Quincy Amoah

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Princeton U.

Grant number

Gr. 9273

Approve Date

April 18, 2016

Project Title

Amoah, Quincy Jones, Princeton U., Princeton, NJ - To aid research on 'Phenomenology of Divination and Ethical Action in Karamoja,' supervised by Dr. Abdellah Hammoudi

QUINCY AMOAH, then a graduate student at Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, was awarded a grant in April 2016 to aid research on ‘Phenomenology of Divination and Ethical Action in Karamoja,’ supervised by Dr. Abdellah Hammoudi The grant allowed the grantee to extensively record Karimojong songs and poetic expressions. The study discovered that there were women’s compositions and ownership of ‘ox-songs,’ which were formerly thought to be of an exclusively men’s genre because of the adequate transportation the funding made accessible. With field experience as context, the grantee is successfully doing dynamic transcriptions and translations of dozens of archived Karimojong songs acquired from the British Library. The songs are part of the Library’s Uganda Sound Collection. The final transcripts of the archived recordings will be donated as appendices to their collection. There is also a verbal commitment that the grantee will contribute field recordings to the sound archive, in the future. Also, the grantee’s attention to poetic form and divinatory speech should allow a re-evaluatation of problems in interpreting Nilotic propositions, such as the contentious Nuer aphorism, “Twins are Birds.” Methodologically, the grantee deduced that location, especially location encountered and traversed as one is in conversation while walking, was used by interlocutors as mnemonics and points of significance, which acted like catalysts that gave context and relevance to richer recounting of history and memory. This gives an promising possibility for giving authority to accounts based on ethnographic or historical memory.