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Multimedia Research and Documentation of Oral Genres in Africa: the Step Forward

Hat tip: Zola Mumford
Multimedia Research and Documentation of Oral Genres in Africa: the Step Forward.

December 17-19, 2009, Leiden University, The Netherlands

The conference theme relates to the issue how to deal with oral genres in a world where new technologies have become available not only for the researchers, but also for the local populations as well as the groups (of local non-academic scholars of local lore) that mediate between academic scholars, the performers and their audiences. Therefore, a systematic analysis of the concept of ‘authorship’ should be made. The study of oral genres shifted from the recording session (and academic publishing process) to the interaction of the participants ­ from the performers to the researchers – in the performance. In particular thanks to the possibilities offered by new technologies the recording has nowadays a social life in dynamic networks in which often not well defined groups of stakeholders either appropriate and represent the recording or want others to bear responsibility for the recording. The classical anthropological goal of ‘giving voice to’ informants thus has become highly problematic. All these groups need to be incorporated when assessing ‘authorship’.

The organizers look for contributions related to these issues produced by the increased presence of multimedia technologies in the process of documenting oral genres in Africa. The organizers aim to publish all papers that meet general academic standards.

Confirmed keynotes: Paulo de Moraes Farias, University of Birmingham (UK), Russell Kashula, Rhodes University (SA)

Abstracts (300 words): deadline August 31, 2009
Conference Papers (20 minutes, 2500 words): deadline November 20, 2009
Essays for publication (max. 8.000 words): deadline 30 March, 2010

There will be about 50 Euro fees for coffee/drinks/lunches (dinners and hotels not included).
Please check updates at:


Jan Jansen, Institute of Cultural Anthropology, Leiden University.
Daniela Merolla, Department of Languages and Cultures of Africa, Leiden University

Address all questions and submissions to Jan Jansen at

This conference is included in the project: African Oral Literatures, New Media, and Technologies: Challenges for Research and Communication ­ an initiative of Leiden University, INALCO (Paris), SOAS (London), University of Hamburg, University of Naples, and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).

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