Prof. Dr. Clarissa Vierke



Completed Project

The Poem of the Palanquin. A Text Edition of the "Utendi wa Haudaji" together with a Textual Analysis Approaching the Style of the Nineteenth-Century Swahili Utendi


This PHD project was published and is available at the website of LIT Verlag


vierke"On the Poetics of the Utendi" is centred on a 19th-century Swahili Islamic epic from Kenya depicting the flight of the Prophet’s family to Madina. The study consists of a critical text edition of the poem handed down in manuscripts and an analysis of its stylistic devices, focussing on prosodic and narrative aspects as well as the linguistic-thematic repertoire. The analysis informed by discussions with eminent Swahili poets does not exhaust itself in a list of stylistic features, but considers the interplay of different linguistic and thematic levels as well as their connection with questions of representation and the emic and genre-specific conceptualisation of verbal art and composition.