News Releases

REF NO.: 168

SUBJECT: Public lecture to examine Shona women’s storytelling in Zimbabwe
DATE: Jan. 26, 2005

The Music, Media and Culture lecture series continues at Memorial University with Dr. Doreen Klassen, and “You can’t say those words without using your hands”: Gesture, and “Veiled Speech” in Zimbabwean Shona Women’s Storytelling. The lecture will be held on Thursday, Jan. 27, at 4 p.m. in the Education Building, corner of Westerland Roadand Prince Philip Parkway, room ED-4036.

Dr. Doreen Klassen is a folklorist, anthropologist and ethnomusicologist teaching in the social/cultural studies program at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in Corner Brook. Her research on Shona folklore has resulted in several recent publications. Her other research interests include the politics of music-making particularly in relation to social class distinctions in the Low German music of Mennonites and to music as an agent of socialization within the Mennonite church. She also studies the politics of public display, having done projects on wall mural production in Winnipeg, and also clotheslines as the intersection between public and private space in Western Newfoundland.

Her talk will be an examination of the intersection between sound (oral narrative, song, idiophones) and movement (bodily gesture) in Shona cantefable from Zimbabwe. One of the underlying questions here is how story tellers who value indirect modes of speech consciously, and at times subconsciously, communicate the essence of a narrative through gesture.

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