Humanities and Social Sciences
|Routledge (Taylor and Francis)|
Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies
Safundi -- "S" represents "South Africa," "a" stands for "America," and "fundi" comes from the Xhosa verb, "-funda," which translates as "to read/learn."
May 2002, Issue 09
Through the use of a multimedia website, Shore examines the historical context and significance of Senator Robert Kennedy's June 1966 visit to South Africa.
Beginning in the early twentieth century and continuing through today, American culture in general, and more specifically African-American culture and identity, has played a significant role in the construction of identity, popular culture, and the struggle for equality in southern Africa. Of particular interest is how American culture (particularly the African-American component), mediated through South Africa, has impacted the political and cultural identity of Basotho youth in the 1990s. Basotho and South African youth identify with aspects of American culture that provide them with new meanings, which help negotiate their landscape. As an enclave in South Africa, Lesotho not only illustrates the impact of aspects of American culture on South Africa, but in this case has also contributed to a decreasing national identity that is being replaced by an increased identification with South Africa.
This essay is a comparative study of two novels about women caught in a liminal position, as the society in which they live enters a period of profound change. Both protagonists are irresistibly drawn to the possibilities of change, even though these possibilities are indefinable and their pursuit perilous and traumatic, because the women find themselves marginalized by the present patriarchal structure of society, in which they find no fulfilling role. Moreover, this society in each case is a historical anomalyï¿½further marginalizing each protagonistï¿½although the beginning of transition points toward a form of potential normalization: one of these societies is New Orleans in the late nineteenth century, the other South Africa a century later. The authors of the fictive depictions of these societies are the American Kate Chopin, who died in 1904, and South African Nadine Gordimer, born in 1923; obviously, therefore, Chopin could not have read Gordimerï¿½s work, and there is no actual evidence that the well-read Gordimer has in fact read Chopinï¿½s. It is all the more interesting, then, that their female protagonists should experience the upheavals of societal transformation in such remarkably similar ways. The parallels suggest that there is a universal element not only to the struggles of a new society attempting to define itself, but also to the struggles of women attempting to define a position for themselves within it. As the experiences of Chopinï¿½s and Gordimerï¿½s protagonists reveal, the options available to women during an interregnum are far more complex and ambiguous than simply rejecting the old and embracing the new.
The author comparatively reviews The Great Treks. The Transformation of Southern Africa, 1815-1854, by Norman Etherington. London: Pearson, 2001, 366pp. ISBN 0582 315670
The author discusses Critical Race Feminism and Kimberlï¿½ Crenshawï¿½s observation that the theoretical erasure of Black women in legal scholarship leads to their actual erasure in the law. This concept serves as a point of departure to look for answers to the following question: What protection do Black women receive under the constitutions of the United States and South Africa?
April 2007, Volume 8, Number 2
January 2007, Volume 8, Number 1
Deterritorializing American Culture, 23
Safundi Issue 22, Issue 22
George Fredrickson's White Supremacy , Issue 21
October 2005, Issue 20
July 2005, Issue 19
April 2005, Issue 18
January 2005, Issue 17
October 2004, Issue 16
July 2004, Issue 15
April 2004, Issue 13-14
October 2003, Issue 12
July 2003, Issue 11
April 2003, Issue 10
February 2002, Issue 08
November 2001, Issue 07
July 2001, Issue 06
April 2001, Issue 05
January 2001, Issue 04
October 2000, Issue 03
July 2000, Issue 02