From Deep Roots to New Ground: A Holistic Approach to Storytelling Traditions in Nineteenth-Century Enslaved Communities of the South Carolina Lowcountry
Michelle Asha Cooper
Thesis DT 3.5 1997 C77
ix, 115 leaves: maps; 29 cm.
This project explores the theoretical and cultural implications for the study of the South Carolina Lowcountry's storytelling tradition. The folktales, language traditions, and performance techniques of the Lowcountry's enslaved communities were more than just unique cultural artifacts; for these art forms demonstrate continuity with Africa and creativity in America. Unlike previous research in the field of literary folklore-which focus primarily on the thematic and functional characteristics of these stories-this thesis will create a holistic paradigm for investigating the Lowcountry's storytelling traditions. This model employs storytelling to illustrate how the cultural identity of Africans in America was created and preserved. The components on the methodological approach-text (themes, roles, and functions), texture (narrative and linguistic devices) and context (setting and performance)-will expose the literary, linguistic, dramatic, and cultural foundations of nineteenth-century storytelling.