LINGUIST List 15.3021

Sun Oct 24 2004

Books: Discourse Analysis/Socioling/Anthro Ling: Joubert

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        1.    Julia Ulrich, The Power of Performance: Joubert

Message 1: The Power of Performance: Joubert

Date: 19-Oct-2004
From: Julia Ulrich <>
Subject: The Power of Performance: Joubert

Title: The Power of Performance
Subtitle: Linking Past and Present in Hananwa and Lobedu Oral Literature
Series Title: Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs 160

Published: 2004
Publisher: Mouton de Gruyter

Book URL:

Author: Annekie Joubert, Humboldt-University, Berlin & Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan

Hardback: ISBN: 3110179989 Pages: xiv, 499 Price: Europe EURO 118.00 Comment: with DVD


In "The Power of Performance," Annekie Joubert uncompromisingly challenges
the textmaker's biggest problem, namely to understand the limitation of
print as a receptor medium for performance. She re-examines the problems
facing the textmaker in transforming a performance event (oral-physical
sign system) to a transcribed text (visual-written sign system) without
losing visual and auditive aspects of performance events. The author has
practiced this principle by using a multimedia approach in the
transcription and interpretation of oral art. With this approach she has
affirmed the fact that multimedia recordings of performance events become
irreplaceable instruments in the documentation and preservation of oral art.

In her analysis, the author uses a collection of invaluable data pertaining
to Hananwa and Lobedu oral art, history, and culture that has never been
filmed, recorded, or published before. The display of performance events
gives the reader/listener a profound experience of the rich and resilient
forms of oral art which, deploy not only the art of verbal utterance, but
also mime, music, dance, dramatic enactment, drumming, display of costume,
special effects, and ambience. Both groups are quite unique in particular
respects. The Hananwa with regard to the brutal war of 1894 in their
mountain abode. The bravery and pragmatic leadership of their chief
Kgalushi Leboho, made the forces of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek regard
him as the most fearsome and dangerous chief of his time in South Africa.
On the other hand the Lobedu, represents the greatest female authority in
South Africa with regard to their famous female ruler "Modjadji" the rain

In "The Power of Performance," the author has combined her literary,
linguistic, cultural, and historical insight to link performers in context,
with their past and present through the power of performance. The study
reveals a long overdue "insider" view on the oral art of these two
communities in its totality. It gives for the first time the opportunity to
the performers of oral art to share their thoughts, and speak for
themselves, and in this way salvage, document, audit, and promote their own
heritage and oral history. The author engages with her display, discussion,
and interpretation of performance-directed texts into a total process of
transmitting life in a given culture: its pride and fear, myths and rites,
creed and guidance, and its honour and admiration.

Date of Publication: 10/2004

Annekie Joubert teaches and researches at the Department of Asian and
African Studies of the Humboldt-University, Berlin, Germany, and is
Visiting Professor for Southern African Studies at the School of English of
the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland.


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Fax: +1 (703) 661 1501

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics
                            Discourse Analysis

Subject Language(s): Sotho, Northern (Language Code: SRT)

Written In: English (Language Code: ENG )

See this book announcement on our website:

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