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 its global reach, imitation of foreign forms and collaboration with the owners of the 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.
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.
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.
"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.
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
The study of oral traditions and verbal arts leads into an area of human culture to which anthropologists are increasingly turning their attention. Oral Traditions and the Verbal Arts provides up-to-date guidance on how to approach the study of oral form and their performances, treating both the practicalities of fieldwork and the methods by which oral texts and performances can be observed, collected or analysed. It also relates to those current controversies about the nature of performance and of 'text'. Designed as a practical and systematic introduction to the processes and problems of researching in this area, this is an invaluable guide for students, and lecturers of anthropology and cultural studies and also for general readers who are interested in enjoying oral literature for its own sake.
Walter J. Ongs Standardwerk erweist sich vor dem Hintergrund des heutigen Wandels von Medien, Kultur und Gesellschaft als relevanter denn je: Es bietet in anschaulicher Weise Einblicke in den Charakter mündlicher und schriftlicher Gesellschaften und führt damit vor Augen, welche zentrale Bedeutung der Transformation von Kommunikation für die gesellschaftliche und kulturelle Entwicklung zukommt. Ong zeichnet nach, wie tiefgreifend unsere gesamte Kultur durch den Übergang von der mündlichen zur schriftlichen und dann zur elektronischen Kommunikation, durch die Entwicklung des Schreibens und Druckens umgestaltet worden ist. Dieses Buch zeigt eindrucksvoll die unterschiedliche Bedeutung mündlicher und schriftlicher Kommunikationsweisen und hilft, die ‚zweite Oralität’ einer digitalen Medienumgebung zu verstehen. Es beantwortet Fragen wie: welchen Stellenwert hat gesprochene Sprache in einer schriftbasierten Gesellschaft? Wie haben sich Kulturen durch immer leistungsfähigere Aufzeichnungstechniken verändert? Und in welchem Spannungsverhältnis befinden sich Oralität und Literalität im elektronischen Zeitalter?
This is the sixth title in a series of titles focussing on the oral literary tradition of various East African ethnic groups - the Maasai, the Embu and the Mbeere amongst others - published by EAEP. Okumba Miruka, particularly known for his contribution to oral literature in Kenya, sets out to contexualise his subject by first explaining about the Luo people and culture - from migratory patterns and economic activity to the concept of divinity, death, warfare and Luo cuisine and eating culture. He then approaches the oral literature of the Luo through the genres of riddles, proverbs, poetry and narratives. For each genre, he offers a general introduction, notes on style, convention, performance and social function, and a wide range of samples, or 'primary texts' with commentaries.
"Yoruba Proverbs is the most comprehensive collection to date of more than five thousand Yoruban proverbs that showcase Yoruba oral tradition. Following Oyekan Owomoyela's introduction, which provides a framework and description of Yoruba cultural beliefs, the proverbs are arranged by theme into five sections: the good person; the fortunate person (or the good life); relationships; human nature; rights and responsibilities; and truisms. Each proverb is presented in Yoruba with a literal English translation, followed by a brief commentary explaining the meaning of the proverb within the oral tradition." "This definitive source book on Yoruba proverbs is the first to give such detailed, systematic classification and analysis alongside a careful assessment of the risks and pitfalls of submitting this genre to the canons of literary analysis."--BOOK JACKET.
Language Arts & Disciplines by B. W. Andrzejewski,S. Pilaszewicz,W. Tyloch
Author: B. W. Andrzejewski,S. Pilaszewicz,W. Tyloch
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Although African literatures in English and French are widely known outside Africa, those in the African languages themselves have not received comparable attention. In this book a number have been selected for survey by fourteen specialist writers, providing the reader with an introduction to this very wide field and a body of reference material which includes extensive bibliographies and biographical information on African authors. Theoretical issues such as genre divisions are discussed in the essays and the historical, social and political forces at work in the creation and reception of African literature are examined. Literature is treated as an art whose medium is language, so that both the oral and written forms are encompassed. This book will be of value not only to readers concerned with the cultures of Africa but to all those with an interest in the literary phenomena of the world in general.
This title explores the diversity of the performing arts in Africa and the diaspora, from studies of major dramatic authors and formal literary dramas to improvisational theatre and popular video films.
Oral poetry is a wide subject that ranges from American 'folk-songs', Eskimo lyrics or popular songs, to the heroic poems of Homer and distinct epic composers in Asia and the Pacific. Unlike previous works, this book takes a broad comparative view and considers oral poetry from Africa, Asia and Oceania as well as Europe and America. Dr Finnegan includes in her argument the results of topical research from all over the world, thus illuminating and suggesting fresh conclusions to many controversies: the nature of 'oral tradition'; possible connections between types of poetry and types of society; the differences between oral and written communication; and the role of poets in non-literate societies.
"... its pages come alive with wonderful illustrative material coupled with sensitve and insightful commentary." —Reviews in Anthropology "... the scope, breadth, and lucidity of this excellent study confirm that Okpewho is undoubtedly the most important authority writing on African oral literature right now... "Â —Research in African Literatures "Truly a tour de force of individual scholarship... "Â —World Literature Today "... excellent... " —African Affairs "... a thorough synthesis of the main issues of oral literature criticism, as well as a grounding in experienced fieldwork, a wide-ranging theoretical base, and a clarity of argument rare among academics."Â —Multicultural Review "This is a breathtakingly ambitious project... "Â —Harold Scheub "... a definitive accounting of the evidence of living oral traditions in Africa today. Professor Okpewho's authority as an expert in this important new field is unrivaled." —Gregory Nagy "Isidore Okpewho's ÂAfrican Oral Literature is a marvelous piece of scholarship and wide-ranging research. It presents the most comprehensive survey of the field of oral literature in Africa." —Emmanuel Obiechina "... a tour de force of scholarship in which Okpewho casts his net across the African continent, searching for its verbal forms through voluminous recent writings and presents African oral literature in a new voice, proclaiming the literariness of African folklore." —Dan Ben-Amos "This is an outstanding book by a scholar whose work has already influenced how African literature should be conceived.... Professor Okpewho is a scholar with a special talent to nurture scholarship in others. After this work, African literature will never be the same."Â —Mazisi Kunene Isidore Okpewho, for many years Professor of English at the University of Ibadan, is one of the handful of African scholars who has facilitated the growth of African oral literature to its status today as a literary enterprise concerned with the artistic foundations of human culture. This comprehensive critical work firmly establishes oral literature as a landmark of high artistic achievement and situates it within the broader framework of contemporary African culture.
Focusing on the ways in which men are produced, represented, and problematized in African literary and other cultural expression, Masculinities in African Literary and Cultural Texts represents a ground-breaking intervention in a field that is largely woman-centered. The book, with its multigenre approach, will serve as a vital and much-needed resource for both scholars and students.
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
There exists a strong tendency within Western literary criticism to either deny the existence of epics in Africa or to see African literatures as exotic copies of European originals. In both cases, Western criticism has largely failed to acknowledge the distinctiveness of African literary aesthetics. This book revises traditional literary canons in examining the social, cultural and emotional specificity of African epics. Mariam Konate Deme highlights the distinguishing features that characterize the African epic, emphasizing the significance of the fantastic and its use as an essential element in the dramatic structure of African epics. As Deme notes, the fantastic can be fully appreciated only against the cosmological background of the societies that produce those heroic tales. This book not only contributes to the scholarship on African oral literature, but also adds reshapes our understanding of heroic literature in general.