European University Institute Library

Power, marginality and African oral literature, edited by Graham Furniss and Liz Gunner

African oral literature, like other forms of popular culture, is not merely folksy, domestic entertainment but a domain in which individuals in a variety of social roles are free to comment on power relations in society. It can also be a significant agent of change capable of directing, provoking, preventing, overturning and recasting social reality. This collection examines the way in which oral texts both reflect and affect contemporary social and political life in Africa. It addresses questions of power, gender, the dynamics of language use, the representation of social structures and the relation between culture and the state. The contributors are linguists, anthropologists, folklorists, ethnomusicologists and historians, who present fresh material and ideas to paint a lively picture of current real-life situations. The book is an important contribution to the study of African culture and literature, and to the anthropological study of oral literature in particular.--, Provided by publisher
Table Of Contents
1. Introduction: power, marginality and oral literature / Graham Furniss and Liz Gunner -- 2. Oral art and contemporary cultural nationalism / Penina Mlama -- 3. The letter and the law: the politics of orality and literacy in the chiefdoms of the northern Transvaal / Isabel Hofmeyr -- 4. A king is not above insult: the politics of good governance in Nzema avudwene festival songs / Kofi Agovi -- 5. Igbo enwe eze: monarchical power versus democratic values in Igbo oral narratives / Chukwuma Azuonye -- 6. Tales and ideology: the revolt of sons in Bambara-Malinke tales / Veronika Gorog-Karady -- 7. Images of the powerful in Lyela folktales / Sabine Steinbrich -- 8. Power, marginality and Somali oral poetry: case studies in the dynamics of tradition / John William Johnson -- 9. The function of oral art in the regulation of social power in Dyula society / Jean Derive -- 10. The power of words and the relation between Hausa genres / Graham Furniss
Literary Form
non fiction
Physical Description
1 online resource (xiv, 285 pages), digital, PDF file(s).
Specific Material Designation
Form Of Item

Library Locations

  • Badia Fiesolana

    Via dei Roccettini 9, San Domenico di Fiesole, 50014, IT