Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Multimedia Research and documentation of African Oral Genres

The project Multimedia Research and Documentation of African Oral Genres: Connecting Diasporas and Local Audiences (Director: D.Merolla) focuses on multimedia as technology that allows scholars to share documentation and scientific knowledge with the cultural owners of the collected oral genres.

The project builds on the experience and results of the previous three-year program (see previous project African oral literatures, new media and technologies: challenges for research and documentation). Reassessing the scope of the previous project, a series of conferences and workshops will be organized to discuss and implement two distinct but correlated topics: 

a) the use of electronic tools to reach and to ‘activate’ larger audiences, in particular African diasporas and local publics, and 

b) the theoretical reflection on partnership (scholars, storytellers, technicians, and amateur/activist documentarians) in documentation and research. 

The previous partners have confirmed their participation: Leiden University, the University of Hamburg, the Institut National des Langues et Civilizations Orientales INALCO (Paris), the University of Naples L’Orientale, and the School of African and Oriental Studies SOAS (London). New institutional contacts have been established with African universities and researchers: the Language Centre of the University of Ghana (Accra, Ghana), the School of Languages of Rhodes University (South Africa), and the University of Bamako (Mali). Another valuable addition to the network is the participation of The World Oral Project (director: Dr. M. Turin, Cambridge University GB) that will strengthen the comparative aspects of the academic collaboration. The World Oral Literature Project supports video documentation of orality worldwide with the interactive website www.oralliterature.org

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