CFP: [Postcolonial] The Journal of African Literature (Oral Traditions)

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our 2009 project is an important contribution toward integrating the oral
traditions of African writing within some contemporary expressions of new
African writings. This study in oral traditions is borne from the
awareness that African verbal arts still survive in works of discerning
writers, and in the conscious exploration of its tropes, perspectives,
philosophy and consciousness, its complementary realism, and ontology,
for the delineation of authentic African response to memory, history and
all possible confrontations with modern existence such as witnessed in
recent analysis of the African novel using multi-faceted theories of
orality which discuss and deconstruct notions of history, truth-claim,
identity-making, genealogy (cultural and biological), and gendered
ideologies. The critical explorations of J. E. Chamberlin’s If This is
Your Land Where Are Your Stories?-Finding Common Ground or Come Back to
me My Language: Poetry of the West Indies, Abiola Irele’s Orality,
Literacy, and African Literature, Draper’s Orality, Literacy, and
Colonialism in Southern Africa, Kolawole’s ‘Women's Oral Genres’, Arndt’s
African Women's Literature, Orature, and Intertextuality and Arnold
Scheub’s many works on orality, etc., are footnotes to this study.
Scholars are however encouraged to come up with further innovative and
multilayered perspectives on orality and its manifestations on
contemporary African literature.
We will therefore explore the literary permutations of oral traditions in
the works of some African writers of substantial critical merit as can be
seen, for example, in the emerging narrative chronologies of Sefi Attah’s
Everything Good Will Come, the mystical ancestral universe and
multidimensional characterisation in Chin Ce’s The Visitor, the
exploration of dimensionality, history, epistemology and ontology in Mia
Couto's stories and novels such as Under the Frangipani, Every Man is a
Race and The Last Flight of the Flamingo, the recreation of folklore and
tradition in Ben Okri’s Astonishing the Gods and The Famished Road, Laila
Lalami’s (Morroco) Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits and Zee Edgell’s
(Belize) Time and The River, the oral awakening of narrative
consciousness in Helon Habila’s Measuring Time, the link between poetry,
imagination, story-telling and the rewriting of history from a woman
centred perspective in Mozambican (Lusophone) Paulina Chiziane’s Balada
de amor ao vento, Niketche, uma história de poligamia, etc., the
remembering and rewriting of the past through discussion of
African/Angolan heroes, myths, and cultural mestiçagem in the works of
Angolan writers such as Pepetela Ngunga's Adventures: A Story of Angola
and The Return of the Water Spirit, Yaka, etc, and José Eduardo
Agualusa’s The Book of Chameleons and Creole. The works of South African
novelists such Zake Mda’s Ways of Dying and Zoe Wicombe’s David’s Story
are equally welcome points of study when investigating African orality,
Afro-centred epistemologies, mythology and cultures in the context of
contemporary post-apartheid South Africa, not to exclude the works of
Ousmane Sembene and Alain Mabanckou, two very different writers coming
out of the Francophone context.
As an imperative condition, papers for our 2009 theme on "Oral
Traditions" in African Writing should compare two or more works which
must be inclusive of diaspora writers and their homeland counterparts.
Full CFP text can be accessed at the website of Africa Research

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Received on Wed Sep 17 2008 - 17:20:14 EDT