Campasuchitl, fleurs des morts, Morelia, 6 novembre 2017

Call for contributions, AFAS : Voices of the South

For issue 49 of Sonorités. Bulletin de l’AFAS, titled "Voices of the South (Guiana, Latin America, Caribbean, West Africa): When speech becomes authoritative and oral serves as a writing of history," a call for contributions is launched in both English and French. The dossier is directed by Jean Moomou, professor at the University of Guyana, and Anaskesa Apollinaire, professor at the University of the Antilles.

Voices of the South (Guyanas, Latin America, Caribbean, West Africa): When speech becomes authoritative and oral serves as a writing of history

French version

Does not what is said give birth to what is written, both over the centuries and in the individual himself? The world’s earliest archives or libraries were the brains of men. Before he puts his thoughts on paper, the writer or the scholar has a private dialogue with himself. (…). Nothing proves a priori that writing gives a more faithful account of a reality than oral evidence handed down from generation to generation. (…) Now it is in oral societies that the function of the memory is most highly developed and, furthermore, the bond between man and the word is strongest. Where writing does not exist, man is bound to the word he utters (…)” [Hampâté Bâ, Amadou ,”The Living Tradition” in General History of Africa, Paris, EDICEF UNESCO (coll. “Présence africaine”), 1999, p.192].

Amadou Hampâté Bâ’s reflection delicately challenges our understanding of the relationship between speech and the writing of history, prompting deep reflection on our scholarly approaches to documenting ourselves, our communities, and our shared narratives.

In line with Bâ’s thought, this call for contributions seeks to delve into the rich tapestry of oral histories from the Global South. This issue aims to curate articles dedicated to exploring the voices that resonate from these regions. Central to our inquiry is the exploration of memory – individual or collective recollections of lived experiences, orally transmitted across generations, and culturally embedded within communities [Lavabre, Marie-Claire, “Paradigms of Memory,” Transcontinentales, 2007]. This memory is particularly important in oral tradition societies, in West Africa for example, as well as in the societies and cultures of the Americas (including Guiana and the Caribbean). As a resolutely multidisciplinary dossier, it will welcome texts focusing on the words of the “people of the South,” as witness-spectators or witness-actors, and on the uses to which these words are put in research in the humanities and social sciences.

Our multidisciplinary dossier invites submissions that amplify the voices of the people of the Global South as both witnesses and participants, shedding light on the pivotal role of oral traditions in shaping narratives within the humanities and social sciences. Contributions may encompass, but are not limited to, the following themes:

• Societal spaces where oral traditions serve as primary mechanisms for knowledge preservation and transmission.

• The voices of the marginalized and silenced in academic discourse, yet revered as custodians of collective memory within their communities. Examples abound, from the Cancel Culture movement to the grassroots mobilizations witnessed in Guyana and Guadeloupe, which underscore the potency of overlooked narratives in shaping socio-political landscapes.

• The transformative power of collective speech, exemplified by movements such as “Las Tesis” in Chile, which galvanized global attention to issues of gender violence, highlighting the resonance of collective voices in effecting change.

• Challenges and opportunities posed by digital advancements in oral studies, including considerations of representativeness and equity within digitized landscapes.

• Methodological reflections on engaging with oral narratives, including the researcher’s positioning vis-à-vis their informants and strategies for navigating methodological complexities.

Through this thematic exploration, our ambition is to offer readers an immersive journey into the realm of oral traditions, where speech emerges as a compelling testament to historical veracity.

Submission Guidelines

The contribution proposal should be sent as an abstract of no more than 500 words, in either French or English, in a Word document; in Times New Roman, font size 12, single line spacing. It should include the title and five keywords. Additionally, it should include the author(s)’ full names, affiliations, and email addresses. Bibliography guidelines and writing protocol are outlined here : 2451

Selection Criteria:

  • Significance of empirical materials and fieldwork.
  • Explanation of the specific contributions of oral sources to understanding the subject.


Abstracts are to be sent no later than 15 June 2024, simultaneously to the following addresses: and

Expected publication in 2025.

Scientific Committee:

Bogumil Jewsiewicki : Historien, professeur des universités, émérite, Université Laval, CELAT, Canada.

Hebe Mottos : Historienne, professeure des universités, Directrice du LABHOI, Université Federalé de Juiz de Fora et de Fluminense, Brésil.

Myriam Cottias : Historienne, directrice d’études, CNRS, EHESS.

Isabelle Hidair : Anthropologue, professeure des universités, INSPE, Université de Guyane, MINEA.

Anakesa Apollinaire : Ethnomusicologue et musicologue, professeur des universités, directeur de recherches, Université des Antilles, CRILLASH.

Moomou Jean : Historien, professeur des universités, INSPE, Université de Guyane, MINEA, GRENAL, IMAF.

Tidjani Alou Antoinette : Professeure de littérature française et comparée, Université Abdou Moumouni, directrice du Laboratoire pour l’Étude, la Recherche, la Pratique et la Valorisation des Arts et de la Culture (LERVAP).

Nicolas Thierry : Géographe, maître de conférences, INSPE, Université de Guyane, MINEA.

Marie-Magdelaine Loïc : Maître de conférences en études anglophones, INSPE, Université de Guyane, MINEA.

Fafard Marie-Félide: Maîtresse de conférences en sciences de l’éducation, INSPE, Université, MINEA

Victorien Lavou Zoungbo, Professeur des universités, études hispaniques, Université de Perpignan, GRENAL.

Délide Joseph, Docteur en histoire et civilisations (EHESS), enseignant contractuel, Université de Guyane, Ciresc.

Villegas Roxana: Maîtresse de conférences en civilisation Hispano-américaine et Traduction. Département LEA, Université des Antilles, CRILLASH, membre associé ERIMIT U. Rennes 2.


Credits: Campasuchitl, Morelia, photogr. V. Ginouvès, 6 November 2017, CC-BY-NC

Citer ce billet
Véronique Ginouvès (2024, 19 mars). Call for contributions, AFAS : Voices of the South. Archives de la recherche & Phonothèque. Consulté le 25 juin 2024, à l’adresse

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