Introduction to Oral Literature

ELS223
SOLOMON EDEBOR

Course description

Description

 

DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH AND LITERARY STUDIES

FIRST SEMESTER 2014/2015 ACADEMIC SESSION

ELS 223- INTRODUCTION TO ORAL LITERATURE

Course Lecturer: Mr Solomon A. EDEBOR

Contact: College 1, D41, Department of English and Literary Studies/General Studies

Phone: +234- 806- 231- 4889

E-mail: edeborsolomon@gmail.com

 

Course Description

This course focuses on the nature, provenance and variety of oral literature in Africa. Submission of an original essay not exceeding 3,000 words is an important aspect of the course.

 

Course Type: (Compulsory/Elective): Compulsory

Aims

to:

- enable students to acquire an understanding of the character of African Oral Literature, with emphasis placed on the historical background to the study of the genre, the controversies generated, the sources and also the formal elements of the genre.

- enable students to understand the various forms, and functions of African Oral literature

 - impart students with the requisite knowledge that would enable them to understand the survival of Oral literature in modern African literature

- expose students to how to embark on a fieldwork in Oral Literature

 

Lectures: Tuesdays, 7p.m. – 9p.m.

 

Attendance Policy:

A minimum of 70% attendance is required for a student to be eligible to take the final examination.

The students with less than 70% of the attendance in this course shall be given the grade SA (Short Attendance) in such a course and shall not be allowed to take its End Term Exams and will have to reappear in the course to get the required attendance to be eligible to sit in the exam when the course is offered the next time.

 

Grading:

The course will be evaluated on the basis of the following percentage:

-          Mid Term Test                                                            10%

-          Term Paper                                                                  20%    

-          Attendance                                                     10%

Final Examination:    60%

Total: 100%

 

Course Outline

Week 1

Oral Literature:

-          Definition and Controversies Surrounding the genre

-          Historical Background to the Study of Oral Literature

Week 2

Oral Literature:

-          Sources and formal elements of Oral Literature

 

Week 3

Forms of Oral Literature: Oral Narratives

-          Myths, and Legends: Definitions, Functions, and Relevant examples

 

Week 4

Forms of Oral Literature: Oral Narratives

  • Folktales:

- Definitions

-          Society and Tale Types

-          Narrative Structure

-          Functions of Folktales

 

  • Proverbs:

-          Definitions

-          Sources and performance

-           Purpose/Function and Internal Qualities (outlook, structure, style, etc.)

 

 

Week 5

Forms of Oral Literature: Oral Narratives

  • Riddles:

-          Definitions

-          Types

-          Style,

-          Occasions for performance  and functions

 

Week 6

Forms of Oral Literature: Drama

-          Controversies Surrounding existence or otherwise of Drama in Oral Literature

-          The Two Schools of Thoughts on the Existence of Drama in Oral Literature: the Relativist and the Evolutionist

 

Week 7

Oral Dramatic Forms

-          Ritual Drama

-          Festivals

-          Masquerades

-          Story-telling as Theatre

-          Popular Theatre

-          Music and Dance

 

Week 8

Preserving Oral Literature: Fieldwork and After

-          Data collection

-          Transcription and Translation

-          Preservation

-          Gains of the Artiste(s) used

 

Week 9

Mid-Semester Test

 

Week 10 & 11

Forms of Oral Literature: Poetry

-          Funeral poetry

-          Religious poetry

-          Occupational Poetry

-          Praise Poetry (Invocative poetry- panegyric, oriki, Ekun Iyawo, etc)

-          Narrative poetry

 

Week 12

The Survival of Oral Literature: Oral Literature and Modern African Literature

-          Translation

 

Week 13

The Survival of Oral Literature: Oral Literature and Modern African Literature

-          Adaptation and Exploitation

 

Week 14

Revision: Questions and Comments

 

References/Further Readings

Akporobaro, F.B.O. (2006). Introduction to African Oral Literature.

Finnegan, Ruth (2012). Oral Literature in Africa.

Okpewho, Isidore. (2004) African Oral Literature: Background, Character and Continuity.

Okpewho, Isidore. The Oral Performance in Africa.

Ogunjimi, B. And Na’Allah, A. 1991. Introduction to African Oral Literature.

 

COURSE LECTURER: MR EDEBOR, S.A.


Manager(s) for ELS223 : SOLOMON EDEBOR
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