Narrating Nomadism provides an unflinching account of ethnic groups and nomadic communities across the world that were branded as ‘criminal’ during colonial times. It explores the tragic effect of the new identity imposed on them, the traumatic survival of these communities and cultures, and the creative expression of this experience in their arts and literature in the form of resistance.
Presenting specific contexts and locations of cultural devastation in history, the volume traces colonial social imagination as such, showing how the grossly misperceived non-sedentary communities in the colonies were subjected to the mission of ‘settling’ them. The essays presented here document these alternative histories from perspectives ranging from literary criticism and art history to ethnography and socio-linguistics, highlighting in what ways different nomadic communities negotiate discrimination and challenge in contemporary times, while finding remarkable convergence in their local histories and collective testimonies.
This anthology opens up a new area in postcolonial studies as well as cultural anthropology by bringing the viewpoint of marginalized communities and their cultural rights to bear upon history, society and culture. It places an activist’s ‘view from below’ at the centre of literary interpretation, engages with oral history more substantially than folklore studies usually do, and brings together several historical narratives hitherto unexplored. This will be essential for students of anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, history, linguistics, post-colonial studies, literature and tribal studies, as well as the general reader.
Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations. Introduction G. N. Devy. 1. Identity, History and Protest: CT/DNT in Literary and Social Texts in India Vibha S. Chauhan 2. The Lost World of Chernovicz: Memories and Revisitations Eckhard Breitinger 3. (Re-)configuring the Soloist as a ‘Nomadic’ Modernity Trickster: The Case of ‘Composer’ in Bukusu Circumcision Folklore Chris J. C. Wasike 4. Rabbit-Proof Fence: Surviving Loss and Trauma through Testimony and Narration Dolores Herrero 5. Collective Chronicles: (Fictional) Life Histories of Australia’s Stolen Generations Birte Heidemann 6. Enforced Migration and Other Journeys in Aboriginal Experience: Sally Morgan’s Stories of Becoming Disinherited and Dispossessed Britta Olinder 7. Contemporary Nomads, or Can the Slum-Dweller Speak? Cecile Sandten 8. Understanding the Narratives of Peripatetic Communities: The Kinnari Jogi Version of the Mahabharata T. S. Satyanath 9. The Gullah of South Carolina and Georgia: Retention of Cultural Expression Joseph McLaren 10. Nomadic Writing: The ‘Blind Spot’ of Caribbean Fiction Judith Misrahi-Barak 11. From Migrancy to Malignancy: What Ails the Yaaku? Mumia Geoffrey Osaaji 12. The Story of an African Enlightenment: A Cameroonian Myth of Separation and its Relevance for Human Autonomy A. O. Balcomb 13. The Dasse’s Story and The Crow’s Story: The Interdiscursivity of /Xam Bushman Literature Michael Wessels 14. The Adverse Effect of Migrant Fishing on Students’ Competence in English in the Niger Delta of Nigeria Macaulay Mowarin 15. Gender Relations in Marginalized Communities: A Case Study of Women in Maasai Oral Literature Helen Oronga A. Mwanzi 16. Experiential History vs Objective History: A Literary Study of Lambada Aphorisms Mohan Dharavath
G. N. Devy is Professor, Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Gandhinagar, and Founder, Bhasha Research and Publication Centre, Baroda (Vadodara), Gujarat, India.
Geoffrey V. Davis is Chairperson, European Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (EACLALS).
K. K. Chakravarty is Chancellor, National University of Education Planning and Administration (NUEPA), New Delhi, and Vice Chairman, Delhi Institute of Heritage Research and Management, India.