CURRICULUM VITAE

JOSEPH L. MBELE

(February, 2006)

 

 

 

PERSONAL

 

Department of English                                                 809 1st Street West

St. Olaf College                                                           Northfield, MN  55057

Northfield, MN  55057                                                (507) 645-6906

(507) 646-3439  

email:  mbele@stolaf.edu

web:  http://www.stolaf.edu/people/mbele

 

Birth Date:  August 17, 1951

Place of Birth:  Litembo, Mbinga District, Tanzania

Marital Status:  Married, three daughters

 

EDUCATION

 

1986:  Ph.D., African Languages and Literature, University of Wisconsin, Madison

            Thesis:  "The Hero in the African Epic"

1982:  M.A., African Languages and Literature, University of Wisconsin

            Thesis:  "The African Epic:  A Sociological Perspective"

1978:  M.A., Development Studies, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

            Thesis:  "The Social Content and Function of Matengo Oral Literature"

1976:  B.A., First Class Honours, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

 

EMPLOYMENT

 

1995-    :  Associate Professor of English, St. Olaf College

1991-95:  Assistant Professor of English, St. Olaf College

1986-91:  Coordinator of M.A. Program in Literature, University of Dar es Salaam

1986-91:  Senior Lecturer, Literature, University of Dar es Salaam

1984:  Teaching Assistant, Swahili Language and Literature, University of Wisconsin

1981-86:  Lecturer, Literature, University of Dar es Salaam

1980:  Visiting Lecturer, African Literature, University of Burundi

1978-81:  Assistant Lecturer, Literature, University of Dar es Salaam

1976-78:  Tutorial Assistant, Literature, University of Dar es Salaam

 

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

 

Undergraduate

Theory of Literature, Sociology of Literature, Oral Literature, African-American and Caribbean Literature, African

Literature, Swahili Literature, Post-Colonial and Third World Literature, Hero and Trickster, Backgrounds of British and

American Literature, Introduction to Literature, College English, Folklore, Africa and the Americas.

 

Graduate

Epic, Romanticism, Literary Theory


M.A. Theses Supervised

Elias M. Songoyi, "The Artist and the State in Tanzania, A Study of Two Singers:  Kalikali and Mwinamila," University of Dar es Salaam, 1988

Hamza M. Njozi, "The Hero Pattern and the Life of Jesus:  The Qur'anic Version," University of Dar es Salaam, 1988

Ibrahim S. Ngozi, "The Swahili Epic Tradition and the Beliefs Found Therein," University of Dar es Salaam, 1988

 

M.A. Theses Examined

Bwana John Siakavuba, "Folk Literature and Topical Issues:  An Investigation of Valley Tonga Narratives Dealing with Marriage," University of Zambia, 1990

Ernest Okello Ogwang, "A Study of the Language of African Epic Poetry," Makerere University, Uganda, 1990

Aloysious Kwitonda, "Women Characters in Ngugi wa Thiong'o's Works:  The Impact of Ideology," Makerere University, 1990

 

Ph.D. Dissertation Examined

Rose Sau Lugano, "The Portrayal of the Girl Child in Selected African Bildungsromane, " Pennsylvania State University, 2004

 

 

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITY

 

Books

 

Africans and Americans: Embracing Cultural Differences. (Northfield: Africonexion, 2005)

 

Notes on Achebe¹s Things Fall Apart (Dar es Salaam: Africonexion Books, 2004)

 

Matengo Folktales. (Bryn Mawr:  Buy Books on the Web, 1999)

 

Viewpoints: Essays on Literature and Drama, ed. (Nairobi:  Kenya Literature Bureau, 1980)

 

Papers

 

ŅSwahili Folklore,Ó The Greenwood Encyclopedia of World Folklore and Folklife, ed. William M. Clements (Westport: Greenwood Press, 2006), 154-161.

 

"The Elder in African Society: The View From Folklore and Literature", Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, 2, 3/4 (2004), 53-61.

 

"East African Folklore: Overview, " African Folklore: An Encyclopedia, ed. Philip M.  Peek and Kwesi Yankah (New York. Routledge, 2004), 105-106

 

"Hero, " African Folklore: An Encyclopedia, ed. Philip M. Peek and Kwesi Yankah (New York: Routledge, 2004), 166-167

 

"Hero in Sukuma Prose Narratives, " African Folklore: An Encyclopedia, ed. Philip M. Peek and Kwesi Yankah  (New York: Routledge, 2004), 167

 

"Myths: Myths of Origin and Sculpture: The Makonde, " African Folklore: An Encyclopedia, ed. Philip M. Peek and Kwesi Yankah (New York: Routledge, 2004), 286

 

"Epics: Liongo Epic of the Swahili, " African Folklore: An Encyclopedia. Ed. Philip M. Peek and Kwesi Yankah (New York: Routledge, 2004), 114-5.

 

"Ebrahim Hussein, " in Encyclopaedia of African Literature, ed. Simon Gikandi (London: Routledge, 2003), 230-231.

 

"Shaaban Robert, " in Encyclopaedia of African Literature, ed. Simon Gikandi, (London: Routledge, 2003), 463-464.

 

"Swahili Literature, " in Encyclopaedia of African Literature, ed. Simon Gikandi (London: Routledge, 2003), 527-528.

 

"On Translating ŒHawk and Crow¹: A Matengo Folktale, " Metamorphoses, 10, 1 (2002). pp. 169-183.

 

"Ethics in Folklore Research, " Journal of Critical Inquiry into Curriculum and Instruction, 3, 3 (2002), pp. 50-51.

 

"Gindu Nkima:  A Sukuma Heroine. " In Frank Gunderson. Ed. Mashindano:  Competitive Music Performance in Tanzania and East Africa (Dar es Salaam:  Mkuki na Nyota, 2000), pp. 87-98.

 

"The American in African Literature," East Africa and the US:  Problems and Issues, Second East Africa American Studies Colloquium, ed. Hamza Njozi (Dar es Salaam:  Institute of Kiswahili Research, 1997), pp. 92-98.

 

"Existentialist Notions in Walcott's The Sea at Dauphin, " The Caribbean Writer, 11 (1997), pp. 211-222.

 

"Folklore Research in East Africa, " American Folklore Society Newsletter, 26, 3 (1997), pp. 4-6.

 

"The Significance of Deception in the Liongo Epic, " Kiswahili, 60 (1997), pp. 7-14.

 

"Wimbo wa Miti:  An Example of Swahili Women's Poetry, " African Languages and Cultures, 9, 1 (1996), pp. 71-82.

 

"Jesse James at Northfield: A Folkloristic Study, " The Dime Novel Roundup, 65, 5 (1996), pp. 154-165.

 

"The Liongo Epic and Swahili Culture, " Artes Populares, 2 (1995), pp. 575-579.

 

"Mhakiki, Uandishi na Jamii" ("The Critic, Writing and Society"), Fasihi, Uandishi na Uchapishaji, ed. M.M. Mulokozi and C.G. Mung'ong'o (Dar es Salaam:  Dar es Salaam University Press and UWAVITA, 1993), pp. 87-93.

 

"Language in African Literature: An Aside to Ngugi, " Research in African Literatures, 23, 1 (1992), pp. 145-151.  Republished in Tongue and Mother Tongue, ed. Pamela J. Olubunmi Smith and Daniel P. Kunene (Trenton: Africa World Press, Inc., 2002), 49-58.

 

"Narrative Inconsistencies in the Liongo Epic, " The Literary Griot, 2, 2 (1990), pp. 41-50. Republished in Swahili Studies:  Essays in Honour of Marcel van Spaandonck, ed. Jan Blommaert (Ghent:  Academia Press, 1991), pp. 209-218. 

 

"Oral Literature and Social Protest, " Literature, Language and the Nation, eds. Emmanuel Ngara and Andrew Morrison (Harare: Baobab Books, 1989), pp. 98-103.

 

"The Liongo Epic and Swahili Culture, " Weekend Magazine (Tanzania), (January 17, 1989), p. 23.

 

"Jokes Play Social Role, " Daily News (Tanzania), (June 16, 1987), p. 4

 

"The Identity of the Hero in the Liongo Epic, " Research in African Literatures, 17, 4 (1986), pp. 464-473.

 

"The Liongo Fumo Epic and the Scholars, " Kiswahili, 53, 1 & 2 (1986), pp. 128-145.

 

"Comments on 'Wafanyakazi Wazee,'" a poem by Rajmund Ohly, in Kiswahili, 49, 2 (1982), pp. 113-114.

 

"The Hero in the African Epic, " Africana Journal, XIII, 1-4 (1982), pp. 124-141.

 

"Oral Literature and the Writing Tradition, " Kiswahili, 49, 1 (1982), pp. 1-8.

 

"Aspects of Cultural Policy and Imperialism in Tanzania, " Taamuli, 8, 2 (1978), pp. 24-35.

 

"The Writer, His Freedom and Responsibility, " Umma, 4.1 (1974), pp. 16-21. Revised version published in Viewpoints:  Essays on Literature and Drama, ed. Majola Mbele (Nairobi:  Kenya Literature Bureau, 1980), pp. 50-58.

 

Reviews

 

Review of Hausaland Tales from the Nigerian Marketplace by Gavin McIntosh, Multicultural Education, 11, 3 (2004), 57

 

Review of My Rows and Piles of Coins by Tololwa M. Mollel, Multicultural Perspectives, 3, 1 (2001), p. 42.

 

Review of Free Speech in Traditional Society: The Cultural Foundations of Communication in Contemporary Ghana, by Kwesi Yankah, African Studies Quarterly, 4, 3 (2000).

 

Review of Story, by Harold Scheub, Religious Studies Review, 26, 2 (2000), p. 170.

 

Review of Epic Traditions of Africa, by Stephen Belcher, The Literary Griot, 11, 2 (1999), pp. 134-136.

 

Review of The Swahili:  Idiom and Identity of an African People, by Alamin M. Mazrui and Ibrahim Noor Shariff, The Literary Griot 9, 1&2 (1997), pp. 145-146.

 

Review of Grandmother's Song, A Touch of Home by Akiiki Daisy Kabagarama, Multicultural Education, 4, 1 (1996), p. 38.

 

Review of "Sacred Buffalo People, " a video on Native American folklore and culture, Multicultural Education, 2, 4 (1995), pp. 36-37.

 

Review of Indian Response to African Writing, ed. A. Ramakrishna Rao and C.R. Visweswara Rao, The Literary Griot, 6, 2 (1994), 72-75.

 

Review of Introduction to African Oral Literature, by Bayo Ogunjimi and Abdul Rasheed Na'Allah, Research in African Literatures, 24, 2 (1993), pp.157-159.

 

Review of A Dictionary of Oral Literature, by Leteipa Ole Sunkuli and Simon Okumba Miruka, Research in African Literatures, 24, 2 (1993), pp. 159-160. 

 

Review of Dried Millet Breaking:  Time, Words, and Song in the Woi Epic of the Kpelle by Ruth Stone, in Research in African Literatures, 20, 3 (1989), pp. 555-557.

 

"Rasi'lGhuli:  Swahili Classic, " Daily News (Tanzania), (March 19, 1988), p. 4.

 

Review of Moral Imagination in Kaguru Modes of Thought by T. O. Beidelman, in Research in African Literatures, 18, 4 (1987), pp. 551-552.

 

Review of Epic Poetry in Swahili and Other African Languages by Jan Knappert, in Research in African Literatures, 15, 4 (1984), pp. 589-592.

 

Review of The African Experience in Literature and Ideology by Abiola Irele, in African Literature Association Bulletin, 10, 1 (1984), pp. 35-37.

 

Conference Reports

 

"Ripoti ya Mkutano wa Mwaka wa 27 wa Chama cha Fasihi za Kiafrika, " Report on the 27th Annual Meeting of the African Literature Association, African Literature Association Bulletin, 27, 3 (2001), pp. 55-57.

 

"Africanists at the 1991 AFS Meeting, " African Literature Association Bulletin, 18, 1 (1992), p. 6.

 

"African Language Literatures at the 1986 ALA Conference," African Literature Association Bulletin, 12, 2 (1986), pp. 2-4.

 

Translations of Folktales

 

"How Hare Helped Civet, " Earthwatch, XII, V (July/August 1993), pp. 14-15.

 

"What Hare Did to Lion and Hyena, " Umma, 6.1 (1976), pp. 80-82.

 

"The Story of an Uncle and His Nephew, " Umma, 5.2 (1975), pp. 92-96.

 

Short Stories

 

"The Burden of the People, " Umma, 4, 1 (1974), pp. 1-5.

 

"New Visions, " Busara, 5, 2 (1973), pp. 13-16.

 

"A Girl in the Bus, " Busara, 4, 1 (1972), pp. 6-9.

 

Papers in Press

 

"Women in the African Epic. " Research in African Literatures, 37, 3 (2006).

 

Review of  Mr. Myombekere and His Wife Bugonoka, Their Son Ntulanalwo and Daughter Bulihwali. African Literature Today, 26.

 

"The Epic of Ng¹wanamalundi. "  The Literary Griot.

 

ŅWomen in Classical Swahili Poetry,Ó Kiswahili: Journal of the Institute of Swahili Research.

 

Conference Papers and Invited Lectures

 

"Women in the African Epic, " African Literature Association Conference, Madison, Wisconsin, April 14-18, 2004

 

"The Elder in African Society, " Colloquium on Global Intergenerational Research, Program and Policy, University of Pittsburgh, October 19-20, 2003

 

"My Folklore Research Experience, " invited lecture, East China Normal University, November 26, 2003

 

"American Folklore Studies Today, " invited lecture, East China Normal University, November 26, 2003

 

"African Folklore Research, " invited lecture, East China Normal University, December 1, 2003

 

"Neocolonialism and African Development, " invited lecture, Lake Forest College, April 17, 2003.

 

"African Epic Folklore:  Theory and Research, " invited lecture at the University of Zimbabwe, March 17, 2000.

 

"False Starts and the Future of African Epic Studies, " presented at workshop on ³Rethinking African Epic,² University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, March 9, 2000.

 

"Teaching and Learning Through Folklore, " First Annual Arts Based Educational Research (ABER) Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico, February 18-20, 2000.

 

"The Epic Paradigm in Sembene Ousmane's God's Bits of Wood, " Conference of the Association for the Study of Caribbean and African Literature in French, London, 27-28 November 1998.

 

"Unoka of Things Fall Apart, " African Literature Association Conference, East Lansing, April 16-19, 1997.

 

"Existentialist Notions in Derek Walcott's The Sea at Dauphin, " Caribbean Writer Conference, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, October 25-27, 1996.

 

"Homer and African Epic Compared, " Summer Institute on "Homer and Oral Traditions," Universtity of Arizona, Tucson, June 23, 1994.

 

"African Oral Epic, " Summer Institute on "Homer and Oral Traditions, " University of Arizona, Tucson, June 22, 1994

 

"The Epic Hero as Outlaw," Conference on "Epics and the Contemporary World", Madison, WI, April 22-23, 1994.

 

"The Quest and the Epic Hero," Convocation, Monmouth College, IL, October 12, 1993

 

"Jesse James at Northfield:  A Folkloristic Study, " 23rd Meeting of the Popular Culture Association and American Culture Association, New Orleans, April 7-10, 1993.

 

"The Liongo Epic and Socio-historical Relationships on the East African Coast," Holy Land, International Congress for Folklore and Culture, Nazareth, Israel, December 27, 1992-January 3, 1993.

 

"Dynamics of the African Epic," presented to the Symposium on New Trends in Epic Scholarship, Department of Folklore and Folklife, University of Pennsylvania, February 27, 1992.

 

"Death and the Epic Hero:  Some African Examples," Joint Meeting of the American Folklore Society and the Canadian Folklore Studies Association, St. John's, Newfoundland, October 16-20, 1991.

 

"Dynamics of the African Epic," Helsinki University, Finland, Seminar on African Folklore, August 16, 1991.

 

"The American in African Literature," Second Colloquium on American Studies in Eastern Africa, Arusha, Tanzania, May 26-30, 1991.

 

"American Folklore Studies, Lessons for Africa," First Colloquium on American Studies in Eastern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya, July 5-7, 1990.

 

"Narrative Inconsistencies in the Liongo Epic," Centennial Meeting of the American Folklore Society, Philadelphia, PA, October 18-22, 1989.

 

"Women in Classical Swahili Poetry," African Literature Association Conference, Dakar, Senegal, March 20-23, 1989.

 

"Ushujaa Katika Rasi'lGhuli" ("Heroism in Rasi'lGhuli), Seminar of the Institute of Swahili Research, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, February 25-26, 1988.

 

"Mhakiki, Uandishi na Jamii" ("The Critic, Writing and Society"), Meeting of the Union of Tanzania Writers, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, October 26-30, 1987.

 

"Oral Literature and Social Protest," tabled at the Association of Teachers of Language and Literature Conference, Harare, Zimbabwe, August 24-28, 1987.


"Wine, Sexuality and Song in the Liongo Epic," African Literature Association Conference, Michigan State University, April 16-19, 1986.

 

"The Kikoa Incident in the Liongo Epic," African Literature Association Conference, Northwestern University, March 20-23, 1985.

 

"The Significance of Deception in the Liongo Epic," 27th Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association, Los Angeles, October 15-28, 1984.

 

"Echoes of the Oral Tradition in Yambo Ouologuem's Bound to Violence," 10th Annual African Literature Association Conference, Baltimore, April 12-15, 1984.

 

"The Hero in the African Epic," 26th Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association, Boston, December 7-10, 1983.

 

"Sundiata:  The Epic as an Ideological Weapon," Conference on Radical Perspectives on African Literature, Ibadan, Nigeria, December, 1977.

 

"Oral Literature Scholarship as an Arena of Ideological Struggle," 2nd Ibadan Annual African Literature Conference, Nigeria, July, 1977.

 

Honors and Awards

 

Great Lakes Colleges Association (Global Partners) travel grant, for research on Osale Otango folklore, Tanzania, 2005.

 

Great Lakes Colleges Association (Global Partners) travel grant, for research on Osale Otango folklore, Tanzania, 2004.

 

African Studies International Scholar in Residence, Colorado College, March 21-27, 2004

 

Great Lakes Colleges Association (Global Partners) travel grant, for research on Osale Otango folklore, Tanzania, 2003.

 

Great Lakes Colleges Association (Global Partners) travel grant, for research on Osale Otango folklore, Tanzania, 2002.

 

Pitt Rivers Museum (Oxford University) grant for field research on "The Epic Tradition of the Tanzanian Cushitic Speakers," 1997

 

Center for Field Research Grant, for field research on Tanzania's Epic Folklore, 1996, 1995, 1994

 

Invited Lecturer, Summer Institute on "Homer and Oral Traditions," University of Arizona, Tucson, June 13-July 22, 1994

 

Invited, March 1993, to membership in the Folklore Fellows, an international network of folklorists instituted by the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, Helsinki

 

Center for Field Research Grant, for field research on Tanzania's Epic Folklore, 1993

 

Minnesota Private College Research Foundation's Blandin Fellowship Grant, for research on "Jesse James at Northfield:  A Folkloristic Study," 1992

 

Fellowship, Folklore Fellows' Summer School, Turku, Finland, July 29-August 14, 1991

 

Research Fellowship, American Studies Research Centre, Hyderabad, India, 1991, for research on "The Oral Heritage of Afro-American Literature:  The Case of Zora Neale Hurston"

 

Invited by the Humanities Program, Brandeis University, to conduct a Faculty Development Seminar on African Oral and Literary traditions, June 1991

 

Invited by the African Literature Association to participate in a discussion on the African Epic at the African Literature Association Annual Conference, Madison, WI, April 4-7, 1990

 

Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern Africa (OSSREA) Research Grant, 1990, for research on "Poetry and the Swahili Woman:  The Legacy on the Liongo Epic"

 

Invited to St. Olaf College, MN, to give lectures on African Epic and Literature, November, 1989

 

Invited by the American Folklore Society to participate in its annual meetings, since 1988, as an international scholar

 

British Institute in Eastern African Research Grant, 1989, for field work on the Liongo Epic

 

Pitt-Rivers Museum (Oxford University) Grant, 1988, for field work on the Liongo Epic

 

Dean's Fellowship, for excellence, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1984-85

 

Knapp Travel Fellowship, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1984

 

Fulbright Scholarship, for Ph.D. Studies, 1980-85

 

In-country German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Scholarship, for M.A. Studies, 1976-77

 

East African Academy Prize for second-best undergraduate finalist, University of Dar es Salaam, 1975-76

 

Vice-Chancellor's prize for best first year undergraduate student, University of Dar es Salaam, 1973-74

 


Professional Associations

 

Folklore Fellows

African Literature Association

African Studies Association

Tanzania Writers' Association

Tanzania National Swahili Council (BAKITA), 1990-92

 

Editorial Positions

 

Member, Editorial Board of Utafiti, 2004- present

Member, Editorial Board of Kioo cha Lugha, 1989-91

Chief Editor, Utafiti, 1988-91

Member, Editorial Board, Utafiti, 1985-88

Assistant Editor, Umma, 1976

Member, Editorial Board, Maji Maji, 1975

 

Other Professional Activities

 

Member, Board of Africa Network 2004 - present

Member, Review Committee for the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) Zimbabwe Program, 2000

Consultant, Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) program in Kenya

St. Olaf Campus Advisor, Lutheran College Consortium for Tanzania (LCCT)

St. Olaf Campus Advisor, ACM Tanzania Program

St. Olaf Campus Advisor, ACM Zimbabwe Program

Workshop Leader and Keynote Speaker, South Dakota Humanities Commission Workshop on Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart and Nadine Gordimer's Crimes of Conscience, Mitchell, SD, September 13, 1997

Panel Chair, The Ecology of African Language Literatures, at the 36th Annual African Studies Association Meeting, Boston, December 3-7, 1993

Coordinator, Africa and African Diaspora Studies, St. Olaf College, 1993-94

Secretary, Language and Literature Group, St. Olaf College, 1993-94

Co-instructor, African and African American Texts, Masterworks Seminar for High School Teachers, St. Olaf College, 1991-92

Vice Chairman, Tanzania Writers' Association, 1990-93

Convener, 2nd Colloquium on American Studies in Eastern Africa, Arusha, May 26-30, 1991

Member, Lectures Committee, African Studies Program, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1984-85

Chairman, University of Dar es Salaam Literary Association, 1974-76

 

Consultancies

 

Advisor, Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) Tanzania program

Advisor, ACM Zimbabwe Program

Advisor, Lutheran Colleges Consortium for Tanzania (LCCT) program

South Dakota Humanities Council

Minnesota Humanities Commission project on Somali folktales

Anotherland, A cultural tourism company

Thomson Safaris

Ngoma za Kiafrika: An African culture organization based in Carlisle, Pennsylvania

 

Extracurricular Activities

 

Member, Board of Umoja Society, a Minnesota-based East African community organization.

Participating in cultural festivals as storyteller and speaker on storytelling

Member, Curirculum and Education Policies Committee (CEPC), St. Olaf College, 2000-01

Member, Knights of Columbus (Catholic men's organization), Northfield

Member, St. Olaf College Library Committee, 1996 to present

Member, International and Domestic Off-Campus Studies Committee, St. Olaf College, 1994-96

Faculty Advisor, International Students' Organization, St. Olaf College, 1993-94

Member, Social Ministry Committee, Church of St. Dominic, Northfield, MN, 1993-96

President, African Students' Union, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1982-84

Vice-President, African Students' Union, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1980-81

 

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