Yoruba Fiction, Orature, and Culture: Oyekan Owomoyela and African Literature & the Yoruba Experience

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Africa World Press, 2011 - Oral tradition - 440 pages
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Oyekan Owomoyela, the late Ryan Professor of African Literatures at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, was a leading scholar in the field and a foremost authority on Yoruba traditional literary forms in particular. This festschrift is in honor of this prominent voice who, in a career spanning over 40 years, played a prominent role in the development of Yorb literature and helped to confirm traditional African literature as an integral constituent of modern literature. The festschrift is a collection of twenty-seven scholarly essays which offer wide-ranging perspectives on the subject of Yorb literature; oral and contemporary. But Owomoyela s scholarship transcends literature; it explores broader dimensions of Yorb history and culture. Thus this volume also includes studies on salient aspects of Yorùbá Studies including history, religion, and law. The contributors to the volume are noted scholars and represent the cross-section of the disciplines of the humanities. A comprehensive work of original research, the volume offers, in a multidisciplinary paradigm, fresh interpretations of aspects of the Yorb experience. Wielding the proverbial cutlass of Ogun, the Late Professor Oyekan Owomoyela's scholarship cut many new paths in Africana Studies. Unlike most of his contemporaries, he did more than theorize the reflective and interpretive qualities of an African orature. He also delved into the deep wells of Yoruba knowledge systems to generate multi-layered exposition of African oral genres as legitimate tools for interrogating the global humanistic experience. In this collection of original essays, Toyin Falola, Adebayo Oyebade, and their collaborators pay befitting homage to this recent ancestor of Yoruba studies. The festschrift lays out the multiple tributaries of Owomoyela's ouvre, as well as defines new spectacles and frontiers for Yoruba cultural history, from the ancient past to the present. The result is an energetic contribution of aplomb quality. This must be a companion text for any serious student of Yoruba culture, philosophy, arts, aesthetics, and of course oral literature. It will also be a model for reconfiguring the study of African orature in general. Oyekan Owomoyela and the other ancestors will surely smile. Akin Ogundiran Professor of Africana Studies, Anthropology & History, University of North Carolina at Charlotte Edited by Toyin Falola and Adebayo Oyebade, two of Africa s most outstanding historians, this book recognizes and celebrates the excellent contributions of Professor Oyekan Owomoyela to Yoruba and African studies. The essays are written in lucid, penetrating, and most engaging style with the different contributors offering a wide range of analytical perspectives on Yoruba literature, orature, and culture. Tunde Babawale, Director, Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization.

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