Here is a selection of some of my current and on-going research projects...


"Clear Language"

Emerging from my dissertation, my book manuscript project uses multi-sited transnational fieldwork to track a West African social movement as it engages with definitions of Blackness, citizenship and Islam while promoting mother-tongue literacy and education. Built around the unique orthography invented in 1949, my research probes the pan-Manding N’ko (ߒߞߏ) movement through a discourse analytic focus on the linguistic forms, usage and ideologies through which larger societal debates unfold.

With support from Fulbright-IIE and three Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowships, I have carried out this ethnographic research since 2011 in classrooms, homes and radio-stations across Burkina Faso, Mali, and Guinea, as well as France and the Northeastern United States.

Manding Ajami

My other research project focuses on the cultural and linguistic dynamics underlying Ajami—the understudied practice of writing Indigenous African languages in Arabic script. Initial pilot research on this topic resulted in a both a sponsored conference presentation in Brussels as well as an article, “Jula Ajami in Burkina Faso: A Grassroots Literacy in the Former Kong Empire” (2013), in the journal Working Papers in Educational Linguistics.

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Manding-English-French Pocket Dictionary

I have involved in an ongoing collaboration with Antoine Fenayon of Association Donniyakadi in France on a trilingual dictionary Manding-English-French dictionary project with practical usage in mind. Currently we are at 2,000+ lexemes and working to finalize cross-referencing, formatting, dialectal variants and examples.

"Alimama Samori Ko-ma"

Typesetting and translation of the non-standard transcription of the Jula-language performance of the "Tale of Samori Touré" by Amadou Kouroubari to Maurice Delafosse in 1899/1900 (as appears in Delafosse, 1906)

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