2009 • $28.00 • 264 pp • paper
Oral and Written Expressions of African Cultures challenges the traditional view of exotic and atavistic Africa with a balanced examination of the continent's realities and challenges. It shows how oral and written expressions capture the complexity, concerns, dynamism, challenges and ingenuity of African masses.
It brings together thirteen scholars from different academic backgrounds who draw from the rich repertoire of music, poetry, literature and the media in the continent to unearth the underlying socio-cultural, economic and political factors that shape African societies in the twenty first century. These scholars discuss issues ranging from political manipulations of popular music in Kenya and Argentina, the role of print media in the democratization process in Nigeria, motivations of "vulgar poetry" in South Africa, contemporary gender issues in the Islamic Republic of Sudan, the perseverance of aspects of African cultures in Puerto Rico, misrepresentations of Africa in Rene Maran's Batouala, the function of "lowbrow fiction" in Apartheid South Africa, female African authors' techniques to counter male dominance, to HIV/AID and the cultural taboos associated with the disease in southern Africa, among others.