What is a Griot?

A traditional griot is an interdisciplinary storyteller — at once poet, artist, historian, economist, sociologist, and musician. Bucknell's Griot Institute for Africana Studies takes as a metaphor for its central function the characteristics of the griot. The Bucknell Griot Storytelling Project allows the Institute to add to its many projects the role of functioning as a griot for Bucknell. The project gathers oral narratives designed by professors as pedagogical projects, as well as free-form narratives from members of the Bucknell community in an effort to define who we are at this moment in our collective history.

Please visit us regularly to see the ways Bucknell's Griot expands to fully represent the narratives that are the people who are Bucknell. Bucknell Presidential Fellow Heather Hennigan's primary Fellowship project has been implementing the Griot Storytelling Project. First-year Presidential Fellow, Grace Carita will continue building the Griot Storytelling project as her fellowship work.

Stories from ENGL 290

The course ENGL 290: The Civil Rights Movement 50 Years Later explored the literary and cultural productions of the US Civil Rights movement in conjunction with the 2014 Griot Civil Rights series. The course examined how representations of the movement in film, fiction, autobiography, and poetry are sometimes complementary, sometimes competing, and offer to the reader many different characters, perspectives, impressions, and narrations of important cultural and historical moments of the movement. In the recordings below, students in the course synthesize their responses to a specific primary document from the Movement in light of what they learned throughout the course.

(*Not optimized for smart-phones.)