Non-Fiction Books:

South African Homelands as Frontiers

Apartheid's Loose Ends in the Postcolonial Era


Paperback / softback

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South African Homelands as Frontiers
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This book explores what happened to the homelands - in many ways the ultimate apartheid disgrace - after the fall of apartheid. This research contributes to understanding the multiple configurations that currently exist in areas formerly declared "homelands" or "Bantustans". Using the concept of frontier zones, the homelands emerge as areas in which the future of the South African postcolony is being renegotiated, contested and remade with hyper-real intensity. This is so because the many fault lines left over from apartheid (its loose ends, so to speak) - between white and black; between different ethnicities; between rich and poor; or differentiated by gender, generation and nationality; between "traditions" and "modernities" or between wilderness and human habitation - are particularly acute and condensed in these so-called "communal areas". Hence, the book argues that it is particularly in these settings that the postcolonial promise of liberation and freedom must face its test. As such, the book offers highly nuanced and richly detailed analyses that go to the heart of the diverse dilemmas of post-apartheid South Africa as a whole, but simultaneously also provides in condensed form an extended case study on the predicaments of African postcoloniality in general. This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Southern African Studies.

Author Biography

Steffen Jensen is a Professor at the Department of Culture and Global Studies, Aalborg University, Denmark, and a Senior Researcher at DIGNITY: The Danish Institute Against Torture. He has published on issues of gangs, policing, justice, human rights, development and victimhood in South Africa and the Philippines. He has recently published Histories of Victimhood (2014) and Human Rights and State Violence: State officials in the South (2009). Olaf Zenker is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. He has published on modern statehood, rule of law, bureaucracy, justice, land reform as well as conflict and identity formations in South Africa and Northern Ireland. He recently published Transition and Justice: Negotiating the Terms of New Beginnings in Africa (2015) and Irish/ness Is All Around Us: Language Revivalism and the Culture of Ethnic Identity in Northern Ireland (2013).
Release date NZ
May 1st, 2017
Edited by Olaf Zenker Edited by Steffen Jensen
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
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