Overview Faculty Recent Courses The Department of English at the University of Chicago has a tradition of pursuing innovative work that is both historically and theoretically informed. The faculty and graduate students in the program in American literatures and cultures address a variety of literary traditions and cultural practices such as the visual arts, religion, politics, and law from national and transnational perspectives. We have strength in all historical periods.
See Article History African literature, the body of traditional oral and written literatures in Afro-Asiatic and African languages together with works written by Africans in European languages. Traditional written literature, which is limited to a smaller geographic area than is oral literatureis most characteristic of those sub-Saharan cultures that have participated in the cultures of the Mediterranean.
In particular, there are written literatures in both Hausa and Arabic, created by the scholars of what is now northern Nigeriaand the Somali people have produced a traditional written literature.
Works written in European languages date primarily from the 20th century onward. The literature of South Africa in English and Afrikaans is also covered in a separate article, South African literature. See also African theatre. The relationship between oral and written traditions and in particular between oral and modern written literatures is one of great complexity and not a matter of simple evolution.
Modern African literatures were born in the educational systems imposed by colonialism, with models drawn from Europe rather than existing African traditions.
But the African oral traditions exerted their own influence on these literatures. Oral traditions The nature of storytelling The storyteller speaks, time collapses, and the members of the audience are in the presence of history. It is a time of masks.
Reality, the present, is here, but with explosive emotional images giving it a context.
And history, always more than an academic subject, becomes for the audience a collapsing of time. During a performance, these envelop contemporary images—the most unstable parts of the oral traditionbecause they are by their nature always in a state of flux—and thereby visit the past on the present.
It is the task of the storyteller to forge the fantasy images of the past into masks of the realistic images of the present, enabling the performer to pitch the present to the past, to visualize the present within a context of—and therefore in terms of—the past.
Flowing through this potent emotional grid is a variety of ideas that have the look of antiquity and ancestral sanction. Story occurs under the mesmerizing influence of performance—the body of the performer, the music of her voice, the complex relationship between her and her audience.
It is a world unto itself, whole, with its own set of laws. Images that are unlike are juxtaposedand then the storyteller reveals—to the delight and instruction of the members of the audience—the linkages between them that render them homologous. In this way the past and the present are blended; ideas are thereby generated, forming a conception of the present.
Performance gives the images their context and ensures the audience a ritual experience that bridges past and present and shapes contemporary life. Storytelling is alive, ever in transition, never hardened in time. Stories are not meant to be temporally frozen; they are always responding to contemporary realities, but in a timeless fashion.
Storytelling is therefore not a memorized art. The necessity for this continual transformation of the story has to do with the regular fusing of fantasy and images of the real, contemporary world.
The artist makes the linkages, the storyteller forges the bonds, tying past and present, joining humans to their gods, to their leaders, to their families, to those they love, to their deepest fears and hopes, and to the essential core of their societies and beliefs.
The language of storytelling includes, on the one hand, image, the patterning of image, and the manipulation of the body and voice of the storyteller and, on the other, the memory and present state of the audience. A storytelling performance involves memory: It is the rhythm of storytelling that welds these disparate experiences, yearnings, and thoughts into the images of the story.
And the images are known, familiar to the audience. That familiarity is a crucial part of storytelling.The continent of Africa is composed of 54 different nations with a rich literary history.
Make sure you understand how literature developed in. African literature: African literature, the body of traditional oral and written literatures in Afro-Asiatic and African languages together with works written by Africans in European languages.
Traditional written literature, which is limited to a smaller geographic area than is oral literature, is most characteristic.
African literature, the body of traditional oral and written literatures in Afro-Asiatic and African languages together with works written by Africans in European languages.
Traditional written literature, which is limited to a smaller geographic area than is oral literature, is most characteristic. African-American culture, also known as Black American culture, refers to the contributions of African Americans to the culture of the United States, either as part .
The continent of Africa is composed of 54 different nations with a rich literary history. Make sure you understand how literature developed in.
African Literature and Culture: African writers’ representation of male-female relationships Analyzing male-female relationships in African literature enables a better understanding of how African writers view the gender roles including the application of religious aspects, marriage and identity, midwives and slave women, nationalism, and migration.