Harriet Masembe (Ph.D. in African Languages & Literature, 1982) sends us news from Uganda.
“This year,” she writes, “I am compiling for publication a collection of Uganda folktales to include several that I collected from different ethnic groups between 1991 – 1993. At the time, I was a professor of English at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania. Currently, I am waiting to hear if my proposal for a small grant to finance the translators in different languages will be funded. I want to publish these tales in both the indigenous languages and English side-by-side. The major languages represented will be Luganda, Runyankole, Lusoga, Rufumbira, Gisu (Lumasaba) Luo, if I get someone whose English writing skills are good.”
She also extends an invitation to our many Africanist students and alumni: “I also welcome any contributions of Ugandan folktales in any language that anyone in your department wants to send me in both local and English versions. All contributors will be acknowledged, of course, and I would love to see what you send me from Madison.”
Harriet started her African Folktales program soon after her graduation from UW – Madison, where I enjoyed storytelling with Prof. Harold Scheub, Jan 1978 – Dec 1981. Prof. Edris Markward directed her Ph.D. dissertation, Folklore in J.P. Clark’s Drama.
Harriet’s African storytelling has been well received throughout the U.S., and several newspapers have acclaimed her work: LA Times, Christian Science Monitor, Boston Globe, Boston H, Harvard Crimson, and Orlando Sentinel, to name but a few.