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Periodical issue Periodical issue Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Oral literature and identity formation in Africa and the diaspora
Editors:Okpewho, IsidoreISNI
Aiyejina, FunsoISNI
Periodical:Research in African Literatures (ISSN 0034-5210)
Geographic terms:Africa
United States
Subjects:oral literature
oral traditions
culture contact
conference papers (form)
About person:Jacob Delworth Elder (1914-2003)ISNI
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/research_in_african_literatures/toc/ral.40.1.html
Abstract:The 6th conference of the International Society for Oral Literature in Africa (ISOLA) (July 2006) examined ways in which individuals and communities identify themselves both within their local and national settings. The proceedings open with a review of the career of the late Dr Jacob Delworth Elder, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, the conference venue. Elder devoted much of his scholarly career to exploring the roots of aspects of Caribbean culture in Africa (Maureen Warner-Lewis). The next 7 papers explore notions of identity formation and negotiation in various parts of Africa: an oral philosophy of personhood (Kwasi Wiredu), oral traditions and women's contestation of their marginalization within structures of male power and prejudice among the Samburu of Kenya (Mumia G. Osaaji), the Asante of Ghana (Beverly J. Stoeltje), Hausa communities in Niger (Antoinette Tidjani Alou) and Maninka-speaking peoples in Mali and Guinea (Tal Tamari), the case history of a lineage in West Africa whose identity and kinship entail ritualizing the kidnapping of a young girl sold into slavery in the early 19th century (Claudius Fergus) and the limits of British power in light of cultural and linguistic ambiguity in colonial Igbo society, as enacted in 'Icheoku', a popular Nigerian television drama of the 1980s (Chiji Akoma). The following 5 papers move from Africa to the African diaspora in the United States and the Caribbean. Joseph McLaren discusses literary uses of the vernacular (creole, patois, pidgin, and Ebonics or Black English in the US) and the dilemma of identity implicit in the social denial of the value of these languages; John Roberts deals with African American belief narratives and the African cultural tradition; Funso Aiyejina, Rawle Gibbons and Baba Sam Phills highlight the varied outloook of Yoruba songs current in Trinidad; Michael Toussaint explores the underlying African spirituality in Trinidadian calypso; and Adetayo Alabi looks at the connections between Africa and the African diaspora in Isidore Okpewho's novel 'Call Me by My Rightful Name'. Finally, Lee Haring proposes the need for a 'grammar' which takes account of narratives whereby the folk in postcolonial societies offer the world a portrait of themselves that has tended to be compromised by the superior gaze of a more powerful Other. [ASC Leiden abstract]