This is one of the documents submitted for the author's habilitation qualification (Habilitation à diriger des recherches) in the field of humanities, which took place 29th June 2006 at the University of Paris X-Nanterre. He traces out his research career, beginning with fieldwork undertaken in Tuareg country from 1976 to 1990. He sets out to show how he increasingly came to view anthropology as a historical science, whose concepts, intimately linked with the scriptural context in which they arise, can not be transposed without distortion or isolated without simplification. This means that anthropologists, like other social science practitioners, can only work at a fairly low level of abstraction. The author's current research, which is then described, consists first of all in the development of a general perspective on oral literature in connection with the process of writing. Within this framework, by means of a critical analysis of Milman Parry and Albert Lord, he considers the issue of Homeric authorship. He is also anxious to show how the themes of courtly poetry - whether it be of Tuareg, Arabian or Occitan origin - are closely connected to its conditions of production and reception. The author has also been concerned with first contacts between the Tuareg and the French. ; Le texte déposé ici est l'un des documents soumis en vue d'une Habilitation à diriger des recherches en lettres et sciences humaines, soutenue à l'Université Paris X-Nanterre le 29 juin 2006. Ce texte de synthèse retrace, comme c'est l'usage, la carrière du chercheur depuis ses enquêtes en pays touareg de 1976 à 1990. Avant d'aborder les recherches en cours, l'auteur fournit un résumé de ses deux principaux ouvrages, La tente dans la solitude. La société et les morts chez les Touaregs Kel-Ferwan (Paris/Cambridge, Maison des sciences de l'homme/Cambridge University Press, 1987) et Gens de parole. Langage, poésie et politique en pays touareg (Paris, La Découverte, 2000). Il entend marquer comment s'est imposé à lui, avec de plus en plus de force au cours des années, le fait que l'anthropologie doit être considérée comme une science historique : les concepts qu'elle utilise restent indexés sur le contexte d'écriture où ils sont apparus, et ne peuvent être transposés sans trahison ni isolés sans simplification. Ce qui suppose que l'anthropologue, tout comme les autres praticiens des sciences sociales, ne peut travailler qu'à un niveau d'abstraction assez bas. Les recherches en cours, que le texte aborde ensuite, consistent tout d'abord en une réflexion générale sur la littérature orale, dans ses rapports avec l'écriture. Dans ce cadre l'auteur a notamment abordé la question homérique, à travers une analyse critique des thèses de Milman Parry et Albert Lord. Il s'est aussi attaché à montrer comment les thèmes de la poésie courtoise - qu'elle soit touarègue, arabe ou occitane - sont liés aux conditions de sa production et de sa réception. Ces recherches ont par la suite fourni la matière d'un livre paru en 2012 à CNRS Éditions : L'aède et le troubadour. Essai sur la tradition orale (voir http://www.academia.edu/1500254/Laede_et_le_troubadour._Essai_sur_la_tradition_orale). Les recherches de l'auteur consistent par ailleurs en une réflexion sur l'histoire des premiers contacts entre Touaregs et Français. Cette réflexion a conduit l'auteur à retracer le parcours biographique de l'explorateur Henri Duveyrier (1840-1892), et de Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916). Les autres documents soumis en vue de cette habilitation étaient un recueil d'articles, dont certains, consacrés au parcours de Charles de Foucauld, ont fourni la matière à une biographie parue en 2009: Charles de Foucauld, moine et savant (voir http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00426237/fr/). À quoi s'ajoutait une biographie d'Henri Duveyrier parue en 2007 aux éditions Ibis Press sous le titre: "Henri Duveyrier. Un saint-simonien au désert".
Bibliography: pages 242-266. ; The general aims of this dissertation are: to study a form of literature traditionally disregarded by a text-bound academy; to argue that form is an important element in ideological analyses of the poetry under discussion; and, on the basis of this second aim, to argue for a comparative, rigorously critical approach to the poetry of Mzwakhe Mbuli. Previous evaluations of Mbuli's poetry are characterised by acclaim which, the author contends, is only possible because of under-researched criticism, representing a general trend in South African literary culture. Compared to Linton Kwesi Johnson's work, for instance, Mbuli's poetry does not emerge as the innovative and progressive art - in both content and form - it is claimed to be. Mbuli and his critics are thus read as a case study of a general trend. Johnson and Mbuli mainly perform their poetry with musical accompaniment and distribute it as sound-recording. This study's approach then differs from the approaches of general oral literature studies because influential writers on oral literature - specifically Walter J. Ong, Ruth Finnegan and Paul Zumthor - do not address the genre under investigation here. Nevertheless, their writings are explored in order to show why particularly Ong and Finnegan's approaches are inadequate. The author argues that using the orality of the poetry as an organising, theoretical principle is insufficient for the task at hand. On cue from Zumthor, this study suggests an approach through Cultural Studies and conceives of the subject matter as popular culture.
This is a study in oral poetic composition. It examines how oral poets compose their recitations. Specifically, it is a study of the recitations of 17 separate master poets from the Island of Rote recorded over a period of 50 years. Each of these poets offers his version of what is culturally considered to be the 'same' ritual chant. These compositions are examined in detail and their oral formulae are carefully compared to one another. Professor James J. Fox is an anthropologist who carried out his doctoral field research on the Island of Rote in eastern Indonesia in 1965–66. In 1965, he began recording the oral traditions of the island and developed a close association with numerous oral poets on the island. After many subsequent visits, in 2006, he began a nine-year project that brought groups of oral poets to Bali for week-long recording sessions. Recitations gathered over a period of 50 years are the basis for this book.
This is a study in oral poetic composition. It examines how oral poets compose their recitations. Specifically, it is a study of the recitations of 17 separate master poets from the Island of Rote recorded over a period of 50 years. Each of these poets offers his version of what is culturally considered to be the ‘same’ ritual chant. These compositions are examined in detail and their oral formulae are carefully compared to one another. Professor James J. Fox is an anthropologist who carried out his doctoral field research on the Island of Rote in eastern Indonesia in 1965–66. In 1965, he began recording the oral traditions of the island and developed a close association with numerous oral poets on the island. After many subsequent visits, in 2006, he began a nine-year project that brought groups of oral poets to Bali for week-long recording sessions. Recitations gathered over a period of 50 years are the basis for this book.
Oral literature plays a very important role in Somali culture and has done so for thousands of years. The Somali language is spoken in Somalia, Djibouti, the Somali regions of Ethiopia, and the northeastern region of Kenya. Before 1972 there was no written script; since then, the writing of the Somali orthography has not had much effect on the composition and dissemination of oral poetry. The majority of the Somalis, largely nomadic pastoralists, still remain illiterate. Even a literate populace has little relevance, however, since learned poets such as Hadrawi, considered the best male poet of the present generation, continue to transmit and publicize their poetry orally. Through their performances before live audiences or through their recordings of poetry on cassette or videotape, the oral dissemination process continues unabated. Somali literature is therefore still predominantly oral: it is orally composed, memorized, and recited. One cannot adequately summarize here the function of oral literature or poetry in the society, because it affects the daily lives of most Somalis wherever they are. Poetry, proverbs, riddles, and other genres are used as acts of communication and as a form of education (elders to the young). They play a significant role in traditional courts and in tribal and political affairs. In times of conflict, poets adopt the position of journalists, spokespersons, and politicians rolled into one. Poets from different sides of the conflict exchange poetry that is performed at assemblies and traditional courts. These poetic compositions are also passed to different settlements and communities by word of mouth through the professional memorizers and reciters. Proverbs are used in everyday verbal exchanges in both rural and urban societies. Riddles are more commonly used by nomads, who continue to test each other’s knowledge and intelligence by presenting complicated oral puzzles to one another. Last but not least, other forms of 186 ZAINAB MOHAMED JAMA oral literature are performed or listened to purely for entertainment. In this paper women’s poetry will be examined. Somali classical poetry—the type of poetry best suited to address issues of serious interest—
Ruth Finnegan’s Oral Literature in Africa was first published in 1970, and since then has been widely praised as one of the most important books in its field. Based on years of fieldwork, the study traces the history of storytelling across the continent of Africa.This revised edition makes Finnegan’s ground-breaking research available to the next generation of scholars. It includes a new introduction, additional images and an updated bibliography, as well as its original chapters on poetry, prose, "drum language" and drama, and an overview of the social, linguistic and historical background of oral literature in Africa. Oral Literature in Africa has been accessed by hundreds of readers in over 60 different countries, including Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and numerous other African countries.
This collection of eighteen papers explores issues in the study of semantic parallelism — a world-wide tradition in the composition of oral poetry. It is concerned with both comparative issues and the intensive study of a single living poetic tradition of composition in strict canonical parallelism. The papers in the volume were written at intervals from 1971 to 2014 — a period of over forty years. They are a summation of a career-long research effort that continues to take shape. The concluding essay reflects on possible directions for future research.