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What can texts - both written and oral - tell us about the societies that produce them? How are texts constituted in different cultures, and how do they shape societies and individuals? How can we understand the people who compose them? Drawing on examples from Africa and other countries, this original study sets out to answer these questions, by exploring textuality from a variety of angles. Topics covered include the importance of genre, the ways in which oral genres transcend the here-and-now, and the complex relationship between texts and the material world. Barber considers the ways in which personhood is evoked, both in oral poetry and in written diaries and letters, discusses the audience's role in creating the meaning of texts, and shows textual creativity to be a universal human capacity expressed in myriad forms. Engaging and thought-provoking, this book will be welcomed by anyone interested in anthropology, literature and cultural studies.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521546874
ISBN-10: 0521546877
Format: Paperback
(228mm x 152mm x 15mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 20-Dec-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Karin Barber

Karin Barber is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Birmingham.

Books By Author Karin Barber

Anthropology of Texts, Persons and Publics by Karin Barber

The Anthropology of Texts, Persons and Publics

Hardback, December 2007
Africa's Hidden Histories by Karin Barber

Africa's Hidden Histories

Paperback, July 2006
Generation of Plays by Karin Barber

The Generation of Plays

Paperback, February 2003
I Could Speak Until Tomorrow by Karin Barber

I Could Speak Until Tomorrow

Hardback, April 1991