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Overview
Vierke_Clarissa1 Prof. Dr. Clarissa Vierke
Vierke_Clarissa1

Faculty of Languages & Literatures
Literatures in African Languages


Clarissa Vierke, born in 1979, has been professor of Literatures in African Languages at the University of Bayreuth since 2014. With a scholarship of the German National Merit Foundation, she studied African Languages, Anthropology and Literatures in African Languages at the University of Bayreuth and the Rijksuniversiteit te Leiden. She wrote her PhD about the specific poetics of a narrative peotic genre from the Swahili Coast in Eastern Africa. Since then, she has worked on manuscript cultures in Eastern Africa and travelling texts along the East African Coast from Kenya to Mozambique and across the Indian Ocean. She has also expanded her interest in Aesthetics to focus on other poetic genres.

In 2012, she won the Wissenschaftspreis of the University of Bayreuth and the Heinz-Maier-Leibnitz-prize of the German Research Council (DFG).

Academic Degrees

2010                             Doctorate: African Studies, BIGSAS, University of Bayreuth,                                               supervisor: Prof. Dr. Said Khamis

1999 – 2005                 Studies in African Studies, Social Anthropology and Literatures                                         in African Languages, University of Bayreuth and Rijksuniversität                                       Leiden

Professional Background

Since 2014                   Professor of Literatures in African Languages, University of                                                Bayreuth     

2013 – 2014                  Visiting Professor, Department of Kiswahili and Other African                                            Languages, Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya

2010 – 2012                  Assistant Professor („Akademische Rätin auf Zeit“) at the                                                  Institute of African Linguistics I, University of Bayreuth

2009 – 2010                  Research Associate at the Institute of African Linguistics I,                                                  University of Bayreuth

2006 – 2008                  Scholarship of the German National Merit Foundation                                                        (Studienstiftung des dt. Volkes)

2005 – 2006                  Research Associate; Institute of African Linguistics I                                                            (Prof. Dr. Gudrun Miehe), University of Bayreuth

Other


Vierke_Clarissa1

Faculty of Languages & Literatures
Literatures in African Languages


I am a specialist of Swahili Language and Literature with an interest in more far-reaching literary connections and entanglements across the Indian Ocean and the African continent. My research has often taken a historical perspective: having widely worked on various poetic genres found in Swahili manuscripts of the 18th and 19th century. However, I have also extended my focus on contemporary poetry, like hiphop and newspaper poetry. A question that recurs throughout my research is how poetic form creates its powerful effect, echoes ideas of aesthetics, and shapes people’s lifeworlds. 

Research topics:

  • Comparative Literary Studies with a focus on Africa 
  • Swahili Literature and Popular Culture
  • Manuscript Cultures in Africa
  • Orality and Literacy
  • Poetics and Aesthetics
  • Travelling Texts in the Indian Ocean area
  • Swahili Intellectual History
  • Literature in Multi-lingual Contexts
  • Research History with respect to African Languages and Literatures

Regional:

  • Kenya
  • Mozambique
  • Tanzania

Current Research Project:

Vierke_Clarissa1

Faculty of Languages & Literatures
Literatures in African Languages


Publications

Book/Monograph

Kandagor, Mosol; Ogechi, Nathan O.; Vierke, Clarissa
Lugha na fasihi katika karne ya ishirini na moja : kwa heshima ya marehemu Profesa Naoma Luchera Shitemi
Eldoret, Kenya : Moi University Press, 2017

Dunia Yao - Utopia/Dystopia in Swahili Fiction : in honour of Said A. M. Khamis
publ: Vierke, Clarissa; Greven, Katharina
Köln : Köppe, 2016 . - (Verbal art and documentary literature in African languages; 36)

Vierke, Clarissa
On the Poetics of the Utendi : A Critical Edition of the Nineteenth-Century Swahilin Poem "Utendi wa Haudaji" together with a Stylistic Analysis
Berlin : LIT, 2011. - XVIII, 704 pp. . - (Beiträge zur Afrikaforschung; 50)

Speech Acts and Speech Events in African Languages
publ: Sommer, Gabriele; Vierke, Clarissa
Köln : Köppe, 2011 . - (Topics in Interdisciplinary African Studies; 23)

Miehe, Gudrun; Vierke, Clarissa
Muhamadi Kijuma : texts from the Dammann papers and other collections
Köln : Köppe, 2010. - 532 pp. . - (Archiv afrikanistischer Manuskripte; 9)

Johann Ludwig Krapf : The Life and Work of a Missionary and Scholar-Traveller in Nineteenth-Century East Africa ; Proceedings of the Workshop on Life and Work of Johann Ludwig Krapf, Mombasa, September 11, 2007
publ: Vierke, Clarissa
Nairobi : Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, 2009

rev.: Lenoble-Barth, Annie. 2009. In: Histoire & Missions Chrétiennes, 11: 190-191

Complete issue of a journal

Reading Closely : Investigating Textuality in Afrophone Literatures
publ: Vierke, Clarissa; Veit-Wild, Flora
Research in African Literatures vol. 48 (2017) issue 1

Article in a journal (peer-reviewed)

Vierke, Clarissa; Veit-Wild, Flora
Introduction : Digging into Language
in Research in African Literatures vol. 48 (2017) issue 1. - pp. 9-18
doi:10.2979/reseafrilite.48.1.01 ...

Vierke, Clarissa
Poetic Links across the Ocean : On Poetic ‘Translation’ as Mimetic Practice at the Swahili Coast
in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East vol. 37 (2017) issue 2. - pp. 321-335
doi:10.1215/1089201x-4132941 ...

Vierke, Clarissa
"What Is There In My Speaking" : Re-Explorations of Language in Abdilatif Abdalla's Anthology of Prison Poetry, Sauti Ya Dhiki
in Research in African Literatures vol. 48 (2017) issue 1. - pp. 135-157
doi:10.2979/reseafrilite.48.1.09 ...

Vierke, Clarissa
From across the Ocean : Considering Travelling Literary figurations as Part of Swahili Intellectual History
in Journal of African Cultural Studies vol. 28 (2016) issue 2. - pp. 225-240
doi:10.1080/13696815.2015.1053800 ...

Article in a journal (not peer-reviewed)

Vierke, Clarissa
Of Plants and Women : A Working Edition of two Swahili Plant Poems
in Swahili-Forum vol. 14 (2007) . - pp. 27-80
http://www.qucosa.de/fileadmin/data/qucosa/documen ...

Article in a book (peer-reviewed)

Vierke, Clarissa
The Making of the ‘Classical’ Utenzi : a Consideration of the Early Editorial History of Tenzi in the 19th and 20th Century
In: Kandagor, Mosol ; Ogechi, Nathan O. ; Vierke, Clarissa (ed.): Lugha na fasihi katika karne ya ishirini na moja : kwa heshima ya marehemu Profesa Naoma Luchera Shitemi - Eldoret, Kenya: Moi University Press, 2017. - pp. 113-130

Vierke, Clarissa; Greven, Katharina
Critical Visions of the Future in Swahili Fiction
In: Vierke, Clarissa ; Greven, Katharina (ed.): Dunia Yao - Utopia/Dystopia in Swahili Fiction : in Honour of Said A. M. Khamis - Cologne: Köppe, 2016. - pp. 7-25 . - (Verbal art and documentary literature in African languages; 36)

Vierke, Clarissa
The ‘Unhomely’ City : a Literary Figuration in Swahili Dystopian Literature
In: Vierke, Clarissa ; Greven, Katharina (ed.): Dunia Yao - Utopia/Dystopia in Swahili Fiction : in Honour of Said A. M. Khamis - Cologne: Köppe, 2016. - pp. 75-91 . - (Verbal art and documentary literature in African languages; 36)

Vierke, Clarissa
Comparing the Incomparable? on the poetic use of language in Swahili Hip-Hop and "Classical" Swahili Poetry
In: Diegner, Lutz ; Schulze-Engler, Frank (ed.): Habari ya English? What about Kiswahili? : East Africa as a Literary and Linguistic Contact Zone - Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2015. - pp. 81 . - (Matatu; 46)

Vierke, Clarissa
Some Remarks on Poetic Aspects of Sheng
In: Nassenstein, Nico ; Hollington, Andrea (ed.): Youth language practices in Africa and beyond - Berlin: De Gruyter, 2015. - pp. 227-255 . - (Contributions to the Sociology of Language; 105)

Vierke, Clarissa
Akhi patia kalamu : Writing Swahili Poetry in Arabic Script
In: Mumin, Meikal ; Versteegh, Kees (ed.): Arabic Script in Africa : studies in the use of a writing system - Leiden: Brill, 2014. - pp. 319-342 . - (Studies in Semitic Languages and Linguistics; 71)

Vierke, Clarissa
"Im Gebälk die Fledermäuse" : Figurationen der Vergänglichkeit und der Täuschung in der klassischen Swahili-Dichtung
In: Vögele, Hannelore ; Reuster-Jahn, Uta ; Kastenholz, Raimund ; Diegner, Lutz (ed.): From the Tana River to Lake Chad : research in african oratures and literatures ; in memoriam Thomas Geider - Köln: Köppe, 2014. - pp. 285-309 . - (Mainzer Beiträge zur Afrikaforschung; 36)

Vierke, Clarissa
Zur Forschungsgeschichte der deutschen Afrikanistik, ihre Anfänge und Ausrichtung, am Beispiel der Swahili-Forschung
In: Espagne, Michel ; Rabault-Feuerhahn, Pascale ; Simo, David (ed.): Afrikanische Deutschland-Studien und deutsche Afrikanistik - Würzburg: Königshausen und Neumann, 2014. - pp. 73-92

Vierke, Clarissa
Préface: Localiser Histoire du Swahili de David Massamba dans le contexte des recherches et dans le discours sur l’identité nationale (Übersetzung vom Englischen ins Französische von Alain Ricard)
Histoire de la langue swahili : de 50 à 1500 après J.-C. / David Massamba ; traduit du swahili par François Devenne - Paris, 2013

Vierke, Clarissa
Mafumbo : Considering the Functions of Metaphorical Speech in Swahili Contexts
In: Marlo, Michael R. ; Adams, Nikki B. ; Green, Christopher R. ; Morrison, Michelle ; Purvis, Tristan M. (ed.): Selected Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Conference on African Linguistics : African languages in context - Somerville: Cascadilla Proceedings Project, 2012. - pp. 278-290
http://www.lingref.com/cpp/acal/42/paper2776.pdf

Article in a book (not peer-reviewed)

Vierke, Clarissa
Préface : L'Histoire de la langue Swahili de David Massamba dans l'histoire de la recherche et dans le contexte national
In: Massamba, David (ed.): Histoire de la langue Swahili : de 50 à 1500 après J.-C. - Paris: Karthala, 2013. - pp. 5-16

Vierke, Clarissa; Sommer, Gabriele
Speech Acts and Speech Events in African Languages
In: Sommer, Gabriele ; Vierke, Clarissa (ed.): Speech Acts and Speech Events in African Languages - Cologne: Köppe, 2011. - pp. 11-40 . - (Topics in Interdisciplinary African Studies; 23)

Vierke, Clarissa
Between the Lines : Life and Work of the Lamuan Artist and Cultural Broker Muhamadi Kijuma
In: Miehe, Gudrun ; Vierke, Clarissa (ed.): Muhamadi Kijuma : Texts from the Dammann Papers and other Collections - Köln: Köppe, 2010. - pp. 41-62 . - (Archiv afrikanistischer Manuskripte; 9)

Vierke, Clarissa
Johann L. Krapf : His Life and Work in Context
In: Vierke, Clarissa (ed.): Johann Ludwig Krapf : The Life and Work of a Missionary and Scholar-Traveller in Nineteenth-Century East Africa ; Proceedings of the Workshop on Life and Work of Johann Ludwig Krapf, Mombasa, September 11, 2007 - Nairobi: Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, 2009. - pp. 28-49

Nabahany, Ahmed S.
Utenzi wa Mapisi ya Johann Ludwig Krapf wa Ujerumani : Poem about the Life of Johann Ludwig Krapf from Germany
In: Vierke, Clarissa (ed.): Johann Ludwig Krapf : The Life and Work of a Missionary and Scholar-Traveller in Nineteenth-Century East Africa ; Proceedings of the Workshop on Life and Work of Johann Ludwig Krapf, Mombasa, September 11, 2007. - Nairobi: Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, 2009. - pp. 14-26

Vierke, Clarissa
"Words do neither take roots not bear fruits in our country" : Johann Ludwig Krapf's Role as Pioneer Grammarian of Swahili
publ: Vierke, Clarissa
In: Vierke, Clarissa (ed.): Johann Ludwig Krapf : The Life and Work of a Missionary and Scholar-Traveller in Nineteenth-Century East Africa ; Proceedings of the Workshop on Life and Work of Johann Ludwig Krapf, Mombasa, September 11, 2007 - Nairobi: Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, 2009. - pp. 142-156

Review

Vierke, Clarissa
Seydou, Christiane (Hrsg.): La poésie mystique peule du Mali : Tradition Orale. Paris, 2008
Journal of Qur'anic Studies
2014
doi:10.3366/jqs.2013.0124 ...

Doctoral thesis

Vierke, Clarissa
On the poetics of the Utendi : a critical edition of the nineteenth-century Swahili poem "Utendi wa Haudaji" together with a stylistic analysis
Zürich, Lit, 2011(thesis, 2010, Universität Bayreuth, Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies - BIGSAS)

Vierke_Clarissa1

Faculty of Languages & Literatures
Literatures in African Languages


Prof. Dr. Clarissa Vierke
Professor for Literatures in African Languages

University of Bayreuth 
Literatures in African languages 
95440 Bayreuth 
Room: Room: 1.10 (GW I)
Fax: +49 (0)921 / 55-3641​

Phone: +49 (0)921 / 55-3550
E-mail: clarissa.vierke@uni-bayreuth.de

Webmaster: Marouen Amri

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