n English in Africa - Whiteness studies in South Africa : a South African perspective : preface




The twentieth anniversary of Nelson Mandela's triumphant walk from prison was celebrated on 11 Feb. 2010. In the South African imaginary, this moment, captured in media images, has come to symbolise the transition from apartheid to democracy, a process that marked a significant shift in perspective in what it means to be a South African. Among the questions asked at the time was how ordinary white South Africans would negotiate the guilt attendant on their complicity, through their privileged social position, in Mandela's lengthy incarceration. In 2010, such questions are still relevant, and writers continue to problematise the 'power-politics' of 'race' as a category. Increasingly, too, local writers are situating understandings of 'whiteness' within the politics of globalisation.


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