Tag Archives: south africa

HBCU Money™ Business Book Feature – Diamonds, Gold, and War: The British, Boers, & Making of South Africa


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Southern Africa was once regarded as a worthless jumble of British colonies, Boer republics, and African chiefdoms, a troublesome region of little interest to the outside world. But then prospectors chanced upon the world’s richest deposits of diamonds and gold, setting off a titanic struggle between the British and the Boers for control of the land. The result was the costliest, bloodiest, and most humiliating war that Britain had waged in nearly a century, and the devastation of the Boer republics. The New Yorker calls this magisterial account of those years “[an] astute history.… Meredith expertly shows how the exigencies of the diamond (and then gold) rush laid the foundation for apartheid.”

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HBCU Money™ Business Book Feature -State of Peril: Race and Rape in South African Literature


9780199796373

Considering fiction from the colonial era to the present, State of Peril offers the first sustained, scholarly examination of rape narratives in the literature of a country that has extremely high levels of sexual violence.

Lucy Graham demonstrates how, despite the fact that most incidents of rape in South Africa are not interracial, narratives of interracial rape have dominated the national imaginary. Seeking to understand this phenomenon, the study draws on Michel Foucault’s ideas on sexuality and biopolitics, as well as Judith Butler’s speculations on race and cultural melancholia. Historical analysis of the body politic provides the backdrop for careful, close readings of literature by Olive Schreiner, Sol Plaatje, Sarah Gertrude Millin, Njabulo Ndebele, J.M. Coetzee, Zoë Wicomb and others.

Ultimately, State of Peril argues for ethically responsible interpretations that recognize high levels of sexual violence in South Africa while parsing the racialized inferences and assumptions implicit in literary representations of bodily violation.