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n Journal of Literary Studies - Blanc de Blanc : whiteness studies - a South African connection?

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Abstract

Hierdie artikel stel 'n variant van "whiteness studies" in die vooruitsig vir Suid-Afrika en lê gedeeltelik die fondamente vir so 'n studie, wat nog in sy volheid aangepak moet word. In progressiewe navorsing in en om Suid-Afrika oor die laaste sowat 30 jaar, is "whiteness" S of "blankskap" S tot so 'n mate gedeligitimeer a.g.v. sy handom- die-blaas verhouding met apartheid, dat dit dikwels as 'n leemte gerepresenteer word, 'n voor-die-hand-liggende negatiewe essensie, 'n plek waar kulturele navorsers dikwels liewer nie wil kyk nie, en 'n ruimte waar uniformiteit dikwels veronderstel word. Die artikel stel voor dat, sou 'n mens die kategorie van "blankskap" weer oopmaak en dit begin ont-essensialiseer, hierdie veronderstelde uniformiteit weerlê sal word deur wat 'n mens miskien die "difference within" kan noem, en dat die onderwerp opnuut belangstelling sal wek. Die artikel bied 'n opsomming en 'n analise van neigings in "whiteness studies" in die VSA, en stel voor hoe die projek dalk anders aangepak sal moet word vir Suid-Afrikaanse doeleindes.

Proposing a version of whiteness studies for South Africa, this article lays some of the groundwork for a research project that is yet to be comprehensively tackled. Over the past 30 or so years in progressive scholarship in and about South Africa, whiteness has become so deligitimised by virtue of its complicity with apartheid that it has often been rendered "blank", a taken-for-granted negative essence, a place less looked-into and a site of assumed uniformity. The essay suggests that if one were to reopen the category of South African whiteness and begin to de-essentialise it, in all likelihood what one might call the "difference within" would both contradict assumptions of uniformity and prove interesting. The article summarises and analyses trends in whiteness studies in the US and suggests ways in which such a project might be differently tackled for South African purposes.

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/content/litstud/22/1_2/EJC62401
2006-06-01
2016-12-03
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