[Mansa-l] Back in touch

David Conrad basitigi@sbcglobal.net
Tue, 23 Aug 2005 11:14:59 -0700


Dear MANSAdenw:

In June when the time for our conference in Conakry and Kankan  
finally arrived, it was probably a relief for you to stop receiving  
so many memos from me, especially if you were not planning to be in  
Guinea yourselves. Since returning from Guinea I've been completely  
occupied with the process of concluding my working affiliation with  
SUNY-Oswego and settling into permanent residence at home in Stinson  
Beach CA. Consequently I'm behind on everything, but have now emptied  
enough book boxes in my study to make room to reach my work table and  
will be catching up before long, with apologies to everyone awaiting  
replies to correspondence.

Just a few things to mention and report for now:

1. I've switched to a dsl server, so please note the change in my e- 
mail address:
basitigi@sbcglobal.net

2. Stephen Belcher reports that MANDE STUDIES 6 (featuring works  
guest-edited by Rod McIntosh and Joe Tainter on "Paleoclimates and  
the Mande") is looking good, and that we can expect to see it before  
too long. I believe we already have a more or less complete  
collection of papers for MANDE STUDIES 7, so I'm happy to say that  
our journal is alive, well, and giving the lie to the intentionally  
drastic alarm (color me day-glo red on the Homeland Security scale) I  
sent out last winter.

3. Stephen Wooten's edited volume on warri, containing a core of  
papers from the 4th International Conference on Mande Studies at  
Leiden will soon be in press.

4. During September I'll be working on the fall issue of MANSA  
Newsletter (#57). Between that and the forthcoming up-date for the  
website "MANSA History," I'll do my best to give a comprehensive  
report on what transpired at the 5th International Conference in  
Guinea, hopefully before too many episodes become irretrievable from  
the realm of legend, especially where the bus journey from Conakry to  
Kankan is concerned. That far exceeded my worst fears of how badly  
that trip could go awry, but it brought out the best in most of those  
who so stalwartly endured it. Alas, my descriptions of the intrepid  
MANSA pilgrims will doubtless fall far short of those in Chaucer's  
Canterbury Tales, but the Wife of Bath has nothing on our  
mansamusolu. The writing will probably be closer to the level of Ken  
Kesey's description of the "Merry Pranksters" though the U. of  
Conakry bus hardly qualifies for the name "Further."

5. Of particular interest to those of you who were in Kankan, the  
Sunjata epic mural is reportedly complete, and  pictures will be made  
available as soon as possible.

With best regards to all, David