Oral Literature in the Digital Age: Archiving Orality and Connecting with Communities/Contributors

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Felix K. Ameka is a linguist who teaches in the African Languages and Cultures programme at Leiden University. His relevant research interests are in ethnography of communication, semantics, pragmatics, socio-historical linguistics and the reflexive relations between language, culture and cognition and West African languages especially Gbe and Ghana-Togo Mountain languages.

Judith Aston is a Senior Lecturer in Film-making and Creative Media at the University of the West of England in Bristol, holding a PhD in Computer-related Design from the Royal College of Art and a Master’s degree in Social Science from the University of Cambridge. As a new media pioneer in the mid 1980s, she has extensive experience of working with digital archives, interactive documentary, and expanded film, through which she continues to develop her longstanding interests in sensory ethnography and cross-cultural communication.

Kofi Dorvlo is a Senior Research Fellow in the Language Centre, University of Ghana. He currently works on the documentation of the languages and cultures of the peoples of the Ghana Togo Mountain area. He is also a part-time lecturer at the University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho in Ghana. He gained his undergraduate degree in English and Linguistics at Legon and did his graduate work in the same University. He was awarded a PhD in Linguistics at Leiden University, Netherlands.

Margaret Field is a Professor of American Indian Studies at San Diego State University. She received her PhD in Linguistics at the University of California Santa Barbara.

Paul Matthews is a Senior Lecturer in Information Science and Web Development at the University of the West of England. Paul’s research interests include digital libraries, multimedia search and the dynamics of knowledge exchange on the social web.

Madan Meena is a practicing artist with an education in Fine Arts. His interest in folk culture studies motivated him to gradually become a folklorist.

Daniela Merolla lectures African Literatures at the Department of African Languages and Cultures, Centre for the Arts in Society, University of Leiden, The Netherlands. Her research focuses on African oral literary productions (Tamazight, Algeria/Morocco, and Ewe, Ghana) as well as on written literatures in African and European languages. She published among others: “Digital Imagination and the ‘Landscapes of Group Identities’: Berber Diaspora and the Flourishing of Theatre, Videos, and Amazigh-Net”, The Journal of North African Studies, 2002, pp. 122–131; “Dangerous Love in mythical narratives and formula tales”, Religion, vol.39, 2009, pp. 283–288; and edited (with E. Bekers and S. Helff) “Transcultural Modernities: Narrating Africa in Europe”, Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2009; and (with J. Jansen and K. Naït-Zerrad) “Multimedia Research and Documentation of Oral Genres in Africa—The Step Forward”, Köln: Köppe Verlag, 2012.

Mingzhu Ha was born in 1989 in Hawan Village, Tiantang Town, Tianzhu Tibetan Autonomous County, Gansu Province, China. Like her elder brother, Mingzong, she studied English at Qinghai Normal University. Currently she is working on her BA in Environmental Science at Asian University for Women in Bangladesh.

Mingzong Ha was born in 1987 in Hawan Village, Tiantang Town, Tianzhu Tibetan Autonomous County, Gansu Province, China. He studied English/Tibetan at Qinghai Normal University (China) from 2002 to 2005, and Mongolian/Czech at Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic) from 2006 to 2012. Currently he is pursuing his second master’s degree in management at the University of Cambridge.

David Nathan is the Director of the Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR) at SOAS, University of London, where he and his team have developed new approaches to the archiving of endangered languages resources. David has 20 years’ experience in educational and computing support for endangered languages, through teaching, training, academic publishing, and developing multimedia for language learning and revitalisation. He is interested in the connections between language documentation, language support and linguistic research, and how these connections can be supported through innovative media technologies.

Jorge Gómez Rendón (1971) is an Ecuadorian linguist and anthropologist. His work focuses on documentation of endangered languages as well as on linguistic and cultural rights of indigenous peoples in Ecuador.

C. K. Stuart has lived in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Qinghai Province, and Xi’an City, PR China; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; and Dumaguete, Negros Oriental since 1984. A native of Albion, Pushmataha County, Oklahoma, he currently teaches English, writes, and edits at Shaanxi Normal University.

Thomas Widlok (PhD in anthropology, LSE 1994) has carried out long-term field research in Namibia over more than three decades. He is currently professor of anthropology at Radboud University Nijmegen and will take up a chair at the University of Cologne in 2013.