Karin Barber is Professor of African Cultural Anthropology at the Centre of West African Studies, University of Birmingham. She has researched extensively on Yoruba oral and popular genres, and on African cultures more widely. Her most recent book is The Generation of Plays: Yoruba Popular Life in Theatre (2000).
James Burns is Assistant Professor of Music (Ethnomusicology) at Binghamton University. His research spans the music, languages, religions, and literatures of Africa and the Diaspora. He has conducted over five years of ongoing fieldwork in Ghana, Togo, and Benin with Ewe-Fon, Akan, and Dagbamba (Dagomba) ethnic groups. He has compiled a CD entitled Ewe Drumming from Ghana: "The Soup which is Sweet Draws the Chairs in Closer" (2005) and is himself a performer of African and Afro-Caribbean traditional music.
Ruth Finnegan (FBA) is Visiting Research Professor and Emeritus Professor in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Open University, and the author of many works concerned with orality, literacy, and communication. Her books include Limba Stories and Story-Telling (1967), Oral Literature in Africa (1970), Oral Poetry (1977, rpt. 1992), Orality and Literacy (1988), The Hidden Musicians (1989), Oral Traditions and the Verbal Arts (1992), South Pacific Oral Traditions (joint ed., 1995), Tales of the City (1998), and Communicating: The Multiple Modes of Human Interconnection (2002).
C. Andrew Gerstle is Professor of Japanese Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Publications include Kabuki Heroes and the Osaka Stage: 1780-1830 (2005), Chikamatsu: Five Late Plays (2001), Theatre as Music: The Bunraku Play "Mt. Imo and Mt. Se" (1990, co-authored), Eighteenth Century Japan (1989, ed.), and Circles of Fantasy: Convention in the Plays of Chikamatsu (1986).
Wilt L. Idema obtained his Ph.D. at Leiden University in 1974, and has published widely, both in Dutch and in English, on traditional Chinese drama, vernacular fiction, and storytelling. Since 2000 he has taught as Professor of Chinese Literature at Harvard University. His most recent publications include The Red Brush: Writing Women of Imperial China (with Beata Grant, 2004), and Boeddha, hemel en hel. Boeddhisistische verhalen uit Dunhuang (2004).
Andrew Lo is Senior Lecturer in Chinese at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His research interests are Chinese literature of the Ming-Qing periods and the cultural life of Chinese literati, especially games. Recent publications include articles on the history of various Chinese gamesin Asian Games: The Art of Contest (2004, ed. by Colin Mackenzie and Irving Finkel).
Martin Orwin is Lecturer in Somali and Amharic at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His research interests lie in the field of language use in poetry, particularly meter. He is also involved in the translation of Somali and Amharic poetry into English. [End Page 363]
Haruo Shirane is Shinch? Professor of Japanese Literature at Columbia University. He is the author of The Bridge of Dreams: A Poetics of The Tale of Genji (1987), Traces of Dreams: Landscape, Cultural Memory, and the Poetry of Bash? (1997), and Classical Japanese: A Grammar (2005). He is also editor of Early Modern Japanese Literature: An Anthology (2002) and Inventing the Classics: Canon Formation, National Identity, and Japanese Literature (2001).