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Daniela Merolla
Mark Turin

Notes on Contributors

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1 Brahima Camara is Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Languages and Linguistics (FLSL, Faculté des Lettres, des Langues et des Sciences du Langage) at the Université des Lettres et des Sciences Humaines de Bamako (ULSHB), Mali. He obtained a Ph. D. from the University of Bayreuth in 1998 with a study on Mande hunters’ literature. Brahima also researches the tirailleurs and, more recently, the African riflemen who served in the French army. Email:

2 Graeme Counsel is a Lecturer in ethnomusicology for the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music at the University of Melbourne. His recent projects in West Africa include three Endangered Archives Programme awards for which he digitized and preserved the national sound archives of Guinea. Over 7,000 songs from the collection are available online at the British Library Sounds website. Email:

3 Kofi Dorvlo is Senior Lecturer at the General and Liberal Studies Department of the University of Health and Allied Sciences in Ho, Ghana. He gained his undergraduate degree in English and Linguistics at the University of Ghana, and he did his graduate work at the same university, where he was appointed Research Fellow at the Language Centre. He was awarded a Ph. D. from Leiden University in 2008. His doctoral research, which was funded by the Endangered Languages Programme of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), focused on the documentation of the language and culture of the Logba people. Email:

4 Jan Jansen obtained his Ph.D. from Leiden University in 1995 with a critical analysis of the oral sources of the Mali Empire. A French edition of his thesis was published in 2001 Épopée-Histoire-Société – Le cas de Soundjata (Mali-Guinée). From 1996 to 1998 he was a postdoctoral researcher at Leiden University, and from 1999 to 2004 he was a Research Fellow of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), based at Leiden. He then took up his present post as a Lecturer at the Institute of Cultural Anthropology at Leiden University, and since 2010 he has been the managing editor of History in Africa – A Journal of Method, published by Cambridge University Press. Email:

5 Russell H. Kaschula is Professor of African Language Studies and he holds the National Research Foundation (NRF) Chair in the Intellectualisation of African Languages, Multilingualism and Education hosted at Rhodes University, South Africa. Research pertaining to this Chair covers Applied Language Studies, Theoretical Linguistics and Literature. He obtained his Ph.D. in African Oral Poetry from Rhodes, a University to which he returned in 2006, having previously taught in the US. His most recent book, edited together with Ekkehard Wolff, is titled Multilingual Education for Africa: Concepts and Practices (2016). He also developed the literary term “technauriture” in order to create links between technology, aurality and literature. This research was published as a position paper by Cambridge University. His most recent literary work is a collection of short stories entitled Displaced (2013). One of his projects was a critique of the translation of Alice in Wonderland into nine African languages, which was published in the Journal of African Cultural Studies (2015),​10.1080/​13696815.2016.1160827. Email:

6 Daniela Merolla is Professor in Berber Literature and Art at the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO), Sorbonne Paris-Cité, and member of the research group LACNAD (Langues et Cultures du Nord de l’Afrique et Diasporas). She taught and researched African Literatures and Media at Leiden University from 2003 to 2015. She obtained her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature with a dissertation on the interaction of oral and written genres in the construction of identity (Kabylia, Algeria) from Leiden University and the French “habilitation à diriger des recherches” with a work on the Berber/Amazigh multilingual literary space from Aix-Marseille University. Her research focuses on African oral literary productions (Berber/Amazigh) as well as written literatures in African and European languages. Her publications include: Multimedia Research and Documentation of Oral Genres in Africa – The Step Forward (2012) (edited with J. Jansen and K. Naït-Zerrad); Transcultural Modernities: Narrating Africa in Europe (2009) (edited with E. Bekers and S. Helff); De l’art de la narration tamazight (berbère) (2006). Email:

7 Andriamanivohasina Rakotomalala is an ethnologist and filmmaker with a Ph.D. in Anthropology and Sociology. His research interests include the ethnology of everyday life, traditional rice farming, and the ancestors’ daily worship in Imerina (Madagascar). His productions include: Un siècle d’enseignement du malgache à Paris (52 minutes), 2000; Saisons du riz en Imerina (52 minutes), 2004; Le culte de Ranavalona à Anosimanjaka, a trilogy (290 minutes), 2014; IRCAM, Douze minutes de conversation avec son secrétaire général le professeur El Houssaïn El Moujahid, Rabat 21 avril 2015 (13 minutes), 2013. Email:

8 Brigitte Rasoloniaina is Senior Lecturer in Sociolinguistics of Africa and Madagascar (MCF/HDR) at the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO), Sorbonne Paris-Cité, and a member of the research team PREFics (Plurilinguism, Representations, French Speaking Expressions, Informations, Communication, Sociolinguistic) at the University of Rennes 2. Her research is in the field of the urban linguistic landscape. Her publications include ‘Le passeur de poésie traditionnelle ou à la reconquête du “verbe de ses morts”’, in S. Meitinger, L. Ramarosoa, L. Ink, C. Riffard (eds), Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo, Œuvres complètes, Tome 2. Le poète, le narrateur, le dramaturge, le critique, le passeur de langues, l’historien (2012). Email:

9 Jan Bender Shetler (Ph.D., University of Florida) is Professor of History at Goshen College. She conducted most of her field research in the Mara Region of Tanzania documenting oral tradition, and in the archives. Her work has explored the history of social memory, identity, environmental relations, and place from precolonial times to the present. Other research includes work in Harar, Ethiopia. She has edited a number of collections of locally written histories from the Mara Region, including Telling Our Own Stories: Local Histories from South Mara, Tanzania (2003), which was a finalist for the 2005 Paul Hair Prize (African Studies Association) and a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2003. She is currently working on a book manuscript, A Gendered History of Social Network Memory in the Mara Region, Tanzania, 1880-Present. Recent publications include an edited collection, Gendering Ethnicity in African Women’s Lives (2015); a book Imagining Serengeti: A History of Landscape Memory in Tanzania from Earliest Times to the Present (2007), and numerous articles for diverse interdisciplinary journals and volumes. Email:

10 Mark Turin is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, where he currently serves as Chair of the First Nations and Endangered Languages Program and as Acting Co-Director of the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies. An anthropologist, linguist, and radio broadcaster, he has worked for twenty-five years in collaborative partnership with indigenous communities in the Himalayan region (Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, and cultural Tibet) and more recently in the Pacific Northwest of Canada. He is the author or co-author of four books, three travel guides, the editor of eight volumes, and the co-editor of the peer-reviewed Open Access journal HIMALAYA. Email:

11 Valentin Vydrin is Professor of Manding at INALCO, Paris, a researcher at Langage, Langues et Cultures d’Afrique Noire (LLACAN), and a senior member of the Institut Universitaire de France. He has a Ph.D. (with a study on the grammar of the Looma language) from St. Petersburg State University and a habilitation (with a study on the reconstruction of phonology and noun morphology of the Proto-Mande) from the same university. He is the author of numerous publications on the Bambara, Maninka, Looma, and Dan languages as well as on proto-Mande reconstruction and the corpora of the Manding languages. Email:


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