English in Africa - Volume 33, Issue 2, 2006
Volumes & issues
Volume 33, Issue 2, 2006
Source: English in Africa 33 (2006)More Less
The articles in this issue of English in Africa emanate from a group project titled "Postcolonialism: A South/African Perspective," supported by a National Research Foundation (NRF) grant to Michael Chapman (Grant Number 2053678). Chapman's article "Postcolonialism: A Literary Turn" introduces the project and the articles of the contributors. All articles have undergone peer review.
Source: English in Africa 33, pp 7 –21 (2006)More Less
Is there a role for literature - or, to be specific, imaginative literature, or the literary - in postcolonial studies? And where may one locate South Africa in a field delineated by northern institutional purposes, practices, paradigms and, more pragmatically, career/publishing opportunities? Such questions provoked an NRF project, titled "Postcolonialism: A South/African Perspective," which has eventuated in the current selection of essays.
Author Matthew ShumSource: English in Africa 33, pp 21 –44 (2006)More Less
Postcolonial criticism, like its theoretical predecessor colonial discourse analysis, is rarely sympathetic to settler literature, and then only when this literature registers, in some explicit way, opposition to the colonial enterprise. Such an undifferentiated association of colonial writing, especially that of the first phase of settlement, with what Aijaz Ahmad has called "aggressive identity formation" (1992, 78), often assumes that the act of enunciation, aesthetic or otherwise, mirrors the processes of material appropriation which establish the colonial state. The assumptions apply particularly, perhaps, to landscape poetry, where the very subject-matter is saturated with implication of the most obvious sort.
Author Corinne SandwithSource: English in Africa 33, pp 67 –89 (2006)More Less
A contribution of postcolonial studies has been the recognition of the various forms resistance or complicity may take in the colonial situation. In Homi Bhabha, for example, we move from Fanon's psychology of violence and its attendant material effects to the psychology of display: the native mimicking the master. The danger of such a shift - what is called the cultural turn in postcolonial studies - is that a focus on the expressive manifestation (or 'text') may divert attention from the shaping pressures of historical context.
Self-translation, untranslatability, and postcolonial community in the autobiographies of Mpho Nthunya and Agnes LotteringAuthor M.J. DaymondSource: English in Africa 33, pp 91 –111 (2006)More Less
For people in South Africa, autobiographical storytelling and writing has long been an important mode of counter-asserting the existence and value of the cultures and individual lives that state apartheid (as a special form of colonialism) attempted to occlude and even to obliterate.
Author J.U. JacobsSource: English in Africa 33, pp 113 –133 (2006)More Less
Stuart Hall has argued that there are at least two different ways of thinking about cultural identity: "The first position defines 'cultural identity' in terms of one, shared culture, a sort of collective 'one true self,' hiding inside the many other, more superficially or artificially imposed 'selves,' which people with a shared history and ancestry hold in common" (2003, 234). The unearthing of such an essential identity, Hall points out, has constituted an important act of imaginative rediscovery for colonised cultures. In the South African context, it may be argued, the notion of a common and cohesive cultural identity informed, and was consciously fostered by, Afrikaner nationalism in reaction against British imperialism during the first half of the twentieth century.
Author Michael GreenSource: English in Africa 33, pp 135 –158 (2006)More Less
"One of the more startling disjunctures between text and referent in recent South African writing occurs at the moment when Sister Bridget, 'sister by blood' (2003, 124) to J. M. Coetzee's eponymous protagonist in Elizabeth Costello and Administrator of the Hospital of the Blessed Mary on the Hill, Marianhill, dismisses Elizabeth's suggestion of a 'Greek' model for art and life in Africa. Pointing out that this is just what had occurred to the early colonialists - 'educated Europeans, men from England with public-school educations behind them' (2003, 140) - when they first came in contact with the Zulus, Sister Bridget declares, '"Well, the Zulus knew better." She waves a hand towards the window,' we are then told, 'towards the hospital buildings baking under the sun, towards the dirt road winding into the barren hills,' and continues: '"This is reality: the reality of Zululand, the reality of Africa. It is the reality now and the reality of the future as far as we can see it"' (2003, 141).
Author Sally-Ann MurraySource: English in Africa 33, pp 135 –158 (2006)More Less
While 'flora' have provided South African stamp designers with a portmanteau iconography of place able to represent both the national and an ostensibly apolitical 'natural history,' gardening, indigenous or otherwise, is not a prominent subject in South African literary-cultural analysis. Nor is it especially visible in South African imaginative writing, although those offshoots of indigeneity considered to be of greater national-cultural consequence - identity, language, heritage - have enjoyed comparative attention. Gardening?s close cousins, 'conservation,' 'the/environment,' 'the land,' 'the farm,' do feature, possibly because these intersect, at the levels of materiality and metaphor, with the South African historical dramas of colonialism, apartheid and the postcolonial, the last being an in-between space where new intellectual growth areas and growing numbers of researchers over-run the manicured lawns of the G8 club and even threaten to unsettle the more open field of English Studies.
Postcolonialising Gordimer : the ethics of 'beyond' and significant peripheries in the recent fictionAuthor Ileana DimitriuSource: English in Africa 33, pp 159 –180 (2006)More Less
As a writer and public intellectual, Gordimer - for over four decades - responded comprehensively to the South African social context, while critics and readers alike acknowledged her as an uncompromising anti-apartheid spokesperson. In the early 1990s, after the demise of institutional apartheid, there was uncertainty as to what the position of this writer would be under the new dispensation.
Writing in the interzone : a queer postcolonial reading of Barbara Adair's In Tangier We Killed the Blue ParrotAuthor Cheryl StobieSource: English in Africa 33, pp 181 –198 (2006)More Less
In 2004 Wits human rights law lecturer, Barbara Adair, published In Tangier We Killed the Blue Parrot. This novel is set in a symbolically resonant space, Tangier, Morocco, and employs techniques of intertextuality to fictionalise the lives of Jane and Paul Bowles, American writers who were part of the expatriate community in Tangier for some time in the middle of the twentieth century.
Author Ashlee LentaSource: English in Africa 33, pp 209 –213 (2006)More Less
Rewriting Modernity is a meticulously researched, elegantly written and timely reappraisal of the black South African literary tradition. It ranges widely over local and international contributions to postcolonial studies yet maintains its focus on, and thorough engagement with, "key episodes" in our national literary history.