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Discussion Group - What is Shona? Investigating a language

Tinashe Mushakavanhu
Monday, January 24, 2022 - 12:45 to 14:00
Seminar Room 10, St Anne's

What is Shona? Investigating a language 

This week's presentation was part philosophical musings, part critical reflections, a tracking and tracing of how a mega colonial language that did not exist before 1929 was created over 90 years ago to subdue various groups of people in the territory that is now Zimbabwe. What is the Shona linguistic experiment that resulted in the creation of one of the two major languages that have been used as an identifier of Zimbabweanness from the early 20th century onwards?


Dr. Tinashe Mushakavanhu is a Junior Research Fellow in African and Comparative Literature at OCCT, St Anne’s College, Oxford.



Image: A screenshot from Reading Zimbabwe, a webliography archiving gaps organised by Tinashe Mushakavanhu. Most Shona canonical novels are missing on the internet.

Screenshot from Reading Zimbabwe