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POLITICS AND THE NOVEL:

SOUTH AFRICAN POLITICS AND LITERATURE

Prof Derek Attridge (English) Office hrs: Tues, Thurs, 12-1 pm, L/148 (not wk 6)

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Prof Allison Drew (Politics) Office hrs: Thurs, 12:15-2 pm, D118

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There will be an essential meeting for all students taking this course during week 1 of summer term: Wednesday, 29 April, D013, 2:30-3:30.

This course aims to bridge the study of literature and politics through a close reading of selected texts that deal with issues of land and identity in late nineteenth-century, twentieth-century and contemporary South Africa.

It examines the fictional treatment of struggles over land and identity in a society where, until recently, state policies aimed at social, economic and political segregation and at preventing the development of a unified South African national identity. Land has historically been a touchstone of identity for black South Africans and has been a pivotal factor both in terms of state repression and of black resistance. The course will look at a range of literary versions of these conflicts and consider the impact of evolving state policies and of the transition to a democratic post-apartheid society on literary activity.

Reading

One or two main texts will be studied each week. The reading list indicates the main text(s) for each week, followed by subsidiary reading for that week.

Historical and political background - selected works

William Beinart, Twentieth-Century South Africa, Oxford: OUP, 2001.

Gail Gerhart, Black Power in South Africa. The Evolution of an Ideology, Berkeley:

University of California Press, 1978.

Tom Karis and Gwendolen Carter, eds., From Protest to Challenge: A Documentary History of African Politics in South Africa 1882-1964, 4 vols., Stanford: Hoover, 1972-1977.

Tom Karis and Gail Gerhart, eds., From Protest to Challenge: A Documentary History of African Politics in South Africa 1964-1979, vol. 5, Indiana: Indiana University, 1997.

Timothy Keegan, Colonial South Africa and the Origins of the Racial Order, Cape Town:

David Philip, 1997.

Antjie Krog, Country of my Skull, London, London: Cape, 1998.

Tom Lodge, Black Politics in South Africa since 1945, London: Longman, 1983.

Tom Lodge, Politics in South Africa: From Mandela to Mbeki, Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2002.

Rian Malan, My Traitor’s Heart: A South African exile returns to face is country, his tribe, and his conscience, New York: Atlantic Monthly, 1990.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom: the Autobiography of Nelson Mandela, London: Abacus, 1995.

Shula Marks and Richard Rathbone, eds, Industrialisation and Social Change in South Africa. African Class Formation, Culture, and Consciousness 1870-1930, London: Longman, 1982.

Shula Marks and Stanley Trapido, eds, The Politics of Race, Class and Nationalism in Twentieth-Century South Africa, London: Longman, 1987.

Sarah Nuttal and Carli Coetzee, eds., Negotiating the Past: the Making of Memory in South Africa, Oxford: Oxford University, 1998.

Robert Ross, A Concise History of South Africa, Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1999.

Allister Sparks, The Mind of South Africa, London: Mandarin, 1991.

Allister Sparks, Tomorrow is Another Country (1995), London: Mandarin, 1996.

Leonard Thompson, A History of South Africa, New Haven: Yale, 1990.

Jennifer Wenzel, ‘The Pastoral Promise and the Political Imperative: The Plaasroman Tradition in an Era of Land Reform,’ Modern Fiction Studies, Special Issue on South African Fiction after Apartheid, ed. David Attwell and Barbara Harlow, 46, no. 1 (Spring 2000):

90-113.

Nigel Worden, The Making of Modern South Africa: Conquest, Apartheid, Democracy, Longitude, 2007.

Cultural and literary background - selected works

Derek Attridge and Rosemary Jolly, eds., Writing South Africa: Literature, apartheid, and democracy, 1970-1995, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

David Attwell, J. M. Coetzee and the Politics of Writing, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.

David Attwell, Rewriting Modernity: Studies in Black South African Literary History, Athens, GA, Ohio University Press, 2005.

Rita Barnard Apartheid and Beyond: South African Writers and the Politics of Place, New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.

Ursula A. Barnett, A Vision of Order: A Study of Black South African English Literature in English (1914-1980), London: Sinclair Browne, 1983.

Elleke Boehmer, Laura Chrisman and Kenneth Parker, eds., Altered State? Writing and South Africa, Hebden Bridge: Dangaroo Press, 1994.

André Brink, Reinventing a Continent: Writing and Politics in South Africa, 1982-1995, London: Secker & Warburg, 1996.

Michael Chapman, Southern African Literatures, London and New York: Longman, 1996.

Michael Chapman, Colin Gardner, and Es’kia Mphahlele, eds., Perspectives on South African English Literature, Johannesburg: Ad. Donker, 1992.

J. M. Coetzee, Doubling the Point: Essays and Interviews. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1992.

Ed. and introd. by David Attwell.

J. M. Coetzee, White Writing: On the Culture of Letters in South Africa, New Haven and

London: Yale University, 1988.

Nadine Gordimer, The Essential Gesture: Writing, Politics and Places, London: Penguin,

1989.

Nadine Gordimer, Writing and Being, Harvard: London and Cambridge, MA, 1995.

Stephen Gray, Southern African Literature. An Introduction, London: Rex Collings, 1979.

Rosemary Jolly, Colonization, Violence, and Narration in White South African Writing:

Andre Brink, Breyten Breytenbach, and J.M. Coetzee, Athens: Ohio University Press, 1996.

Njabulo Ndebele, South African Literature and Culture: Rediscovery of the Ordinary, Manchester: Manchester University, 1994.

Richard Rive, Writing Black, Cape Town: David Philip, 1981.

Piniel Viriri Shava, A People’s Voice: Black South African Writing in the Twentieth Century. London: Zed Books, 1989.

Martin Trump, ed., Rendering Things Visible: Essays on South African Literary Culture, Ohio 1990.

Periodicals J. B. Morrell Library contains a number of relevant journals and newspapers, including:

Journal of Southern African Studies Review of African Political Economy South African Labour Bulletin Transformation

Useful journals of (South) African literary studies include:

Current Writing English in Africa Journal of Commonwealth Literature Pretexts Research in African Literatures

Web sites There are many useful web sites relating to South African politics, society and culture. These include:

South African History Online at http://www.sahistory.org.za/

South African Politics Culture & Society Internet Resources at:

http://www-users.york.ac.uk/~ad15/SAInternetResources.htm

South African Politics - an online introduction at

http://www-users.york.ac.uk/~ad15/SApolitics.htm

Week

1 Introductory meeting, Wednesday, 29 April, D013, 2:30-3:30

2 Sol Plaatje, Mhudi [1930], Oxford: Heinemann, 1978.

Laura Chrisman, Rereading the Imperial Romance: British Imperialism and South African Resistance in Haggard, Schreiner and Plaatje, Oxford: Clarendon and New York: Oxford University Press, 2000, chaps. 7-8.

Michael Green, ‘History, Nation, and Form. Sol T. Plaatje’, in Novel Histories: Past, Present, and Future in South African Fiction, Johannesburg: Witwatersrand Univ. Press, 1997, 37-63.

Sol T. Plaatje, Native Life in South Africa, Before and Since the European War and the Boer Rebellion (1916), London: Longman

Also at http://www.anc.org.za/books/nlife.htm. See esp. chaps 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7.

Brian Willan, Sol Plaatje: South African Nationalist, 1876-1932, London: Heinemann, 1984, esp. 1-27 and 324-371.

Brian Willan, ed.

1996.

Sol Plaatje. Selected Writings, Athens: Ohio University Press,

‘Pages from History: Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje, First ANC Secretary-General, (1876-1932)’, Sechaba, December 1981, http://www.anc.org.za/ancdocs/history/people/plaatje/.

3 André Brink, A Chain of Voices, London: Faber, 1982.

André Brink, ‘Stories of history: Reimagining the past in post-apartheid narrative’, in Nuttall and Coetzee, eds., Negotiating the Past: the Making of Memory in South Africa,

29-42.

Rosemary Jolly, ‘Violence, Afrikaner Liberalism, and the Fiction of Andre Brink’, in Rosemary Jolly, Colonization, Violence, and Narration in White South African Writing:

Andre Brink, Breyten Breytenbach, and J.M. Coetzee, Athens: Ohio University Press, 1996, 28-59.

Timothy Keegan, Colonial South Africa and the Origins of the Racial Order, 47-60, esp. 59-60.

Rian Malan, My Traitor’s Heart: A South African exile returns to face is country, his tribe, and his conscience, New York: Atlantic Monthly, 1990.

4 Olive Schreiner, The Story of an African Farm [1883].

Carol Barash, ed. An Olive Schreiner Reader: Writings on Women and South Africa, London: Pandora Press, 1987.

Joyce Berkman, The Healing Imagination of Olive Schreiner. Beyond South African Colonialism, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1989.

Helen Bradford, ‘Olive Schreiner’s Hidden Agony: Fact, Fiction and Teenage Abortion’, Journal of Southern African Studies , 21, 4, December 1995, 623-41.

Cherry Clayton, ed., Olive Schreiner, Johannesburg: A D Donker, 1983.

Coetzee, White Writing, chaps. 1 and 3.

December 1969, 107-24. Rpt. in Kenneth Parker, ed., The South African Novel in English: Essays in Criticism and Society, London: Macmillan, 1978, pp. 27-45.

Ruth First and Ann Scott, Olive Schreiner: A Biography, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University, 1990, esp. 15-124.

Nadine Gordimer, ‘The Prison-House of Colonialism’. Times Literary Supplement,

15 August 1980, p. 198.

Olive Schreiner. This item is also in Carol Barash ed, An Olive Schreiner Reader.

Rpt. as Foreword, with revisions, in Ruth First and Ann Scott,

Simon Lewis, ‘Stories of African Farms and the Politics of Landscape’, White Women Writers and Their African Invention, Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, 2003, 83-110.

Gerald Monsman, Olive Schreiner’s Fiction: Landscape and Power, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers, 1991.

Liz Stanley, Imperialism, Labour and the New Woman: Olive Schreiner’s Social Theory, Durham: sociologypress, 2002.

5 Peter Lanham and A. S. Mopeli-Paulus, Blanket Boy’s Moon [1953], Cape Town:

David Philip, 1984.

Peter Abrahams, Mine Boy [1946], Oxford, Heinemann, 1963.

Albert S. Gerard, Four African Literatures: Xhosa, Sotho, Zulu, Amharic. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: Univ. of California Press, 1971, 162-69.

Baruch Hirson, Yours for the Union: Class and Community Struggles in South Africa, 1930-1947, London: Zed: 1989, chaps. 13-14.

Hannah Jones, ‘A Co-Authored Curio from the Dark Continent: A. S. Mopeli-Paulus and Peter Lanham’s Blanket Boy’s Moon’, Journal of Southern African Studies, 21, No. 4, 1995, 601-12.

Sally-Anne Jackson, Peter Abrahams's Mine Boy: A Study of Colonial Diseases in South Africa, Research in African Literatures, Winter 2007, 38, 4, 153-69.

T. Dunbar Moodie, ‘The Moral Economy of the Black Miners’ Strike of 1946’, Journal of Southern African Studies, 13, October 1986, 1-35.

Dan O’Meara, ‘The 1946 African Mine Workers’ Strike and the Political Economy of South Africa, Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, XIII, 2, July 1975,

146-73.

6

Reading week

7 Nadine Gordimer, The Conservationist [1974], any edition.

J. M. Coetzee, Life & Times of Michael K [1983], any edition.

On Gordimer:

Nadine Gordimer, The Essential Gesture: Writing, Politics and Places. by Stephen Clingman. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1988.

Ed. and introd.

Stephen Clingman, The Novels of Nadine Gordimer: History from the Inside. Allen & Unwin, 1986.

London:

Kathrin Wagner, Rereading Nadine Gordimer. Bloomington and Indianapolis:

Indiana Univ. Press, 1994.

On Coetzee:

Derek Attridge, ‘Against Allegory’, J. M. Coetzee and the Ethics of Reading, Chicago:

University of Chicago Press, 2004, 32-64.

David Attwell, ‘The Problem of History in the Fiction of J. M. Coetzee’. In Martin Trump, ed., Rendering Things Visible: Essays on South African Literary Culture (Johannesburg: Ravan Press, 1990), pp. 94-134.

David Attwell, ‘Writing in the Cauldron of History’, J. M. Coetzee and the Politics of

Writing, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993,

88-117.

Stefan Helgesson, ‘…a wrong story, always wrong’: Reading the Ethically Sublime in J. M. Coetzee’s Life & Times of Michael K,’ in Writing in Crisis: Ethics and History in Gordimer, Ndebele and Coetzee, Scottsville: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2004,

179-233.

Graham

Huggan

and

Stephen

Watson,

Critical

Perspectives

on

J.

M.

Coetzee,

Macmillan, 1996.

Benita Parry, ‘Speech and Silence in the Fictions of J. M. Coetzee’. In Derek Attridge and Rosemary Jolly, eds., Writing South Africa: Literature, apartheid, and democracy, 1970-1995, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998, 149-65.

8 Miriam Tlali, Between Two Worlds (formerly Muriel at Metropolitan), Toronto, Broadview Press: 2004 (1975).

Lauretta Ngcobo, And They Didn’t Die [1990], New York: Feminist Press at CUNY, 1999, afterward by M. J. Daymond.

On Tlali:

Miriam Tlali, interview with Rosemary Jolly, in Derek Attridge and Rosemary Jolly, eds., Writing South Africa: Literature, apartheid, and democracy, 1970-1995, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998, 141-8.

Lenta, Margaret. ‘Two Women and Their Territories: Sheila Roberts and Miriam Tlali.’ Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 11.1 (Spring 1992): 103-111.

On Ngcobo:

Lauretta Ngcobo, ‘My Life and My Writing,’ Let It Be Told: Black Women Writers in Britain. Ed. by Lauretta Ngcobo. London: Virago Press, 1987/88, pp. 133-40.

Lauretta Ngcobo, ‘Some Thoughts on South Africa, 1992: Interview with Lauretta Ngcobo’, Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa. 4.1 (1992): 85-97.

Grant Farred, ‘“Not Like Women at All”: Black Female Subjectivity in Lauretta Ngcobo’s And They Didn’t Die’, Genders, 16, Spring 1993, 94-112.

Eva Hunter, ‘“We Have to Defend Ourselves”: Women, Tradition, and Change in Lauretta Ngcobo’s And They Didn’t Die’, Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, 13,1, 1994, 113-26.

Tom Lodge, Black Politics in South Africa since 1945, London: Longman, 1983, chap.

6.

Brian Worsfold, ‘Black South African Countrywomen in Lauretta Ngcobo’s Long Prose Works’, in Boehmer, Chrisman and Parker, eds., Altered State?, 111-20.

Joanne Yawich, ‘Natal 1959: the Women’s Riots’, Africa Perspective, 5, 1977, 1-16.

9 Zoe Wicomb, David’s Story, New York: Feminist Press, 2002.

Derek Attridge. ‘Zoë Wicomb’s Home Truths: Place, Genealogy, and Identity in David’s Story,’ Journal of Postcolonial Writing 41, no. 2 (November 2005): 156-165.

M. J. Daymond, ‘Bodies of Writing: Recovering the Past in Zoë Wicomb’s David’s

Story and Elleke Boehmer Bloodlines,’ Kunapipi: Journal of Post-Colonial Writing 24,

no. 1-2 (2002): 25-38.

Kai Easton, ‘Travelling through History, ‘New’ South African Icons: The Narratives of Saartje Baartman and Krotoä-Eva in Zoë Wicomb’s David’s Story,Kunapipi: Journal of Post-Colonial Writing 24, no. 1-2 (2002): 237-50.

Annie Gagiano, ‘Adapting the National Imaginary: Shifting Identities in Three Post-1994 South African Novels’, Journal of Southern African Studies, 30, no. 4, Special Issue: Writing in Transition in South Africa: Fiction, History, Biography pp.

811-824.

Gillian Gane, ‘Unspeakable Injuries in Disgrace and David’s Story,’ Kunapipi: Journal of Post-Colonial Writing 24, no. 1-2 (2002): 101-25.

Mike Marais, ‘Bastards and Bodies in Zoë Wicomb’s David’s Story,’ Journal of Commonwealth Literature 40, no. 3 (September 2005): 21-36.

Hein Willemse, ‘Zoë Wicomb in Conversation with Hein Willemse,’ Research in African Literatures 33, no. 1 (Spring 2002): 144-152.

10 Zakes Mda, The Heart of Redness, Cape Town: Oxford University, 2000.

David Attwell, ‘The Experimental Turn: Experimentalism in Contemporary Fiction,’ in Rewriting Modernity, Athens, GA: Ohio University Press, 2005, 169-204.

Rita Barnard, ‘The Location of Postapartheid Culture,’ in Apartheid and Beyond, New York: Oxford University Press, 147-74.

Jeanette Eve, A Literary Guide to the Eastern Cape, Cape Town: Double Storey, 2003, chap. 12.

J. U. Jacobs, ‘Zakes Mda’s Heart of Redness: The Novel as Umngqokolo,’ Kunapipi:

Journal of Post-Colonial Writing 24, no. 1-2 (2002), 224-236.

For historical background see Jeff Peires, The Dead Will Arise: Nongqawuse and the Great Xhosa Cattle-Killing of 1856-7, Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball, 2003.