Grants awarded

Ulimbaso ‘You will be strong again’: how literary aesthetics and storytelling inform concepts of health and wellbeing in Malawi

Grantholder:

Dr Chisomo Kalinga

University of Edinburgh

United Kingdom

Literature holds a unique place in the day-to-day lives of African citizens. I will investigate how indigenous literary practices (performance, form and aesthetics) can be used to confront community health issues. It will examine cultural ideologies of health in literature to shed light on how old traditions can be used to promote community engagement with public health. 

The study engages contemporary performance and storytelling from poets, actors, writers and ordinary citizens in communities to examine the ways modern and traditional African literature and storytelling are used to inform and help communities to negotiate matters pertaining to illness, treatment, health, and wellbeing. 

This study will determine how literature can be used to improve delivery of healthcare services through a better understanding of the interplay between African indigenous literature and thought about health.