©2019 by Coleman Donaldson.

I am a linguistic anthropologist who investigates language, literacy and society in Manding-speaking West Africa and the French-speaking world.


I am currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate working in the Ajami Lab at the University of Hamburg.

I teach and produce resources for Manding and French.

I received my PhD in Educational Linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017.

 

Na baro kè

Through An ka taa, I produce a series that provides Manding speakers and learners with an online subtitled video series of street-side “chats” with everyday people in West Africa.

 

Easy French

As a contributor, I produced 5 episodes investigating French society and its language through interviews in the streets of Paris.

 

PUBLICATIONS

Refereed Journal Articles

Book Chapters

Books

  • 2016. “Apprendre le bambara” Textbook/App. Linguarena. Chessy, France (iOS & Android)

Thesis

Book Reviews

 

RESEARCH PROJECTS

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

"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.

"NA BARO KÈ"

Na baro kè” (literally, 'come chat') is a project to provide Manding-speakers and -learners with an online subtitled video series on YouTube of street-side “chats” with everyday people in West Africa.

NBK_4_warimisen_youtube-thumbnail.png

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.

MANDING (BAMBARA/JULA) - ENGLISH - FRENCH DICTIONARY

An ongoing collaboration with Antoine Fenayon of Association Donniyakadi in France to improve our online and mobile-friendly Manding dictionary with learners of Bambara and Jula in mind.

"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)

 

TEACHING

Undergraduate Courses

  • French  - Intermediate II: “Griots modernes: l’art de la parole” (Fall 2017 – two sections)

  • Manding - Elementary I (Fall 2017)


Graduate Courses

  • Educational Linguistics (Fall 2016)

 

MEDIA

Appearances, Clips, Productions

TV

  • Interview segment on Cherifla's "N'ko Laseli" - (2018, May 30)

  • Interview segment during RTG coverage of the annual N'ko gathering in NYC (2017, April 14)

  • Interview 1 on Cherifla's "N'ko Laseli"- (2016, August 06)

  • Interview 2 on Cherifla's "N'ko Laseli"- (2016, August 20)

YouTube

Press

Blogging

Audio