Response from an Africanist scholar

Finnegan, Ruth (2010). Response from an Africanist scholar. Oral Tradition, 25(1) pp. 7–16.



Coming from a background of comparative work on orality and literacy but a non-specialist on the scriptures of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, I was struck by how the conference themes paralleled developments in oral literary studies in Africa. These included the move away from generalized assertion to more focused insights into multiple historical and culturally specific diversities; a more nuanced, culturally aware, and critical approach to the concept of “the oral”; the fading influence of speculative teleological models; the historically specific epistemologies of oral and written as part of the subject matter; and the concepts of multi-literacies and multi-oralities.

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