About the Authors

Oral Tradition Volume 36, Number 1

Taniela Bolea 
Born and bred in Ravitaki Village on the main island of Kadavu, Taniela Bolea graduated in management studies and rose to become the founding publisher of Fiji’s Daily Post newspaper. He was later appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Fiji Audio Visual Commission and today remains interested in the unwritten histories of his people, especially those who communicate neither in writing nor in English yet who have much knowledge about the past that is relevant to its understanding and our collective future.

Janice Carruthers
Janice Carruthers is Professor of French Linguistics at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland. A major strand of her research focuses on oral narrative in French, both conversational and performed, with a particular interest in temporal structures. Publications in this field include Oral Narration in Modern French: A Linguistic Analysis of Temporal Patterns (Legenda, 2005), two digital linguistic corpora (one coproduced with Marianne Vergez-Couret), and a series of articles on tenses, frames, and connectives. She has also published on the structure of spoken French, on sociolinguistic variation and language change (including, with Wendy Ayres-Bennett, the Manual of Romance Sociolinguistics, De Gruyter, 2018), and on language policy. Her research has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and by Horizon 2020 (EU).

Cara Losier Chanoine
Cara Losier Chanoine is an associate English professor and the Liberal Arts department chair at River Valley Community College in New Hampshire. Her scholarly work currently focuses on the relationships between text, performance, and media in performance poetry. This work is, in part, informed and enriched by her dual roles as scholar and practitioner. She participated in the National Poetry Slam four times as a member of teams from New Hampshire and Massachusetts and is a longtime open mic poet. She is also the author of three poetry collections, the most recent of which is Philosopher Kings, released by Silver Bow Publishing in January, 2023. 

Rita Compatangelo-Soussignan 
Rita Compatangelo-Soussignan is Professor of Roman History at Le Mans University (France). Since 2017 she has been the Deputy Director of the Centre for Research in Archaeology, Archaeometry, History, involving the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), the Ministry of Culture, and the Universities of Rennes, Nantes, and Le Mans. In the framework of various international programs, her multidisciplinary research focuses on ancient landscapes, geography, and science. She is the author or editor of several books, including Landmarks and Socio-Economic Systems (Rennes, 2008), L’expérience de la catastrophe (Norois, 2019), and Living with Seismic Phenomena in the Mediterranean and Beyond between Antiquity and the Middle Ages (Archaeopress, 2022).


David L. Cooper
David L. Cooper is Associate Professor and Head of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. A specialist in Czech and Russian literatures, his research is in the areas of nationalism in literature, forgery and mystification, translation history and translation studies, and history of criticism. David has published translations of Slovak folktales and poetry and a new critical edition of the poems of the Czech nineteenth-century forged manuscripts, The Queen’s Court and Green Mountain Manuscripts with Other Forgeries of the Czech Revival (Ann Arbor, 2018). His latest monograph, The Czech Manuscripts: Forgery, Translation, and National Myth, is forthcoming from Cornell University Press.

Paul Geraghty
Paul Geraghty (in Fijian, Paula Qeretī) graduated from Cambridge with an MA in Modern Languages (French and German) and earned his PhD from the University of Hawai’i with a dissertation on the history of the Fijian languages. He was recruited by the Fijian Monolingual Dictionary Project that evolved into the Institute of Fijian Language and Culture, of which he was Director from 1986 to 2001, and he was recognized for his service in researching and revitalizing Fiji’s linguistic and cultural heritage with the award of Officer of the Order of Fiji in 1999. He is the author of several books, including The History of the Fijian Languages (University of Hawai’i Press, 1983), and is well known in Fiji as a newspaper columnist and TV presenter, cohosting the weekly program Vueta na Vosa on Fiji TV.

Loredana Lancini
Loredana Lancini was recently awarded her PhD by the University of Le Mans (France) for a dissertation entitled, Phénomènes volcaniques et traditions mythiques: Du monde grec colonial aux sociétés de l’Océan Pacifique (îles Fidji), which included her study of Nabukelevu Volcano traditions in Fiji. Working at the interface of deep history and geology, she is commencing her academic career and hopes to continue research on oral traditions of catastrophic events in the Pacific islands.

Meli Nanuku 
Meli Nanuku has degrees from the University of the South Pacific and was formerly the Education Officer at the Fiji Museum, tasked with collecting and organizing some of the vast archive of traditional knowledge that exists only in the memories of elderly Fijians—and is rapidly disappearing. For this study, Meli Nanuku performed all traditional protocols in the communities studied and took the lead in interviewing elders and translating their responses. He is currently pursuing graduate studies in linguistics.

Patrick Nunn
With over three decades of research experience in the Pacific islands, geologist Patrick Nunn is Professor of Geography at the University of the Sunshine Coast (Australia) and the author of more than 350 peer-reviewed publications (including several books), most about the Pacific region. He is the author of Climate, Environment and Society in the Pacific (Elsevier, 2007) and


Vanished Islands and Hidden Continents of the Pacific (University of Hawai’i Press, 2009). Within the last fifteen years, he has focused his attention on culturally grounded understanding of catastrophic geologic events and the ways memories of these are communicated in oral societies, work reported in his recent books, The Edge of Memory (2018) and Worlds in Shadow (2021), both published by Bloomsbury. His personal website is www.patricknunn.org.

Demetry Ogoltsev 
Demetry Ogoltsev studied at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the International Hellenic University and is currently a Systems Administrator in Administrative Information Technology Services at the University of Illinois. His research interests include the relationship between Slavic oral and written traditions, the reconfiguration of graphospheres in relation to technological change, and the history of public access Unix systems.

Michal Ondrejcek 
Michal Ondrejcek is a Senior Software Engineer at the Illinois Applied Research Institute, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). His research focuses, among other topics, on automated extraction of material parameters from polymer literature using machine learning and natural language processing. Before joining ARI, Michal worked as a Research Programmer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and as a Researcher with the Materials Research Laboratory (UIUC). In NCSA, Michal worked on data analyses and metadata extraction, as well as on projects that included preservation and reconstruction of electronic records. Michal earned his PhD from the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. His dissertation was on surface diffusion studies using photoelectron emission microscopy.

Kaliopate Tavola 
Hailing from Dravuni Island in Kadavu and trained as an agricultural economist, Kaliopate Tavola was Fiji’s Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2000 to 2006. He maintains a website (www.kaidravuni.com) that tells the world about Kadavuan oral traditions and demonstrates that “myths and legends” of the people of these islands are solidly based in fact and observation, not made-up stories.

Marianne Vergez-Couret 
Marianne Vergez-Couret is an Associate Professor in General Linguistics at the University of Poitiers and is attached to the FORELLIS Research Group (Formes et représentations en linguistique, littérature et dans les arts de l’image et de la scène). Her research focuses on two main areas. In the field of discourse semantics, her most recent work examines the complexity of the relationship between writing and speaking in the case of oral narration in French and Occitan. In the field of natural language processing for lesser-resourced languages, she has participated in several projects that have created textual databases, lexicons of inflected forms, as well as resources for the constitution of morphosyntactic and syntactic parsers for Occitan and Poitevin-Saintongeais.


Emily Blanchard West
Emily Blanchard West is General Editor of the Journal of Indo-European Studies and Professor of History and Classics at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Most of her work centers on understanding the relationship between the Greek and Sanskrit epics as descendants of a shared Indo-European tradition, placing particular emphasis on the oral-literary processes which guided their evolution. In an ongoing collaboration with Tzvi Abusch, she explores narrative remnants of cultural contacts between India and Mesopotamia, and has an ongoing interest in the way oral narratives incorporate, and are shaped by, religion and ritual.