State of Peril: Race and Rape in South African Literature

Hardcover | May 28, 2012

byLucy Valerie Graham

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This is a study of South African literature through the prism of narratives of sexual violence. While most incidents of sexual assault in South Africa are not interracial, narratives of interracial rape have dominated the national imaginary. South African literature has again and againcircled back to images of "black peril" (representations of the rape of white women by black men) and "white peril" representations that show the rape of colonised women by colonising men. Taking an historical and comparative perspective, the book uses as theoretical underpinning Michel Foucault'sideas on sexuality and biopolitics and Judith Butler's speculations on race and cultural melancholia. Avoiding a simplistic feminist perspective, the book examines the complex ways in which race, gender and class work together in the literary texts under examination. Where relevant, it examines the production, dissemination and reception of the selected texts. The books argues for an ethicallyresponsible and dialectical approach that recognises high levels of sexual violence in South Africa, but also examines the racialised inferences and assumptions implicit in representations of bodily violation.

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This is a study of South African literature through the prism of narratives of sexual violence. While most incidents of sexual assault in South Africa are not interracial, narratives of interracial rape have dominated the national imaginary. South African literature has again and againcircled back to images of "black peril" (represent...

Lucy Valerie Graham is a lecturer in English at Stellenbosch University.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:May 28, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199796378

ISBN - 13:9780199796373

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroduction1. Danger and Desire: Rape and Seduction in the Colonial Imagination "Wild Savages" and "Treasure Chests": Rape and Romance in Southern African Contact Narratives "A Black Woman Wasn't White!": Race and Rape in Olive Schreiner's Trooper Peter Halket of Mashonaland"The Inexpiable Outrage Remains": Black Combatants, Chivalry and the South African War2. "Like a White Man": "Black Peril", Print Culture and Political Voice in the Making of the Union"Like a White Man": "Black Peril", Print Culture and Political Voice in the Making of the Union"Catching her by the Throat": Political and Literary Struggles in George Webb Hardy's The Black Peril "His Sonorous Voice": George Heaton Nicholls Bayete! and the Black Vote3. "A 'Black' or a 'White' Peril?": Writing the Melancholy (Alter)NationDaphne Rooke's Mittee in America and South Africa4. Restaging Rape: Black Writing and Sexual Apartheid"Black Peril" and Mimicry in Arthur Maimane's Victims"White Peril" Narratives by Farida Karodia and Lauretta Ngcobo"When Victims Spit on Victims": Intraracial Rape in Short Stories by Njabulo Ndebele, Gcina Mhlophe and Baleka Kgositile5. "History Speaking": Sexual Violence and Post-Apartheid NarrativesReading the Unspeakable: Rape in J.M. Coetzee's DisgraceTraces of Violation in Achmat Dangor's Bitter Fruit and Zo Wicomb's David's Story"(Not) Like a Woman": Male Rape in Bildungsromane of the Post-Apartheid Transition"Save Us All": Tshepang and the New NationConclusion