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Archive for the ‘Book Excerpts’ Category

Discover a Legendary Xhosa Man of Letters in an Excerpt from William Wellington Gqoba: Isizwe Esinembali

William Wellington Gqoba: Isizwe esinembaliDLP Yali-Manisi: Iimbali ZamanyangeUKZN Press has shared the introduction from Volume 1 of The Opland Collection of Xhosa Literature, William Wellington Gqoba: Isizwe esinembali: Xhosa histories and poetry (1873–1888).

The Opland Collection of Xhosa Literature, edited by Jeff Opland and Pamela Maseko, is the academic library Opland assembled in the course of his research into Xhosa folklore, especially praise poetry, and the history of Xhosa literature.

Its contents include field recordings of Xhosa poets (1969–85), books and pamphlets in isiXhosa, and copies of literature published in ephemera. The Publications Series draws on material in the Collection, and presents diplomatic editions with English translations of significant works in isiXhosa, for the most part previously unrecognised or unavailable as published books.

The first two volumes in the series, William Wellington Gqoba: Isizwe esinembali and DLP Yali-Manisi: Iimbali Zamanyange: Historical Poems, were published in early 2015.

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Read the excerpt:

Introduction from William Wellington Gqoba: Isizwe esinembali: Xhosa histories and poetry (1873–1888) by Books LIVE


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The Realities Impacting our Cities: An Excerpt from Urban Governance in Post-apartheid Cities

Urban Governance in Post-apartheid CitiesSchweizerbart Science Publishers has shared sample pages from Urban Governance in Post-apartheid Cities: Modes of Engagement in South Africa’s Metropoles edited by Marie Huchzermeyer and Christoph Haferburg.

The excerpted pages contain the book’s preface and acknowledgements, the contents, the introduction, excerpts from a number of chapters by different authors and the index.

Urban Governance in Post-apartheid Cities is about the complex ways that stakeholders and collectives work to affect urban development. This book looks at technical and political realities that impact contemporary South African cities.

View the sample pages:

Urban Governance in Post Apartheid Cities by Books LIVE


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Excerpt: Race, Class and Power: Harold Wolpe and the Radical Critique of Apartheid by Steven Friedman

Race, Class and PowerIn Race, Class and Power: Harold Wolpe and the Radical Critique of Apartheid, Steven Friedman examines the life and work of the celebrated Harold Wolpe, “an activist who became a scholar”.

Wolpe, a lawyer, sociologist, political economist, anti-apartheid activist, and arguably one of the most influential critics in his intellectual sphere, proposed that South Africa’s economic ills contributed to its racialised inequality.

About the book:

Over four decades ago, radical scholars began to suggest a new way of looking at South African society, one that blamed the economic power of those who owned property for the racial bondage of the black majority. Their work, and the debates it triggered, are mostly forgotten: but they and their critics have much to say that sheds lights on today’s South African realities.

The excerpt below contains the first chapter of Race, Class and Power: “The man and the movement: Harold Wolpe and the fight against apartheid”. In it, Friedman outlines the origins of the Jewish left in South Africa, Wolpe’s transition “from Zionist to communist”, his involvement with Umkhonto we Sizwe, and his time in exile in Britain, from 1963.

Read the excerpt:

Race Class and Power by Steven Friedman by Books LIVE

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The Tensions Between Women’s Rights and Cultural Rights in The New South Africa at Twenty (Excerpt)

The New South Africa at TwentyThe Daily Dispatch has shared an edited excerpt from The New South Africa at Twenty: Critical Perspectives, edited by Peter Vale and Estelle H Prinsloo.

In the excerpt, entitled “Gender equality: thin edge against despotic wedge”, Cherryl Walker examines the tensions between women’s rights and cultural rights in South Africa.

Walker argues that since 1994 the “manner in which cultural rights are being defined and traditional institutions valorised has brought them into serious conflict with women’s rights”.

With reference to the rape trial and subsequent acquittal of President Jacob Zuma in 2006, as well as ANC policy as reflected in the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act (2003), the Communal Land Rights Act (2004) and the Traditional Courts Bill (2008 and 2012), Walker says “women’s rights have become central to the broader struggle for equality and full citizenship”.

Read the excerpt:

THE manner in which cultural rights are being defined and traditional institutions valorised has brought them into serious conflict with women’s rights.

The promotion of women’s rights is generally described as the struggle for gender equality.
President Jacob Zuma during his traditional wedding ceremony to his fourth wife, Bongi Ngema; held in Nkandla

Recognition for what is referred to, often interchangeably, as traditional, indigenous or, more pointedly, African culture, is commonly represented as a struggle for cultural rights.

The particular way in which the latter has come to be defined, the valorisation of traditional institutions that have historically excluded or marginalised women, has brought it into serious conflict with the former.

Tensions between women’s rights and cultural rights are, of course, not unique to South Africa. They have, however, acquired a particular salience in this country in the post-apartheid dispensation.

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“I Wrestled with Life and Lost”: Read an Excerpt from Nthikeng Mohlele’s New Novel, Rusty Bell

Rusty BellUKZN Press have shared an excerpt from Nthikeng Mohlele’s much-anticipated new novel, Rusty Bell.

Mohlele’s Small Things was lauded by JM Coetzee, who called it “melancholy and comic in equal proportions”, continuing: “Behind this story of love, music and the eternal quest, lies an artistic sensibility as generous as it is complex.”

Rusty Bell has been described as “part campus novel, part philosophical epistle”. It follows the story of Michael, a respected and haunted South African corporate lawyer, as he rebels against mediocrity.

Read the excerpt:

Excerpt from Rusty Bell by Nthikeng Mohlele

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Vishwas Satgar on the Crisis of Global Capitalism in The Solidarity Economy Alternative Excerpt

The Solidarity Economy AlternativeVishwas Satgar published The Solidarity Economy Alternative: Emerging Theory and Practice earlier this year, bringing together contributions from leading thinkers and supporters of the solidarity economy alternative in South Africa, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Italy and the United States.

Satgar is a political activist, senior lecturer in international relations at the University of the Witwatersrand and chair of the board of the Cooperative and Policy Alternative Centre.

Read the first chapter of the book, written by Satgar and titled “The crises of global capitalism and the solidarity economy alternative”:

Excerpt from The Solidarity Economy Alternative by Vishwas Satgar by Books LIVE

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Excerpt from Ekhaya on the Intrinsic Connection Between Political and Domestic Histories

Ekhaya“We reject the assumption that the home – as an idea and as a material entity–is static and continuous through history,” Meghan Healy-Clancy and Jason Hickel write in their introduction to Ekhaya: The Politics of Home in KwaZulu-Natal.

In this excerpt Healy-Clancy and Hickel explain that the book aims to show how the home has changed “in direct relation to broader economic and political transformations in the KwaZulu-Natal region”. They do this by tracking this relationship through history and they “argue that political history and domestic history cannot be considered separately: politics in KwaZulu-Natal has always been deeply entangled in the home, as both the source from which it draws its legitimacy as well as the object over which it exerts its power.”

Read the introduction to Ekhaya: The Politics of Home in KwaZulu-Natal:

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Excerpt from Chatsworth: Ashwin Desai and Goolam Vahed Trace Changes in the Township over Five Decades

ChatsworthChatsworth: The Making of a South African Township examines “what a space constructed as an ‘Indian’ township by the apartheid government means half a century after it was established and almost two decades after apartheid has ended”.

In the following extract, the editors Ashwin Desai and Goolam Vahed give an introduction to Chatsworth’s history and the contents of their book. They explain that in the early 1960s “municipal workers from the Magazine Barracks, fishermen from Bayhead, banana farmers from the surrounding area, factory workers from Clairwood and Cato Manor, and market gardeners from Seaview, Cato Manor and Riverside” were all moved to this “Indian” township created by the apartheid government.

In Chatsworth, Desai and Vahed say they focused on the memories and stories of the residents:

Chatsworth was born at the height of apartheid’s madness when the government sought to ghettoise persons of Indian origin into what it intended to be a frozen racial landscape.

The stories in this book are about the Chatsworth that grew out of this project of racist social engineering, transformed over the decades through need and creativity by the people living there.

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Excerpt from Chatsworth: The Making of a South African Township by Ashwin Desai and Goolam Vahed

ChatsworthIn Chatsworth: The Making of a South African Township, Ashwin Desai and Goolam Vahed bring together the voices of residents of Chatsworth, the so-called “Indian” township created by apartheid’s planners in 1960. Film director, author and actor Naresh Veeran is among those who share their memories of Chatsworth.

In the following excerpt from the book printed in The Mercury, Veeran remembers how his father, Denny, opened Denny Veeran’s Music Academy at their home in Chatsworth. He recalls it “being a musical haven for hundreds of musicians including the likes of singer Jerry Junior, saxophonist Dee Sharma of the Dukes Combo dance band, Sonny Pillay of Moonglow, Vasie Naidoo from Kreme, Ben Maharaj of Night Flight, Teddy Peters of Tropical Heat, Chris Govender from the Crescendos and Eddie Watts who sang with The Cheyennes”.

I COME from a family of musicians. Practically all of my cousins, uncles and aunts as well as my paternal grandparents, and even their respective fathers before them, were musicians. While this in itself is fairly unusual in any family, what really set mine apart was that, back in the 1950s, all 40 members of the family shared a single home at 126 Trimborne Road, Mayville, in Cato Manor, and almost every one of them was involved at some level with the family band, the Golden Lily Orchestra.

While the band was a vehicle for the expression of the family’s collective talent, it also served as a networking tool, a creative intranet in today’s terms, which provided both a physical connection and an artistic outlet for every member during rehearsals once a week and in actual performances twice on most weekends.

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Excerpt from Rethinking the South African Crisis by Gillian Hart

Rethinking the South African CrisisNeoliberalism is the frame through which many critics form an understanding of post-apartheid South Africa, but according to Gillian Hart, it is “inadequate to the task”. In an excerpt from chapter one of her book Rethinking the South African Crisis, shared in the Thinking Africa newsletter, Hart proposes that the concepts of de-nationalisation and re-nationalisation should be used instead to analyse South Africa today.

Hart explains that de-nationalisation refers to the “alliances through which corporate capital defined the terms of reconnection with the global economy” after apartheid sanctions were lifted, “as well as to the forces unleashed in the process”. Re-nationalisation refers to the “rainbow nation” discourse, but also to the ANC’s “latching onto apartheid era immigration legislation premised on control, exclusion and expulsion”, as well as the idea of the National Democratic Revolution.

In Disabling Globalization: Places of Power in Post Apartheid South Africa (2002a) I argued that local government was emerging as a key site of contractions in the first phase of post-apartheid restructuring (1994 – 2000). Over the decade of the 2000s, I maintain in this book, it has become the key site of contradictions. Broadly speaking, local government has become the impossible terrain of official efforts to manage poverty and deprivation in a racially inflected capitalist society marked by massive inequalities and in creasingly precarious livelihoods for the large majority of the population. Ironically, attempts to render technical that which is inherently political are feeding into and amplifying the proliferation of populist politics.

While local government contradic tions have their own specificities, they cannot be understood simply in local terms. ‘Neoliberalism’ – understood as a class project and manifestation of global economic forces, as well as a rationality of rule – has become the dominant frame for many critical understandings of post-apartheid South Africa, but it is inadequate to the task. In this book I suggest that the turbulent, shifting forces taking shape in the arenas of everyday life need to be situated in relation to simultaneous practices and processes of de-nationalisation and re-nationalisation. Deeply in tension with each other, de-nationalisation and re-nationalisation enable new angles of understanding the transition from apartheid.

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