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Launch of Writing Home: Lewis Nkosi on South African Writing PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 10:00

Some of you joined us on 31 May for the launch of Lindy Steibel and Michael Chapman's Writing Home: Lewis Nkosi on South African Writing. For those of you who missed it, here are some shots from the evening. Lindy Stiebel opened proceedings by sharing some anecdotes of Nkosi as both person and close friend, followed by Michael Chapman who shared some insights about Nkosi as both creative writer and academic.

Launch of Writing Home: Lewis Nkosi on South African Writing PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 29 May 2016 08:40

It has been some time coming but the day is finally almost upon us! Our Project leader, Prof. Lindy Stiebel, along with Prof. Michael Chapman, will be launching Writing Home: Lewis Nkosi on South African Writing. Nkosi's work has been out of print for many years and we are excited that his voice will be back in circulation.

Join us at Lewis' Shebeen (Ike's Books and Collectables on Florida road) this coming Tuesday (31 May) at 5:30 to celebrate his legacy and the dedication of Prof. Stiebel and Prof. Chapman.

Jane Rosenthal Reviews JU Jacobs' Diaspora and Identity for Mail & Guardiian PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 28 May 2016 14:41

Mhudi, the baRolong woman who is the protagonist of Sol Plaatje’s novel Mhudi (written in 1917, published in 1930), is the first refugee, migrant and dispersed fictional person mentioned in JU Jacobs’s study, Diaspora and Identity in South African Fiction. The last fictional person to be examined is Winnie Mandela as a character in Njabulo Ndebele’s The Cry of Winnie Mandela (David Philip, 2003).

A century or so separates these diasporic characters and their displacement from home has more similarities than one would expect.

Although this is an academic text, it should appeal to anyone who has an interest in the complexities of who we are, the histories of how we got here and the expression of these in fiction and near-fictional biographies. Jacobs examines several such works to illuminate South African identities and to show how we, all of us, are the products of diaspora. It’s an exceptionally rich feast.

Jacobs, scholar and emeritus professor of English, takes the time to make clear the meanings of these words, identity and diaspora. Identity is expanded to include specifically post-colonial identities and he notes the formulations developed by South African academics to express the fluid, changing, marginal nature of post-colonial identity. These include “seam” and “mark of the suture” (Leon de Kock), “entanglement” (Sarah Nuttall), “complicity”(Mark Sanders) and “transitivity” (Steven Clingman).

We generally think of diaspora in its original meaning to refer to the dispersal of the Jews after Masada, and for African Americans and Caribbeans dispersed by slavery. Jacobs looks at the extended use of the term to include any mass migration and other displacements.

Read the rest of Rosenthal's detailed review over at the Mail & Guardian...


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