Januar 2017
Public Lecture by Simon Nganga
17.01.2017 16:00 Uhr

P U B L I C   L E C T U R E

Simon Wanjala Nganga

Moi University, Kenya

"The Communication of Affect among the Bereaved in Bukusu Funeral Performances"

Tue, 17 January 2017, 4 pm
S 94, GW I

The study sets out to investigate how the bereaved communicate affect in the funeral performances among the Bukusu people who occupy the Western part of Kenya in East Africa. Focusing on highly ritualized performances such as the sermon and traditional public comforting and less ritualized performances such as visits to the bereaved, I argue that as death disrupts interpersonal relations, the communication of affect especially through linguistic means becomes a key resource in the restoration of broken relationships and, therefore, in coping with death. With principles from interactional sociolinguistics and Goffman’s frame analysis, the study shows that apart from influencing participant behaviour, affect plays a role in creating the appropriate environment for communication and it, therefore, helps organize the Bukusu funeral performances. By extending the analysis of affect to the Bukusu funeral context, this study seeks to contribute to discussions on the pragmatics of affect in funeral settings in particular and on the pragmatics of affect in general.