HomePaper, airwaves, screen: from text to audience in African popular culture

HomePaper, airwaves, screen: from text to audience in African popular culture

Paper, airwaves, screen: from text to audience in African popular culture

Papier, ondes, écrans : du texte au public dans la culture populaire africaine

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Published on Monday, July 10, 2017


This conference aims to reflect on the critical spaces of reading and listening that occur in and around popular cultural texts in Africa – from songs, magazines, romance fiction, and hip-hop lyrics, to blogs, facebook posts, and urban inscriptions. Drawing on the methods of cultural studies, material print cultures, and the sociology of reception, we seek to engage with the critical vocabulary generated by those spaces of reception at a time of transition for the book object and the reading practices which accompany it. How can this material be researched (archives, interviews, ethnographic observation, digitisation, databases)? How is/might it be integrated into teaching across disciplines? 



Mercredi 12 juillet

  • 9.45 Introduction (Ruth Bush & Claire Ducournau)
  • 10.00 Keynote: Tsitsi Jaji – « Flights of Imagination: Rerouting Modernity through African Popular Culture » (Chair: Ranka Primorac)

11.15 Panel 1: Radio and the formation of popular public spheres 

(Chair: Simon Potter

  • Nancy Adagala and Solomon Waliaula (Maasai Mara University) – The Cultural form of the Breakfast Show on Kenyan Commercial Radio: The Case of the Maina Kageni- Mwalimu King’anyi show on Classic FM.
  • Karen Ferreira-Meyers (University of Swaziland) and Enongene Mirabeau Sone (Walter Sisulu University) – The role of the media in the promotion of Swazi oral literature

12.15 Panel 2: Transmediation and audience in stand-up comedy

(Chair: Sarah Arens)

  • Théophile Kalbé Yamo (Université de Maroua) – Spectacles d’« humour » au Cameroun. Essai d’analyse de la réception d’un art entre littérature et show-business
  • John Uwa (Yale/University of Lagos) – (Trans)formation and Trans(mediation) of Nigerian Popular Culture: The Production and Reception of Nigerian Stand-Up Comedy

14.15 Panel 3: Urban spaces and popular culture in Dakar

(Chair: Dónal Hassett)

  • Bacary Sarr (Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar) – Le lecteur-spectateur du graffiti urbain à Dakar : un oxymore de la modernité
  • Brian Quinn (University of Colorado Boulder) – Popular theater as craft in urban Senegal
  • Mouhamed Abdallah Ly (Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar) – Y en marre! La performativité citoyenne et politique d’une formule populaire

16.00 Panel 4: Sitcoms, soaps and popular pedagogy on screen 

(Chair: Kaya Davis)

  • Delphine G Ngehndab (Independent scholar / Brunel University) – Using Soap Operas for Educational Purposes
  • Dragoss Ouédraogo (Université de Bordeaux) – Les séries télévisées en Afrique subsaharienne francophone: l’exemple du Burkina Faso
  • Louis Ndong (Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar) – Scènes de lecture chez Ousmane Sembène: entre littérature et cinéma

Jeudi 13 juillet

10.00 Panel 5: Emerging New Media in Francophone Africa: Bandes Dessinées Numériques, Transmedia Narratives, and the Publishing Landscape 

(Chair: Ed King)

  • Michelle Bumatay (Beloit College) – From 48CC to Numérique: New Avenues for African Bandes Dessinées and Comics?
  • Katelyn Knox (University of Central Arkansas) – States and Stakes of Francophone African “New Media Narratives”: Funding, Taxonomies, and the Politics of Representation
  • George McLeod (St. Mary’s College of Maryland) – Transmedia Project Seeks Investors for No Strings Attached Funding: A Case Study of Jacqueline Kalimunda’s documentaries “Floris” and “De l’Amour au Rwanda”

11.45 Panel 6: Parody and performance in popular oral texts

(Chair: Emma Crowley)

  • Oluwole Coker (Obafemi Awolowo University) – (Under)mining Texts, Constructing Secularity in Yoruba Popular Culture
  • Ali Abdoulhamid (Université des Comores) – La réception de la chanson populaire comorienne d’aujourd’hui dans l’espace public de l’archipel

13.45 Panel 7: Development, literacy, and the sociology of cultural goods 

(Chair: Claire Ducournau)

  • Myriam Odile Blin (Normandie université) – L’alphabet de Bruly Bouabré ou la reconversion esthétique d’un projet d’alphabétisation en langue vernaculaire
  • Charles Mombo (Université de Libreville) – Production et circulation du livre en Afrique. Lecture transversale du Gabon.

15.00 Panel 8: Social networks and the reception of popular thought

(Chair: Billy Kahora)

  • Kate Haines Wallis (Bristol/Bath Spa) – Brokering Popular Memory: Reading networks of texts in Kwani? and Joe 
  • Nathalie Carré (INALCO, Paris) – Nouveaux espaces littéraires : la circulation des proverbes sur les réseaux sociaux en Afrique de l’Est (Kenya – Tanzanie)

16.00 – 17.00

Keynote: David Murphy – A Living Illustration of Negritude? Reflections on Literature and Performance at the First World Festival of Negro Arts (Dakar 1966)

(Chair: Ruth Bush)


Ruth Bush (University of Bristol) and Claire Ducournau (University Paul Valéry – Montpellier – RIRRA21) 

This conference is part of the project Popular print and reading cultures in francophone Africa, which is funded by the AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) Global Challenges Research Fund.


  • Link Room 1 / Lecture Theatre 2 3 - 5 Woodland Road Bristol
    Bristol, Britain (BS8 1TE)


  • Wednesday, July 12, 2017
  • Thursday, July 13, 2017


  • réception, public, support matériel, espace public, texte, culture populaire, Afrique


  • Claire Ducournau
    courriel : ducournau [dot] claire [at] gmail [dot] com

Information source

  • Claire Ducournau
    courriel : ducournau [dot] claire [at] gmail [dot] com


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Paper, airwaves, screen: from text to audience in African popular culture », Conference, symposium, Calenda, Published on Monday, July 10, 2017, https://calenda.org/411298

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