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Publications in the Faculty of Arts





Bushmen in a Victorian World: The Remarkable Story of the Bleek-Lloyd Collection of Bushman Folklore. Cape Town: DoubleStorey.

This book tells the extraordinary story of a decade of dialogue between two pioneering colonial scholars, Dr Wilhelm Bleek and his sister-in-law Lucy Lloyd, and five /Xam Bushmen from the Cape Town Breakwater Prison, who were allowed to live with the Bleek family in their suburban Victorian home.

Brown, Duncan (ed) (2009): Religion and Spirituality in South Africa: New Perspectives. Pietermaritzburg: UKZN Press.

Religion and spirituality are closely woven into the fabric of South African public and private life – though not always seamlessly or in matching thread. This book is concerned with the role of religion and spirituality in individual identity and belief, as well as in the public spheres of governance and policy-making. It brings together significant researchers from various disciplinary perspectives, ranging from law and politics to theology, literature and media studies, with the aim of investigating new critical approaches to religion and spirituality, particularly in the postcolony/South. Theauthors engage seriously with the challenge of accounting for the range and power of religious and spiritual discourses that run throughindividual and communal identification. This volume provides stimulation for further thought and work in this crucial area of South African, and postcolonial, study and life.

The contributors include Ahmed Bawa, Duncan Brown, Suleman Dangor, Michael Green, Patrick Lenta, Subeshini Moodley, Mbulelo Vizikhungo Mzamane, Laurence Piper, Nkosinathi Sithole, Tahir Fuzile Sitoto, Cheryl Stobie, Dennis Walder, Dale Wallace and Gerald West

Bank, Andrew & Dietrich, Keith (2009): An Eloquent Picture Gallery: The South African Portrait Photographs of Gustav Theodor Fritsch,1863-1865. Cape Town:Jacana.

Conradie, Ernst & Lombard, Christo (2009): Discerning God’s justice in church, society and academy: Festschrift for Jaap Durand. Stellenbosch: SUN Press.

Conradie, Ernst (2009): Uitverkoop? In gesprek oor die Verbruikerskultuur. Wellington: Lux Verbi.BM.

De Lame, Danielle and Rassool, Ciraj (eds) (2010): Popular Snapshots and Tracks to the Past: Cape Town, Nairobi, Lubumbashi, Tervuren: Royal

Museum for Central Africa (Studies in Social Sciences and Humanities, Vol 171).


Flexible, informal appropriations of individual creations can combine with other elements and produce specific strategic positioning, act as markers in power games and rally partisans. Yet, in essence they do not have this function. In the first place, appropriations are acts of creation in their own right; they are “expressive acts”. Accordingly, they are comparable with many other collective expressions of belonging that reaffirm the existence of a community and testify to its capability of assimilating novelty and (re) building the past. In this respect, popular cultural expressions do

not differ fundamentally from collective rituals, where memory is enacted and modified through creative changes enabling the social assimilation of novelty. Objects, texts, sets of norms, and museums are like snapshots open to interpretation, ready for recycling. Popular Snapshots and Tracks

to the Past, edited by Danielle de Lame and Ciraj Rassool is a collection of studies of popular culture, art practice and heritage contestation in Cape Town,Lubumbashi and Nairobi. It brings together studies by established scholars (Jewsiewicki, Martin, Witz, Rassool and De Lame) with essays by younger scholars, some of whom have been graduate students in History at UWC (Adams, Gakii, Mgijima, Buthelezi). This project grew out of a partnership between UWC’s History Department and the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren, Belgium, and represents another example of

rethinking the relationship between academic research, popular expression and cultural practice.


Grunebaum, Heidi Peta (2011): Memorialising the Past. Piscataway: Transaction Publishers.


This work is a meditation on the shaping of time and its impact on living with and understanding atrocity in South Africa in the wake of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). It is an examination of the ways that the institutionaliation of memory has managed perceptions of time and“transition,” of events and happenings, of sense and emotion, of violence and recovery, of the “past” and the “new.” Through this process a public language of “memory” has been carved into collective modes of meaning. It is a language that seems deprived of the hopes, dreams, and possibilities for the promise of a just and redemptive future it once nurtured. Truth commissions are profoundly implicated in the social politics

of memorialiation. Memory, as a conceptual, historical, and experiential discourse about “the past,” relates to the ways in which cruelty is integrated into societal understandings, which include cognitive and philosophic frameworks and constructions of social meaning. The politics of historical truth, of memory and of justice, play out in unintended ways. There is not only the ongoing struggle for survivors of state terror, but also the ways that

the everyday shapings of silences, the emptiness of reconciliation and the fracturing of hope remain embedded in political life.


Lalu, Premesh (2009):The Deaths of Hintsa: Postapartheid South Africa and the Shape of Recurring Pasts. Pretoria: HSRC Press.


Two years into the transition to democratic rule in South Africa, a little-known healer-diviner, Nicholas Tilana Gcaleka, stumbled onto the stage of history. He claimed to have brought the skull of Xhosa king Hintsa back to South Africa from Scotland, where he said he had traced it. Amidst a

flurry of media attention, the skull was confiscated from Gcaleka and handed to a team of scientists to “prove” its authenticity. They declared the cranium was that of a human female, and definitely not Hintsa. Gcaleka was proclaimed, at least, laughable, and at worst, a liar. This event therefore poses the question: is South African history developing an authentic new discourse or is it stuck in the colonial archive? Through mining a rich field of research, from colonial archival material to contemporary museum exhibitions, Lalu states in his book The Deaths of Hintsa: Postapartheid South Africa and the shape of recurring pasts that overcoming apartheid has required coming to terms not only with the effects of history, but with the discourse of history itself.

Pillay, Suren & Sriram, Chandra Lekha (eds) (2011): Peace versus Justice? The Dilemma of transitional justice in Africa. Pietermaritzburg:UKZN Press.

This book offers fresh insights on the “justice versus peace” dilemma, examining the challenges and prospects for promoting both peace and accountability, specifically in African countries affected by conflict or political violence. Peace versus Justice? draws on the expertise of many insider

analysts, individuals who are not only authorities on transitional accountability processes, but who have participated in them, whether as legal practitioners or commissioners. This volume examines the wide array of experiences with transitional justice both within and outside states on the continent, spanning a range of countries including South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Mozambique, Sudan, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Central African Republic. While the primary Focus is on processes in Africa, many of the contributors also draw on lessons from earlier processes elsewhere in the world, particularly

Latin America. The chapters in this volume consider a wide range of

approaches to accountability and peace building. These include not only domestic courts and tribunals, hybrid tribunals, or the International Criminal Court, but also truth commissions and informal or nonstate justice and conflict resolution processes. Taken together, they demonstrate the wealth of

experiences and experimentation in transitional justice processes on the continent.


Shefer, Tamara, Ratele, Kopano, Strebel, Anna & Buikema, Rosemarie (eds) (2008): From Boys to Men: Social Constructions of masculinity in contemporary society. Cape Town: University of Cape Town Press.


This highly original work arises from the conference ‘from Boys to Men’, held in January 2005. It represents the work of some of the best-known theorists and researchers in masculinities and feminism in south Africa, on the continent and internationally. The subjects covered are based on rich ethnographic studies, mostly in south Africa, but also elsewhere in Africa. Acknowledging that there are multiple versions of masculinity and that some are more valued than others, this book is concerned with documenting both hegemonic discourses on masculinity, as well as resistances and challenges to dominant forms of being a boy or man in different contexts of space and time. From Boys to Men provides valuable material for those working with issues of gender, identity and power, and will sharpen understanding of males, inform community-based interventions and facilitate theorybuilding.


Conradie, Ernst (2010): Lewend en Kragtig? In gesprek oor God se handelinge in die wêreld, Wellington: Bible Media.


As the subtitle indicates, this contribution to a series entitled “In conversation on …” focuses on the question how God’s action in the world is understood in Christian discourse. More specifically, it assesses a 20-year research project of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences and the Vatican Observatory in which the relation between theology and various other scientific disciplines (quantum cosmology, evolutionary biology, chaos theory, the cognitive sciences, quantum mechanics) was investigated in terms of this question. This requires further reflection on one’s notion

of God (remembering that atheists also assume a notion of God), of the world, including the “laws of nature and evolutionary change, and of human and divine agency. In this book Ernst Conradie rejects both an interventionist and a reductionist notion of divine action. The former approachassumes that divine action implies an intervention in the laws of nature, while the latter approach tends to reduce complex systems

to their constituent parts and methodologically denies the possibility of transcendence. In this book four alternative approaches to divine action are identified from the available literature related to the above mentioned research project. These are critically analysed and discussed at some length. The argument of this book is that God’s action is typically identified only retrospectively and that it best understood as a form of re-description of events that may also be described in other, “flatter” ways. Yet such a richer description (or ascription) helps to illuminate crucial aspects of reality that would otherwise have remained obscure. Indeed, from an ultimate perspective, such an event may also be ascribed to God’s dynamic presence. This

makes a huge difference – How one lives one’s life depends on whether one is ultimately loved and forgiven or whether one has to try and survive on one’s own in a hostile world. The title of this book suggests that Christian proclamation may be regarded, at least from a reformed perspective, as one of the clearest examples of God’s action in the world. The gospel is indeed “living and dynamic” (Heb 4:12) and aimed at inverting the evil that is undeniably there, transforming it into something wholesome. The question is then how the confession that Christian proclamation is indeed the Word of God is related to what we otherwise know, surmise and treasure as valuable.


Field, Roger (2010): Alex la Guma: A Literary and Political Biography. Cape Town: Jacana.


Best known as a novelist and political activist, Alex la Guma (1925-1985), was also a journalist, comic-strip artist, reviewer, sketcher, painter,shortstory writer and travel writer. Born in Cape Town’s famous multiracial District Six, he was a founder member of the South African Coloured People’s Organisation and a leading member of the Congress Alliance during the 1950 and 1960s. Due to his political activity, he was detained without trial, shot at, placed under house arrest, and ultimately tried for treason in 1956-61. He reluctantly went into exile in 1966, where he continued his writing and political work for the African National Congress (ANC) and the South African Communist Party, travelling widely as an ANC spokesperson on cultural matters. In 1979, he became the ANC’s Chief Representative in Central and Latin America and moved to Havana, where he died in 1985. La Guma attracted the attention of critics and literary scholars from the time his first short stories appeared in the 1950s, and he

has been hailed by such important literary figures as Achebe, Soyinka and J.M. Coetzee. His novels continue to sell steadily and inspire comments

by literary critics, who have studied different aspects of his work, but who have left the rest of his life and his literary and political influences relatively untouched. Drawing on a far wider range of his writing and artwork, some previously unpublished, this book combines biography with literary and

political analyses to offer fresh insights into his major texts.


Krog, Antjie (2009): Begging to be Black. Cape Town: Random House Struik.


In 1992, a gang leader was shot dead by an ANC member in Kroonstad. The murder weapon was then hidden on Antjie Krog’s stoep. In Begging to Be Black, Krog begins by exploring her position in this controversial case. The text is wide- ranging in scope, both in time – reaching back to the days of the Basotho king Moshoeshoe – and in space – as we follow Krog’s experiences as a research fellow in Berlin, far from the Africa that produced her. The book consists of the telling and retelling of old and new stories, known and lesser-known philosophies, as well as many conversations. Begging to Be Black is book of journeys – moral, historical, philosophical and geographical.


Liebenberg, John & Hayes, Patricia (2010): Bush of Ghosts. Cape Town: Umuzi.


Bush of Ghosts refers to the northern border area of Namibia which became a war zone from the 1960s to 1989. Many South African conscripts did military service here, amidst a civilian population that largely supported the liberation movement SWAPO. Photographer John Liebenberg famously got close to both sides. The book is a selection from his dense archive from the late 1980s, and puts three chapters of images into narrative frameworks. The first chapter concerns the war zone in the north, and follows the journeys of conscripts into civilian territory, with some signature photographs dealing with violence. It addresses the genre of war photography in a critical and nuanced way. The second chapter tracks the political mobilizations in the urban centres, and the transition to independence. It focuses on the visual cultures that accompany and affect political organization. The third chapter is a meditation on the post-war landscapes, with military infrastructure now reduced to a shell, and mass graves

barely visible. The texts in the book historicise the South African movement of photography in the 1980s of which Liebenberg was part, and analyse the limits and impact of war images. It traces an affective side to conflict, struggles against racism and colonialism, and puts theory into conversation

with the documentary photography of an important historical time, which is barely touched on in public debate since the end of colonialism and apartheid.


Mohamed, Yasien (2010): The Path to Virtue: The Ethical Philosophy of Al- Raghib Al-Isfahani: An Annotated Translation, with Critical Introduction, of Kitab Al- Dhari‘ah Ila Makarim Al-Shari‘Ah. Kuala Lumpur, ISTAC.

Al-Raghib al-Isfahani was an influential Islamic thinker whose contributions to Islamic thought often go unnoticed, attention usually being given to the Ikhwan al-Safa and Miskawayh of earlier days and to this younger contemporary, al-Ghazali. Yasien Mohamed, in The Path to Virtue: the EthicalPhilosophy of al-Raghib al-Isfahani remedies this deficit by showing the pivotal role that al-Isfahani played in the development of Islamic thought, and particularly in the field of ethics. Mohamed does far more than examine the ethical philosophy of al-Raghib al-Isfahani, he traces the origin, adoption and evolution of that thought over the centuries from ancient Greek thinkers through earlier Muslim philosophers, to al-Isfahani, and ultimately to al-Ghazali and Ibn Khaldun. Mohamed’s approach is methodical and rigorous. After establishing al-Isfahani’s place in the history of Islamic thought– between Miskawayh and al-Ghazali – through painstaking biographical research, he turns to an examination of every element that makes up al-Isfahani’s ethical system, devoting an independent chapter to each.

These chapters are devoted to cosmology, epistemology, psychology, the virtues, justice, love and friendship, which are then followed by chapters expounding upon al-Isfahani’s economic and educational ethics. The book is completed with an annotated translation of the first chapter of al-Isfahani’s principal work in ethics, al-Dhari’ah ila Makarim al-Shari’ah. This is the first time that any portion of this book has been translated.

Pirie, Gordon (2009): Air Empire: British Imperial Civil Aviation, 1919- 1939. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Air Empire investigates British hopes that the new technology of aviation would promote Britain and sustain the British Empire.

The book reveals the institutional struggle and practical difficulties of building Empire-wide air routes and starting scheduled passenger and freight services in the 1920 and 1930s. There was some resistance in and beyond Britain’s subordinate colonies and dominions. Negotiating the financingand geopolitics of regular commercial air service delayed its inception until the 1930s. Technological, managerial and logistical problems also meant that Britain was slow into the air and slow in the air. Imperial propaganda concealed underperformance and criticism.

Krog, Antjie; Mpolweni, Nosisi & Rateie, Kopano (2009): There was this Goat – Investigating the Truth Commission Testimony of Notrose Nobomvu Konile. Pietermaritzburg: UKZN Press.

On 23 April 1996, Notrose Nobomvu Konile lifted her hand and swore to tell the truth to the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.In a three year collaboration, Nosisi Mpolweni, Kopano Ratele and Antjie Krog drew on different disciplinary and social backgrounds to explore thenarrative and posed questions about unacknowledged assumptions that underpin research in the country. The collaborative research exposed in particular how difficult it was “to hear” the subaltern speak within a context riddled with contesting race and gender perspectives as well as theunexplored borders of memory, marginalization and poverty.

Martin, Julia (2008): A Millimetre of Dust: Visiting Ancestral Sites. Cape Town: Kwela Books.

A Millimetre of Dust is the story of a journey from Cape Town to the Northern Cape and back to visit some world-class Stone Age archaeological sites. In the tradition of writers such as Barry Lopez, W.G. Sebald, Gary Snyder and Bruce Chatwin, this travel memoir combines extensive research with personal narrative to explore how a particular woman’s experience raises questions that are political, ecological, and philosophical. The sense of deep time which places such as Wonderwerk Cave or Kathu Townlands evoke is presented amid contemporary concerns – from the domesticimmediacies of small children on a long trip to intense disquiet about the local impact of global climate change. As in many travellers’ tales, the protagonist leaves home, ‘discovers’ unfamiliar territory, and returns with an altered view of her place in the world. At Wonderwerk Cave the duration of a human life measures just one millimetre of dust in the deep, long accumulation of sediment, yet each breath we take is a link to those who came before us, and to all beings.

Peberdy, Sally (2009): Selecting Immigrants: National Identity and South Africa’s Immigration Policies 1919-2008. Johannesburg: Wits University Press.

At a time when (im)migration is at the forefront of international and South African debates, this book critically examines the relationship between changes in South Africa’s immigration policies, and shifts in the construction of national identity by the South African state. Relating the history of the immigration policies of the South African State between 1910 and 2008, it explores the synergy between periods of significant change in state discourses and policies of migration, and those historical moments when South Africa was reinvented politically or was in the process of active nation building. It is in these periods that the relationships between immigration, nationalism and national identity is most starkly revealed. In a readable, well-researched and interdisciplinary work, Peberdy provides the first history of South Africa’s immigration legislation. It will be of local and international interest to not only academic readers but also those working on immigration policy or interested in South African history and identity.

Raftopoulos, Brain & Mlambo, Alois (2008): Becoming Zimbabwe: A History from the Pre- Colonial Period to 2008. Harare: Weaver Press.

As Zimbabwe’s political and economic collapse enters its second decade, this book summarizes the historical and structural factors that led to it. Western observers tend to blame Robert Mugabe’s regime for the crisis, whereas the Zimbabwean scholars represented in this volume place it in a broader historical context (although they certainly do not exculpate the regime). In particular, the highly unequal distribution of arable land bequeathed by British colonialism, which left several thousand commercial white settler farmers in control of a hugely

disproportionate share of the land, was a political and economic time bomb. Becoming Zimbabwe is the first comprehensive history of Zimbabwe, spanning the years from 850 to 2008. The book tracks the idea of national belonging and citizenship and explores the nature of state rule, thechanging contours of the political economy and the regional and international dimensions of the country’s history.

Vandermerwe, Meg (2010) This Place I Call Home. Athlone: Modjaji Press.

Woodward, Wendy (2008) The Animal Gaze: Animal Subjectivities in southern African Narratives. Johannesburg: Wits University Press.

The Animal Gaze: Animal Subjectivities in Southern African Literature Wendy Woodward opened up questions of the representations of nonhumananimals as well as the ethics of acknowledging nonhuman animals as subjects. The monograph was awarded the Deputy Vice Chancellor’s Award in 2010 for a book in the category of research.


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