Readings in African Popular Culture / Edition 1

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"This is an extraordinarily rich collection full of informative detail and excellent interpretative analysis. There is not a single piece that fails to fascinate... " —Leeds African Studies Bulletin

"... an impressive collection of inspiring and thought-provoking essays." —Media Development

"This is a book that should find its way into many syllabuses and onto the bookshelves of Africanist scholars in many disciplines. Its publication marks a key turning point in scholarlship on the cultures of contemporary Africa." —Africa Today

This book surveys the popular culture of contemporary Africa, including popular literature, oral narrative and poetry, dance, drama, music, and visual art, with special emphasis on the verbal arts. The essays cover six main areas: views of the field; oral tradition revisited; social history, social criticism and interpretation; women in popular culture; "little genres of everyday life"; the local and the global.

Indiana University Press

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
...likely to become the main source book for African culture studies during the next decade... the enormous value of Readings in African Popular Culture in bringing together such a heterogeneous selection of nuanced, well-researched, thought-provoking articles from the emerging field of African Cultural Studies. - David Kerr in AFRICAN THEATRE ... a critical testament of African popular culture. I strongly recommend it to readers and libraries.- Tanure Ojaide in AFRICAN STUDIES REVIEW ... extraordinarily rich collection full of informative detail and excellent interpretative analysis. There is not a single piece that fails to fascinate; my own favourites include Olatunde Bayo Lawuyi on 'The World of the Yoruba Taxi Driver', Achille Mbembe on Cameroonian cartoons, and Alec J.C. Pongweni on 'The Chimurenga Songs of the Zimbabwean War of Revolution'. Broader contextualising essays include Barber's own scholarly Introduction and Johannes Fabian's 1978 essay 'Popular Culture in Africa'. The volume both reprints pieces that have previously been published (mainly in journals) and offers pieces specially commissioned for this publication. The bibliographical information brought together is worth the price of the volume alone.- Martin Banham, Emeritus Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies in the University of Leeds, in LEEDS AFRICAN STUDIES BULLETIN ... (one of) a rich diet of delicious scholarship on contemporary African culture... - Graham Furniss in AFRICAN AFFAIRS Readings in African Popular Culture is an important and welcome contribution to a field where standard textbooks are hard to find... Much in the volume points to the fact that although popular culture studies may still be in its formative stage as a field, it has already over the years, generated work of great insight and mature scholarship. ... an impressive collection of inspiring and thought-provoking essays. - Francis B. Nyamnjoh in MEDIA DEVELOPMENT
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253211408
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1997
  • Series: Readings in African Studies Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Karin Barber is Senior Lecturer at the Centre of West African Studies, the University of Birmingham. She has published extensively on Yorùbá oral literature, religion, and popular culture and worked and traveled with a Yorùbá theatre group in the early 1980s. Barber is author of Yorùbá Dùn ún So: A Beginners Course in Yorùbá (Part I), I Could Speak Until Tomorrow: Oríkì, Women and the Past in a Yorùbá Town, and Yorùbá Popular Theatre: Three Plays by the Oyin Adéjobí Company, and editor (with P. F. de Moraes Farias) of Discourse and Its Disguises: The Interpretation of African Oral Texts and Self-Assertion and Brokerage: Early Cultural Nationalism in West Africa.

Indiana University Press

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Table of Contents

Views of the Field
Introduction by Karin Barber
The World in Creolisation by Ulf Hannerz
Popular Culture in Africa: Findings and Conjectures by Johannes Fabian

Oral Tradition Revisited
Lesotho Migrants’ Songs and the Anthropology of Experience by David Coplan
Mande Oral Popular Culture Revisited by the Electronic Media by Mamadou Diawara
Popular Music and the Construction of Pan-Yoruba Identity by C. A. Waterman

Social History, Social Criticism and Interpretation
Plantation Protest: The History of Mozambican Song by Leroy Vail and Landeg White
The Chimurenga Songs of the Zimbabwean War of Liberation by Alec J. D. Pongweni
South African Theatre: Ideology and Rebellion by Andrew Horn
Popular Writing in Ghana: A Sociology and Rhetoric by Richard Priebe
Popular Reactions to the Petro-Naira by Karin Barber
Painting in Zaire by Bogumil Jewsiewicki
Whose Music? The Songs of Remmy Ongala and Orchestra Super Matimila by Werner Gruebner

Women in Popular Culture
Women and Modern African Popular Fiction by Jane Bryce
Either One or the Other: Images of Women in Nigerian Television by Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi

Women in Cultural Work
The Fate of Kamiriithu People’s Theatre in Kenya by Ngugi wa Thiong’o
Kanga: Popular Cloths with Messages by Elisabeth Linnebuhr

"Little Genres of Everyday Life"
Politics and Urban Folklore in Nigeria by Ropo Sekoni
The "Thing" and Its Doubles in Cameroonian Cartoons by Achille Mbembe
The World of the Yoruba Taxi Driver: An Interpretive Approach to Vehicle Slogans by Olatunde Bayo Lawuyi

The Local and the Global Sophiatown: The View from Afar by Ulf Hannerz
Africa Civilized, Africa Uncivilized: Local Culture, World System and South African Music by Veit Erlmann

Indiana University Press

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