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The San or Bushmen of southern Africa have exerted a fascination over generations of writers and scholars, from novelists and anarchists to ethnologists and geneticists, and also occupy a special place in the popular imagination as the First People and the contemporary remnant of spiritual and natural man. The ways in which particular groups of people from southern Africa have been traditionally categorised and positioned as objects of scrutiny by a range of academic disciplines is increasingly being contested and questioned. There is a growing awareness of the cultural, economic and genetic entanglement of the peoples of the region.
This book examines how San and Khoe people are represented, by others, as well as by those who identify as San or Khoe. It interrogates the ways in which disciplines, through their methodologies and ways of authorising knowledge, not only "discover" or "reveal" knowledge but produce it in ways that involve complex and often ambiguous relationships with power structures and forms of intellectual, symbolic and cultural capital. One major trend that emerges is that the San and Khoe can no longer be seen as people of the past but have to be acknowledged as contemporary and socially situated individuals and communities who are increasingly contesting the representations which others have imposed on them.
This book was originally published as two special issues of Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781138082953
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Keyan G. Tomaselli was Director of the Centre for Communication Media and Society, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa. His books on the topic include Cultural Tourism: Rethinking Indigeneity (2012), Writing in the San/d (2007), and Where Global Contradictions are Sharpest (2005). Michael Wessels teaches World Literature in English at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. He has written extensively about San narrative and the theory and politics of interpreting folklore and mythology. He is the author of Bushman Letters (2010).
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