Signs of Diaspora Diaspora of Signs: Literacies, Creolization, and Vernacular Practice in African America

Signs of Diaspora Diaspora of Signs: Literacies, Creolization, and Vernacular Practice in African America

by Grey Gundaker
ISBN-10:
0195107691
ISBN-13:
9780195107692
Pub. Date:
05/28/1998
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA

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Overview

Signs of Diaspora Diaspora of Signs: Literacies, Creolization, and Vernacular Practice in African America

Challenging monolithic approaches to culture and literacy, this book looks at the roots of African-American reading and writing from the perspective of vernacular activities and creolization. It shows that African-Americans, while readily mastering the conventions and canons of Euro-America, also drew on knowledge of their own to make an oppositional repertoire of signs and meanings. Distinct from conventional script literacy on the one hand, and oral culture on the other, these "creolized" vernacular practices include writing in charms, use of personal or nondecodable scripts, the strategic renunciation of reading and writing as communicative tools, and writing that is linked to divination, trance, and possession. Based on extensive ethnographic research in the Southeastern United States and the West Indies, Gundaker offers a complex portrait of the intersection of "outsider" conventions with "insider" knowledge and practice.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195107692
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 05/28/1998
Series: Commonwealth Center Studies in American Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile: 1410L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

1Introduction: "Conventional" Literacy and "Vernacular" Practice3
2Creolization, Double Voicing, Double Vision15
3African Scripts, Graphic Practices, and Contexts of Learning and Use33
4Diaspora of Signs: A Transatlantic Network63
5Narratives of Literacy Acquisition and Use95
6Alternative Modes of Participation with Text and Artifacts of Literacy123
7Contrasting and Complementary Scripts and Graphic Signs163
Notes201
References237
Index279

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