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Picture of African Literacies

African Literacies

Ideologies, Scripts, Education

Editor(s): Kasper Juffermans, Yonas Mesfun Asfaha, Ashraf Abdelhay

Book Description

Africa is often depicted as the continent with the lowest literacy rates in the world. Moving beyond this essentialising representation, this volume explores African literacies within their complex and diverse multilingual and multiscriptal histories and contexts of use. The chapters examine contexts from the Maghreb to Mozambique and from Senegambia to the Horn of Africa and critically analyse multiple literacy genres and practices – from ancient manuscripts to instant messaging – in relation to questions of language-in-education and policy, livelihoods, Islamic scholarship, colonialism, translocal migration, and writing systems. As a whole, the book serves as an advanced introduction to language and society in Africa seen through the lens of literacy, and marks a unique contribution to scholarship in literacy studies offering a convenient collection of perspectives on and from Africa.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-5833-5
ISBN-10: 1-4438-5833-1
Date of Publication: 01/06/2014
Pages / Size: 395 / A5
Price: £49.99


Kasper Juffermans holds an MA from Ghent University, Belgium, and a PhD from Tilburg University, Netherlands. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in urban and rural Gambia with a focus on literacy and multilingualism and has recently been awarded a grant by the FNR, Luxembourg, to investigate sociolinguistic trajectories and repertoires in actual and aspired mobilities between Africa and Europe. Kasper is currently based at the Institute for Research on Multilingualism, University of Luxembourg.

Yonas Mesfun Asfaha obtained an MA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA, and a PhD from Tilburg University, Netherlands, and is a recipient of an Elva Knight research grant from the International Reading Association. An expert on early reading development and multilingual literacy and language policy, Yonas is currently Assistant Professor of Eritrean Languages at the College of Arts and Social Sciences at Adi Keyih, University of Asmara, in Eritrea in the Horn of Africa.

Ashraf Abdelhay holds a PhD in the field of Sociolinguistics from the University of Edinburgh, UK. His research interests lie in the area of language planning and policy in the Sudan, focusing on the intersections between discourse, ideology and power relations. He was an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge, and a Postdoctoral Associate at Clare Hall College, University of Cambridge, UK.

Contributing authors: Dmitry Bondarev, Sokhna Bao-Diop, Charlyn Dyers, Abderrahman El Aissati, Sarita Monjane Henriksen, Sjaak Kroon, Jeanne Kurvers, Friederike Lüpke, Abdel Rahim Mugadam, George Ladaah Openjuru, Fatima Slemming, Abba Tijani, Fie Velghe and the editors.