Thanks to ever-greater digital connectivity, interest in oral traditions has grown beyond that of researcher and research subject to include a widening pool of global users. When new publics consume, manipulate and connect with field recordings and digital cultural archives, their involvement raises important practical and ethical questions. This volume explores the political repercussions of studying marginalised languages; the role of online tools in ensuring responsible access to sensitive cultural materials; and ways of ensuring that when digital documents are created, they are not fossilized as a consequence of being archived. Fieldwork reports by linguists and anthropologists in three continents provide concrete examples of overcoming barriers—ethical, practical and conceptual—in digital documentation projects. Oral Literature in the Digital Age is an essential guide and handbook for ethnographers, field linguists, community activists, curators, archivists, librarians, and all who connect with indigenous communities in order to document and preserve oral traditions.
This book addresses a vitally important topic of considerable interest to a broad group of readers.
Dr Mick Gowar
Anglia Ruskin University
All these contributors, like the editors themselves, are devoted to finding creative, accessible and usable digital platforms that not only close the distance between users, researchers and the tools used to archive oral literature, but also continue to connect, foster and sustain relationships with indigenous communities and those who try to access their rich and rapidly disappearing cultures. [...] This international and frank discussion enables us to deeply engage with the important issues that constantly surface in the field. [...] the authors' transparency and willingness to discuss their challenges provide readers with important insights into the imperfect but necessary efforts being made to preserve endangered oral literatures and protect intangible cultural heritage.
"ORAL LITERATURE IN THE DIGITAL AGE: ARCHIVING ORALITY AND CONNECTING WITH COMMUNITIES by Mark Turin, Claire Wheeler, Eleanor Wilkinson". Oral History (0143-0955), vol. 42, no. 2, 2014.
Introduction by Mark Turin, Claire Wheeler and Eleanor Wilkinson
1. The Archive Strikes Back: Effects of Online Digital Language Archiving on Research Relations and Property Rights
2. Access and Accessibility at ELAR, A Social Networking Archive for Endangered Languages Documentation
3. Multiple Audiences and Co-Curation: Linking an Ethnographic Archive of Endangered Oral Traditions to Contemporary Contexts
Judith Aston and Paul Matthews
4. Researchers as Griots? Reflections on Multimedia Fieldwork in West Africa
Daniela Merolla and Felix Ameka in collaboration with Kofi Dorvlo
5. American Indian Oral Literature, Cultural Identity and Language Revitalisation: Some Considerations for Researchers
6. Ecuador's Indigenous Cultures: Astride Orality and Literacy
Jorge Gómez Rendón
7. From Shrine to Stage: A Personal Account of the Challenges of Archiving the Tejaji Ballad of Rajasthan
8. Mongghul Ha Clan Oral History Documentation
Ha Mingzong, Ha Mingzhu, and C.K. Stuart