We are very excited to welcome Dr. Joseph Hellweg, FSU Associate Professor of Religion, to the College of Music! He will be giving a lecture titled “”Scripture and Orature in Songs for Muslim Hunters: Reconciling Performance and Scholarship in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa” in Longmire Recital Hall on September 29, 2016 from 4-5 pm. Please join us for a wonderful interdisciplinary presentation that is sure to spark your interest!
ABSTRACT: The field of Islamic Studies typically focuses on the study of written texts. But among initiated dozo hunters in Côte d’Ivoire, “oral” songs are likened to Muslim scripture. What can we make of this equation? Is it a quaint metaphor or a call to rethink the nature of Islam? In Côte d’Ivoire, dozos have been targets of criticism by Salafi Muslims because of their ritual practices as well as objects of disdain by educated elites. Yet dozos helped the current regime of Muslim president Alassane Ouattara come to power. In the context of local divination practices and a set of fabled rock inscriptions, dozos do more than compare oral songs to written texts; they entextualize them, arguing for a foundational approach to Islam that precedes the Qur’an.