Beyond the Oral: Expanding Africana Epistemology with VOAK

Portrait of Funlayo Wood Menzies
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Zoom Lecture

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This talk draws from the study of Africana cultures and knowledge systems has most often posited them as “oral” – usually in contrast to scriptocentric Western cultures. Positioning Africana systems in this way omits two vital epistemological components: the aural and the kinesthetic. As the spoken word is intended to be heard and speech is often accompanied by gestures that not only punctuate but also convey meaning, this presentation considers the ways in which vision, orality, aurality, and kinesthesia (VOAK) intersect and are crucial components of understanding Africana epistemologies.

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