritativeunderstanding of the intellectual contexts of Postcolonialism,bringing together 10 original essays from leading internationalscholars including C. L. Innes and Susan Bassnett Explains the ideas and practises that emerged from thedismantling of European empires Explores the ways in which these ideas and practices influencedthe period's keynote concerns, such as race, culture, and identity;literary and cultural translations; and the politics ofresistance Chapters cover the fields of identity studies, orality andliteracy, nationalisms, feminism, anthropology and culturalcriticism, the politics of rewriting, new geographies, publishingand marketing, translation studies. Features a useful Chronology of the period, thorough generalbibliography, and guides to further reading