Political Oratory and Cartooning : An Ethnography of Democratic Process in Madagascar

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-03-04
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
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Jackson traces the lively skirmishes between Madagascar's political cartoonists and politicians whose cartooning and public oratory reveal an ever-shifting barometer of democracy in the island nation. The first anthropological study of the role of language and rhetoric in reshaping democracy Maps the dynamic relationship between formalized oratory, satire, and political change in Madagascar A fascinating analysis of the extraordinary Ciceronian features of kabary, a style of formal public oratory long abandoned in the West Documents the management by United States Democrat campaign advisors of a foreign presidential bid, unprecedented in the post-colonial era

Author Biography

Jennifer Jackson is Assistant Professor in the Anthropology Department at the University of California, Los Angeles. Since 1994, her research has focused on Madagascar and the US, spanning studies in semiotics, language ideologies and aesthetics, and verbal and visual artistic performance in political practice related to the formation of democracy, civil society and statehood.

Table of Contents

Note on Orthography



1. Introduction: “Look Out! The Sleeping Locusts Awake”

2.  A History of Language and Politics in Madagascar

3. The Structural and Social Organization of Kabary Politika (Political Oratory)

4. The Structural and Social Organization of Kisarsary Politika (Political Cartooning)

5. Building publics through interanimating and shifting registers: “Stop acting like a slave”

6. The ideological and aesthetic dimensions of syntax and register in political kabary and political cartooning

7. “That’s what you think”: Arguing representations of truth in language

8. Conclusion: The Constraints and Possibilities of Democracy


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