Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

African Languages and Societies Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

University of Pennsylvania

Discipline
Keyword
Publication Year
Publication
Publication Type

Articles 1 - 30 of 31

Full-Text Articles in African Languages and Societies

The Two Yoḥannǝses Of Santo Stefano Degli Abissini, Rome: Reconstructing Biography And Cross-Cultural Encounter Through Manuscript Evidence, Samantha Kelly, Denis Nosnitsin Jan 2019

The Two Yoḥannǝses Of Santo Stefano Degli Abissini, Rome: Reconstructing Biography And Cross-Cultural Encounter Through Manuscript Evidence, Samantha Kelly, Denis Nosnitsin

Manuscript Studies

The Ethiopian Orthodox monastery of Santo Stefano degli Abissini in Rome was one of four diasporic Ethiopian communities around the Mediterranean and played a central role in disseminating knowledge about Ethiopian language, culture, and religion in sixteenth-century Europe. Yet apart from its most famous member, Täsfa Ṣǝyon, very little is known about the identities and careers of its monks. This article draws on the surviving Geez manuscripts of Santo Stefano’s own library, as well as European correspondence and archival documents, to reconstruct the biographies of two influential denizens of Santo Stefano. Hitherto believed to be a single person, Yoḥannǝs ...


The Global Environmental Novel And The Politics Of Food, Brooke Jamieson Stanley Jan 2018

The Global Environmental Novel And The Politics Of Food, Brooke Jamieson Stanley

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Consumption drives both global capitalism and the lives of literary texts, which may be consumed in two senses: they are purchased and they are read. Most literally, consumption means ingesting food. To consume is also to use environmental resources. In this dissertation, I scrutinize the entanglement of these several modes of consumption. I focus on food systems in an emergent literary genre, the “global environmental novel”: the contemporary novel that illuminates the intertwining of globalization and the environment. Such fictions come from both global South and North. I discuss contemporary authors from South Africa (Zakes Mda and Zoë Wicomb), South ...


Seeing Race And Erasing Slavery: Media And The Construction Of Blackness In Iran, 1830-1960, Beeta Baghoolizadeh Jan 2018

Seeing Race And Erasing Slavery: Media And The Construction Of Blackness In Iran, 1830-1960, Beeta Baghoolizadeh

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

This dissertation explores conceptions of blackness in Iran through a visual, textual, and spatial analysis of enslavement and manumission during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This dissertation asks the critical question: how and why did the abolition of slavery in Iran fail to unravel forms of racial difference, instead making them more powerful and persuasive? Departing from previous studies that cast Iranian slavery and society as unencumbered by racism, I argue that mass media technologies, particularly photography, communicated clear racial hierarchies, crystallizing a particular language of slavery that racialized Africans as slaves even as the legal institution of slavery was ...


Anyone Anywhere: Narrating African Innovation In A Global Community Of Practice, Eleanor Rosalind Marchant Jan 2018

Anyone Anywhere: Narrating African Innovation In A Global Community Of Practice, Eleanor Rosalind Marchant

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

The last eight years have seen rapid growth in the number of technology startups emerging in urban centers around Africa, from Lagos to Nairobi to Bamako. The growth of annual investments in African startups – rising from $12 million to $560 million between 2013 and 2017 (Kazeem, 2018) – is an indication that many, including investors abroad, believe the trend in African involvement in international technology innovation practices is just beginning. Yet while these changes are promising, this dissertation encourages critical reflection on them and asks: To what extent are Africans really able to fully participate in the production of the new ...


Dancehall Diaspora: Roots, Routes & Reggae Music In Ghana, Osei Alleyne Jan 2017

Dancehall Diaspora: Roots, Routes & Reggae Music In Ghana, Osei Alleyne

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

The recent explosion of Ghanaian Reggae Dancehall reflects the longstanding and still growing influence of Jamaican-inspired popular culture in Ghana today. This emerging genre has been nurtured by local Rastafarian communities and championed by youth from the zongos—sprawling internal migrant and largely Islamic unplanned neighborhoods. Suffering similar forms of economic and political alienation from mainstream Ghanaian society, emerging Reggae Dancehall artists from these groups have adopted similar socio cultural and politically rebellious postures as their counterparts in Jamaica—mirroring Jamaican Patois, 'Dread Talk' and Rasta, ‘rudebwoy’ and ‘rudegyal’ identities as counter hegemonic ways of being and knowing in Ghana ...


Ifá Tradicional Nigeriano: The Polemics Of “Re-Yorubized” Spirituality In Cuban Sound, Ruth Meadows Jan 2017

Ifá Tradicional Nigeriano: The Polemics Of “Re-Yorubized” Spirituality In Cuban Sound, Ruth Meadows

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

In Cuba, emergent circulations between Cuba and contemporary Yor�b�land, Nigeria are transforming the landscape of gender, belief, and state religious policy. This project examines this reencounter through the lens of the controversial Yorubization – or re-Yorubization – of the religions of Regla de Ocha, also known as Santeria, and If�. Through an ethnography of affective belonging and emancipatory desire in Havana, Santiago de Cuba, and the provinces of Holgu�n, Ciego de �vila, and Guant�namo, this work examines how “African Traditionalists” mobilize select aspects of the Yor�b� Traditional Religion (YTR) and Yor�b� language of Nigeria in order ...


Empire Unbound - Imperial Citizenship, Race And Diaspora In The Making Of South Africa, Khwezi Mkhize Jan 2015

Empire Unbound - Imperial Citizenship, Race And Diaspora In The Making Of South Africa, Khwezi Mkhize

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

"Empire Unbound" is an exploration of the history and politics of empire and imperial citizenship that went into the making of South Africa before the Second World War. The making of racial difference in South Africa is often located in the temporal and political terrain that is Apartheid (1948-1994). In this dissertation I look to the history of South Africa in the long nineteenth century and recuperate the frameworks of empire and imperial citizenship in making sense of struggles for belonging. Empire, both as a form of government and imaginary, invokes a degree of scale that exceeds the nation-state. It ...


Approaching The Witness: Narratives Of Trauma In Sub-Saharan Francophone African Literature And Film, George Stevens Macleod Jan 2015

Approaching The Witness: Narratives Of Trauma In Sub-Saharan Francophone African Literature And Film, George Stevens Macleod

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Cathy Caruth and Shoshana Felman’s pioneering work in trauma theory provided innovative critical frameworks for reading textual and filmic responses to mass violence. Yet trauma theory is rarely applied to African cultural production, despite the recent explosion of novels, memoir, and film from Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa grappling with civil war and genocide. In close analyses of child soldier novels, Rwandan genocide survivor memoirs, and Francophone African films, this dissertation effects such a theoretical rapprochement while simultaneously probing the limits of trauma theory’s assumptions concerning speech, temporality, and political representation. The first chapter, entitled “Giving Voice to the Icon ...


Urbanization And Demographic Change In Sub-Saharan Africa: Three Essays On Fertility And Child Mortality Differentials In A Rapidly Urbanizing Context, Jamaica Corker Jan 2014

Urbanization And Demographic Change In Sub-Saharan Africa: Three Essays On Fertility And Child Mortality Differentials In A Rapidly Urbanizing Context, Jamaica Corker

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Nearly all demographic research on sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) utilizes a strict urban/rural dichotomy, which implicitly assumes homogenous demographic outcomes within these categories. In this dissertation, I use data from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) to demonstrate that using an urban continuum reveals substantial differences in the demographic outcomes among SSA's growing urban settlements. In the first chapter, I use event-history analysis to examine whether SSA's long-held urban child survival advantage is diminishing, accounting for differentials in city size and potential bias in survival rates due to migration. I find the overall under-5 survival advantage of urban ...


The Making Of A Global Health Crisis: Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis And Global Science In Rural South Africa, Erica Christine Dwyer Jan 2014

The Making Of A Global Health Crisis: Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis And Global Science In Rural South Africa, Erica Christine Dwyer

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

This dissertation is a study of the social, scientific, political and rhetorical origins of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) and the ability of a technical medical term, in concert with local clinical and government responses, to influence global biomedical action. XDR-TB, a form of tuberculosis that is resistant to most anti-tuberculosis drugs, was first creatively named and defined in 2005 in the context of a global laboratory survey documenting increasing tuberculosis drug resistance patterns around the world. In 2006, XDR-TB attracted international attention after a deadly cluster of drug-resistant tuberculosis was discovered in the rural South African town of Tugela Ferry ...


East Africa: Featuring Tanzania And Kenya, Lauris Olson Jan 2013

East Africa: Featuring Tanzania And Kenya, Lauris Olson

Alumni Travel Reading Lists

Suggested readings for the Penn Alumni travel trip to East Africa. See the Library Guide for this bibliography here.


Moroccan Discoveries: From The Imperial Cities To The Sahara, David Giovacchini Jan 2013

Moroccan Discoveries: From The Imperial Cities To The Sahara, David Giovacchini

Alumni Travel Reading Lists

Suggested readings for the Penn Alumni Travel trip to Morocco. See the Library Guide for this bibliography here.


Essays On Family Structure And Marriage In Sub-Saharan Africa, Sophia Chae Jan 2013

Essays On Family Structure And Marriage In Sub-Saharan Africa, Sophia Chae

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

The three essays in this dissertation examine issues related to family structure and marriage in Sub-Saharan Africa. The first two essays explore how family structures influence children's outcomes. The third essay focuses on the data quality of marriage histories collected in a longitudinal survey. The first essay examines whether the timing and type of orphanhood is associated with early sexual debut and early marriage among 12-19-year-old adolescents in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Malawi, and Uganda. I also test whether education mediates orphans' risk of early sexual initiation and early marriage. Discrete-time event history models suggest that female double orphans, regardless ...


A Tale Of Two Economic Developments: Tunisia And Morocco, Steven J. Friedman Apr 2010

A Tale Of Two Economic Developments: Tunisia And Morocco, Steven J. Friedman

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

Morocco and Tunisia have both achieved robust economic growth over the last 30 years by utilizing prudent economic planning and implementation. The World Bank heralds both countries as prime examples of how market-friendly capitalist systems can be implemented over a short period of time with aggressive goals and benefits for many.

The economic policies of Morocco and Tunisia have transformed both from economically challenged debt-burdened nations into technologically advanced, diversified and thriving middle-class nations. From 1962 to the Present Day, Morocco has averaged a GDP growth rate of 5.8% and Tunisia one of 5.1%. To put that in ...


Civilizing Women: British Crusades In Colonial Sudan, Heather J. Sharkey Jul 2008

Civilizing Women: British Crusades In Colonial Sudan, Heather J. Sharkey

Departmental Papers (NELC)

No abstract provided.


A Different Shade Of Colonialism: Egypt, Great Britain, And The Mastery Of The Sudan [Review], Heather J. Sharkey Jan 2003

A Different Shade Of Colonialism: Egypt, Great Britain, And The Mastery Of The Sudan [Review], Heather J. Sharkey

Departmental Papers (NELC)

In A Different Shade of Colonialism, Eve M. Troutt Powell examines Egypt's ambiguous relationship with the Sudan in the period from approximately 1800 to the late 1920s. She suggests that this relationship was complicated by Egypt's position as a "colonized colonizer" - that is, as an imperial power in the Nile Valley which itself became vulnerable first to French and later to British colonialism. Powell focuses on Sudan- or Sudanese-related commentaries by key Egyptian thinkers, including travelers, journalists, and others, many of whom (such as Rifa'a Rafi' al-Tahtawi, Mustafa Kamil, and Huda Sha'rawi) played prominent roles in ...


The Narrator As An Editor, Dan Ben-Amos Jan 2000

The Narrator As An Editor, Dan Ben-Amos

Departmental Papers (NELC)

In 1970, when Ruth Finnegan published her ground-breaking book Oral Literature in Africa, she devoted extensive chapters to prose narratives, proverbs, riddles, and praise poetry. She did not neglect forms in African folklore that at the time were barely studied, such as children's songs and rhymes, But to the epic she allocated in her massive book of over 550 pages only two-and-a-half pages that she set aside at the conclusion of her chapter on "Poetry and Patronage" under the title "A Note on 'Epic'" (Finnegan 1970: 108-10). Probably having in mind the works of the Chadwicks and Bowra, she ...


Review Of Heather Millar, The Kingdom Of Benin In West Africa, Dan Ben-Amos Jan 1997

Review Of Heather Millar, The Kingdom Of Benin In West Africa, Dan Ben-Amos

Departmental Papers (NELC)

Clio smiles, then weeps. A hundred years after its destruction, the empire of Benin enters the hall of fame of civilizations. Standing alongside old standards like Greece and Rome that have constituted the canon at least since the Renaissance, and next to some newcomers like the ancient Maya, the Aztec empire, China's Tang Dynasty, and India's Gupta Dynasty that have been ushered in by the spirit of multiculturalism, Benin—so far the sole representative of the African continent in the series "Cultures of the Past"— takes its position on the educational shelf that could shape the historical consciousness ...


Review Of Norbert Ndong, Kamerunishce Märchen. Text Und Kontext In Ethnosoziologischer Und Psychologischer Sicht, Dan Ben-Amos Jan 1986

Review Of Norbert Ndong, Kamerunishce Märchen. Text Und Kontext In Ethnosoziologischer Und Psychologischer Sicht, Dan Ben-Amos

Departmental Papers (NELC)

African folklore has come of age. No longer apologetic, it assumes its position among the literatures of the nations without any pleading for its literary value, nor with any defensive rhetorics to ward off unwarrented interpretations. Native scholars are taking charge of their own literatures with a commanding authority that combines profound knowledge of their own tradition with the breadth and depth of folklore scholarship. In doing so they are setting new scholarly standards that advance our research methods from a phase of participant-observation to a new level of indigenous scholarship, leaving behind the sisyphean task of interpreting traditional texts ...


Review Of Joseph C. Miller, The African Past Speaks: Essays On Oral Tradition And History, Dan Ben-Amos May 1981

Review Of Joseph C. Miller, The African Past Speaks: Essays On Oral Tradition And History, Dan Ben-Amos

Departmental Papers (NELC)

The African past certainly speaks, but in what language? Is it the language of testimonies and accounts, or is it the language of metaphors, of symbols, and of structures? And once identified, what and whose code will decipher the message and unveil the secrets oral tradition both reveals and conceals? Ten scholars—all historians, Vansina vintage—join in this volume to answer these and related questions, and to counter the critique anthropologists mounted against their mentor's historical method. The eleventh contributor is Vansina himself, who has the last word.


Review Of Mabel H. Ross And Barbara K. Walker, "On Another Day..." Tales Told Among The Nkundo Of Zaire, Dan Ben-Amos Aug 1980

Review Of Mabel H. Ross And Barbara K. Walker, "On Another Day..." Tales Told Among The Nkundo Of Zaire, Dan Ben-Amos

Departmental Papers (NELC)

From the end of 1972 until the middle of 1974, Mrs. Mabel H. Ross, a missionary, traveled in Central Zaire among the Nkundo people, recording their oral narratives. The present volume includes the English translation of these tales, supplemented by two texts translated from the Flemish and one from Lonkundo that appeared in A. de Rop, De gesproken woordkunst van de Nkundo (Tervuren: Museé Royale du Congo Belge, 1956) and in G. Hulstaert and A. de Rop (eds.), Rechtspraakfabels van de Nkundo (Tervuren: La Commission de Linguistique Africaine, 1954), and by eighteen texts translated from Lonkundo that were first published ...


Review Of Isidore Okpewho, The Epic In Africa: Toward A Poetics Of The Oral Performance, Dan Ben-Amos Jan 1980

Review Of Isidore Okpewho, The Epic In Africa: Toward A Poetics Of The Oral Performance, Dan Ben-Amos

Departmental Papers (NELC)

When Ruth Finnegan published her book Oral Literature in Africa (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1970), out of five hundred and fifty-eight pages she devoted only two and half pages to the epic, and even these were negative. "All in all," she wrote, "epic poetry does not seem to be a typical African form. . . .Certain elements of epic also come into many other forms of poetry and prose. But in general terms and apart from Islamic influences, epic seems to be of remarkably little significance in African oral literature, and the a priori assumption that epic is the natural form for ...


Review Of Loreto Todd, Some Day Been Dey: West African Pidgin Folktales, Dan Ben-Amos Jan 1980

Review Of Loreto Todd, Some Day Been Dey: West African Pidgin Folktales, Dan Ben-Amos

Departmental Papers (NELC)

Neither the general bibliography on African oral literature by Harold Scheub, African Oral Narratives, Proverbs, Riddles, Poetry, and Song (Boston: G. K. Hall & Co., 1977), nor the more specific bibliography by Virginia and Mark Delancety, A Bibliography of Cameroon Folklore, an Occasional Publication of the Literature Committee of the African Studies Association (Waltham, Mass.: African Studies Association, 1972) list any collection of Pidgin narratives anywhere from Africa, let alone the Cameroon. Hence the significance of the present collection of tales. Yet its import extends beyond the sheer textual documentation of narrative in a language, the use of which, it has ...


The Modern Local Historian In Africa, Dan Ben-Amos Jan 1978

The Modern Local Historian In Africa, Dan Ben-Amos

Departmental Papers (NELC)

The introduction of literacy into African societies has added writing and printing as dimensions to the communication of historical knowledge. A by-product of this development is the availability of new information sources for historical-folkloristic research, namely, the works of local historians. In most cases these appear in thin pamphlets, published by local printers, and circulate among a local educated public; occasionally, their reading audience extends beyond the boundaries of the original indigenous community and reaches university historians, who treat these publications as if they were primary sources for historical reconstruction. They are thought to reflect the common view of the ...


Musical Instruments From Benin, Dan Ben-Amos Jan 1971

Musical Instruments From Benin, Dan Ben-Amos

Departmental Papers (NELC)

No abstract provided.


Review Of Phillip D. Curtin, Africa Remembered: Narratives By West Africans From The Era Of Slave Trade, Dan Ben-Amos Jul 1970

Review Of Phillip D. Curtin, Africa Remembered: Narratives By West Africans From The Era Of Slave Trade, Dan Ben-Amos

Departmental Papers (NELC)

It has long been evident that folklore research in literate societies cannot rely exclusively on oral tradition but must incorporate data found in written sources as well. Now, indirectly, Phillip Curtin illustrates the applicability of the same methodological principle to folklorisitc investigation in traditionally nonliterate societies.


Review Of Victor Turner, The Forest Of Symbols: Aspects Of Ndembu Ritual, Dan Ben-Amos Apr 1970

Review Of Victor Turner, The Forest Of Symbols: Aspects Of Ndembu Ritual, Dan Ben-Amos

Departmental Papers (NELC)

The ten essays that comprise this volume deal with the ritual symbols of the Ndembu people of Zambia, south-central Africa. All except one were previously published within the last ten years. Most of them excel in analytical rigor, detailed ethnographic description, and provide stimulating theoretical suggestions. Now that these essays have been assembled in a single volume, Victor Turner's approach emerges as a fruitful research method. It could well be one of the most significant contributions any anthropologist has made to folklore studies in the past decade.


Review Of Ruth Finnegan, Limba Stories And Story-Telling, Dan Ben-Amos Jan 1969

Review Of Ruth Finnegan, Limba Stories And Story-Telling, Dan Ben-Amos

Departmental Papers (NELC)

Until recently, it was still possible for Godfrey Lienhardt, one of the general editors of The Oxford Library of African Literature, to comment that there was no good and convincing account of adults sitting together in an African village, telling stories for entertainment. (The New African, 1966: 124.) At long last, here is a book which provides exactly that: a convincing description of adult African villagers telling stories to each other as recently as our own decade. The tales they exchange are not a negligible part of their culture, a degenerated, barely remembered tradition. On the contrary, among the Limba ...


Review Of John S. Mbiti, Akamba Stories, Dan Ben-Amos Jan 1969

Review Of John S. Mbiti, Akamba Stories, Dan Ben-Amos

Departmental Papers (NELC)

It is possible to distinguish three groups of writers on African folklore: first, amateurs, like missionaries, government officials, and African traditiophiles; second, non-African professional scholars, mainly anthropologists and linguists, and, third, their African colleagues. The main difference between these last two groups is that the Africans automatically have the inside view of their culture. They know the answers even before posing the research questions. At the same time, like their fellow anthropologists and linguists, they are equipped with the analytical concepts and methods which enable them to discuss and present this knowledge in a systematic form. Their works are potential ...


Review Of H.A.S. Johnston, A Selection Of Hausa Stories, Dan Ben-Amos Jan 1969

Review Of H.A.S. Johnston, A Selection Of Hausa Stories, Dan Ben-Amos

Departmental Papers (NELC)

Folklorists should have special interest in this volume. The Hausa people comprise one of the largest tribes in West Africa, located in present day Northern Nigeria and the adjoining parts of the Republic of Niger. Their contact with the Islamic tradition, their pursuit of trade and travel and the wide currency of their language, a true lingua franca around Hausaland, are all factors which contribute to the special significance of Hausa oral tradition. It blends indigenous African elements with Islamic themes, and serves as a meeting point for narratives of several West African tribes.