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Signs of Diaspora - Diaspora of Signs Literacies, Creolization, and Vernacular Practice in African America

ISBN-10: 0195107691
ISBN-13: 9780195107692
Edition: 1998
Authors: Grey Gundaker
List price: $140.00
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Description: Challenging monolithic approaches to culture and literacy, this book looks at the roots of African-American reading and writing from the perspective of vernacular activities and creolization. It shows that African-Americans, while readily mastering  More...

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Book details

List price: $140.00
Copyright year: 1998
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 7/30/1998
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 304
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.75" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.386
Language: English

Challenging monolithic approaches to culture and literacy, this book looks at the roots of African-American reading and writing from the perspective of vernacular activities and creolization. It shows that African-Americans, while readily mastering the conventions and canons of Euro-America, also drew on knowledge of their own to make an oppositional repertoire of signs and meanings. Distinct from conventional script literacy on the one hand, and oral culture on the other, these "creolized" vernacular practices include writing in charms, use of personal or nondecodable scripts, the strategic renunciation of reading and writing as communicative tools, and writing that is linked to divinaton, trance, and possession. Based on extensive ethnographic research in the Southeastern United States and the West Indies, Gundaker offers a complex portrait of the intersection of "outsider" conventions with "insider" knowledge and practice.

Introduction: "Conventional" Literacy and "Vernacular" Practice
Creolization, Double Voicing, Double Vision
African Scripts, Graphic Practices, and Contexts of Learning and Use
Diaspora of Signs: A Transatlantic Network
Narratives of Literacy Acquisition and Use
Alternative Modes of Participation with Text and Artifacts of Literacy
Contrasting and Complementary Scripts and Graphic Signs
Notes
References
Index

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