The MULOSIGE project (Multilingual Locals, Significant Geographies: SOAS University of London) is organising the conference Oral Traditions in World Literature on the 17-18 December 2019. This conference will take place at the Addis Regency Hotel, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia).

You can read  the conference abstracts here or explore the conference programme.


Oral Traditions in World Literature

17-18 December 2019, Addis Regency Hotel, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)

Organized by the project “Multilingual Locals, Significant Geographies” (SOAS University of London)


Day 1, 17 December 2019

9.30-10.15am: Registration, coffee

10.15am-10.30am: Welcome remarks (Sara Marzagora, Assefa Tefera Dibaba)

10.30am-12.30: First panel – Oral literature in world literary studies. Chair: Sara Marzagora

  • Francesca Orsini (SOAS University of London), “Looking back, looking forward: Bhojpuri orature travels the world”
  • Tadesse Jaleta Jirata (Addis Ababa University), “‘Orature’ Across Generations among the Oromo of Ethiopia”

12-1.30pm: Lunch

1.30pm-3pm: Second Panel – “Traces” of oral literature against hegemonic narratives. Chair: Itzea Goikolea Amiano

  • Vanessa Paloma Elbaz (University of Cambridge), “Sephardi Orature and the myth of Hispanidad”
  • Ayele Kebede (SOAS University of London), “Novelization of Orature or ‘localization’ of the novel?: The interface between orature and the novels in Afan Oromo and Amharic”

3pm-3.30pm: Coffee break

3.30pm-5pm: Third Panel – Modernity and the non-linear histories of oral traditions. Chair: Ayele Kebede

  • Sadhana Naithani (Jawaharlal Nehru University), “Two Tracks: Stories of the Destinies of Two Performative Oratures”
  • Sara Marzagora (SOAS University of London), “The significant geographies of fukkära and qärärto (heroic recitals and war songs) in Ethiopian history”

5pm-6pm: Performances

  • Vanessa Elbaz Vanessa Elbaz (University of Cambridge) performing songs from the North African Judeo-Spanish repertoire
  • Bashi, Laliftu, Habtame (Addis Ababa University) performing Oromo maiden songs

Conference dinner




Day 2, 18 December 2019


9.30am-11am: Fourth panel – Oral traditions, landscapes and public spaces. Chair: Karima Laachir 

  • Fatima Zahra Salih (Université Sultan Moulay Slimane), “Erasure and rehabilitation of halqa in Morocco: the fortunes of a marginalised oral cultural heritage”
  • Assefa Tefera Dibaba (Addis Ababa University), “Ambience: Voices from broken places”
  • Adugna Barkessa (Addis Ababa University), “Contested ecological identities and narratives in and around Finfinnee: An ecolinguistics approach”

11am-11.30pm Coffee Break

11.30pm-1.30pm: Fifth Panel: Oral traditions, music and popular culture. Chair: Francesca Orsini

  • Karima Laachir (Australian National University), “Morocco’s Popular Culture Powerhouse: Darija, Literariness and Chaabi Music”
  • Yenealem Aredo and Desta Desalegn (Addis Ababa University), “The Contextual and Functional Analysis of Nao Folk Songs”
  • Virginia Pisano (SOAS University of London), “Dissenting voices of Cairo: Sheikh Imam, Ahmad Fu’ad Negm and their legacy in the contemporary music scene”

1.30pm-3pm: Lunch

3pm-4.30pm: Roundtable discussion

Conference dinner Kaku Mame Restaurant at 7pm