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Oral Traditions in Africa

Vak
2022-2023

Admission requirements

No admission requirements

Description

In this course performance theories and methods are used as orienting framework besides concentrating on a selection of cases studies of various traditional and contemporary verbal arts genres performed by different artists, from West (i.e. Mali) up to East Africa (i.e. Tanzania).
More specifically, the course will follow two trajectories: the course focuses on how to analyse the actual delivery of performances in Africa and by African story-tellers or artists in order to understand text as an aesthetic experience for the performer and audience. Secondly, it takes into consideration the oral/aural collections of oral genres (i.e. rap, hip-hop) , their digital renditions and usage nowadays.
Students will have the opportunity to see and work on tape collections and understand the challenges of rehousing, digitizing and editing audio files.

Course objectives

Upon successful completion of the course, students will:
Acquire critical knowledge of a oral traditions’s fluidity and variability ;
Situate oral genres within their cultural and socio-historical context;
Acquire critical knowledge on orality in Africa;
Acquire the DH skills to study audio files.

Timetable

The timetables are avalable through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

Tutorial

Assessment method

Take-home midterm exam 15%
Oral presentation 15%
Final paper 70%

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Weighing

Take-home midterm exam 15%
Oral presentation 15%
Final paper 70%

Resit

There is one opportunity for a re-sit of the entire course (100%).

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

-The following list is indicative. Please consult the syllabus and the course shelf for more detailed information.
Askew, K. 2002. Performing the Nation Swahili Music and Cultural Politics in Tanzania. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.)
Barber, K. (2007). The Anthropology of Texts, Persons and Publics: Oral and Written Culture in Africa and Beyond (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press).
Bascom, W. (1976). “Ọba's Ear: A Yoruba Myth in Cuba and Brazil” in Research in African Literatures, Vol. 7, No. 2 (Autumn, 1976), pp. 149-165
Eickelman, Dale F,Anderson, Jon W (1999). New Media in the Muslim World: The Emerging Public Sphere (Bloomington, IN : Indiana University Press).
Eisenberg, Andrew J. (2017). “The Swahili Art of Indian Taarab: A Poetics of Vocality and Ethnicity on the Kenyan Coast” in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, 2017, Vol.37(2), p.336
Finnegan, R. (1992). Oral Tradition and the Verbal Arts, Routledge: London and New York, 1992, chap. 9 (Texts in process), pp. 186-213.
Honko, L. (2000). Textualization of Oral Epics, Berlin ; New York : Mouton de Gruyter
Merolla, D., J. Jansen, K. Naït-Zerrad (2012). Multimedia research and documentation of oral genres in Africa : the step forward. München [etc.] : Lit Verlag
Raia, A. Texts, Voices and Tapes. 2020. “Mediating Poetry on the Swahili Muslim Coast in the 21st Century”.
Schecher, R & A. Willa (1990). By means of Performance: intercultural studies of theatre and ritual. Cambridge [etc.] : Cambridge University Press

Blackboard
Blackboard will be used to provide information on the syllabus, required readings, power points by the lecturers and other. Blackboard

Registration

Enrolment through My Studymap (Login | Universiteit Leiden) is mandatory.

Contact

  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Reuvensplaats

Remarks

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