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Theorising the counterhegemonic : a critical study of Black South African autobiography from 1954-1963

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dc.contributor.advisor Ryan, Pamela, 1959-
dc.contributor.advisor Pereira, Ernest
dc.contributor.author Gilfillan, Lynda, 1948-
dc.date.accessioned 2010-05-17T09:48:42Z
dc.date.available 2010-05-17T09:48:42Z
dc.date.issued 1995-11
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10500/3321
dc.description.abstract In this thesis, I examine a critical procedure appropriate to Black South African autobiography of the 1950s and early 1960s. In particular, I examine these autobiographies as examples of counterhegemonic writing in which the self counters the hegemonic apartheid notion of identity, based on racial and cultural purity, and I propose that the hybrid selves encoded in these narratives have the capacity to inform a new South African nationhood. Chapter One necessitates an autocritique, in which I locate my own discourse within the intersecting discursive strands of Western and local theory, an effort that is guided by the imperatives that emerge from the autobiographies themselves. In Chapter Two, I suggest that the postcolonial autos displaces Humanist, and appropriates postmodernist, conceptions of the "I". Rewriting the terms of the autobiographical pact, the authority of grapos is re-instated in counternarratives that give privileged status to the bios - to lives that claim "I AM!" and selves that reconstruct identity. A related concern is the relationship between autobiographical criticism in South Africa and hegemony. In the chapters that follow, I examine the various ways in which counterhegemonic selves are constructed in Tell freedom, Down Second Avenue, Drawn in colour: African Contrasts and The Ochre People. Peter Abrahams's autobiography is discussed largely in terms of Frantz Fanon's insights on identity construction and the notion of a "hybrid I". Es'kia Mphahlek's (re)writing of the self - whose main feature is ambivalence - forms the focus of Chapter Four. These notions are developed in the final chapter, which focuses on Noni Jabavu's narratives that encode an "in-between" cultural identity and, as in the autobiographies of Abrahams and Mphahlele, a metonymic "I". en
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (vii, 277 leaves)
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Black South African autobiography en
dc.subject Counterhegemonic en
dc.subject PostmoJernism en
dc.subject Poststructuralism en
dc.subject Postcolonial identity en
dc.subject Hybridity en
dc.subject Es'kia Mphahlele en
dc.subject Peter Abrahams en
dc.subject Noni Jabavu en
dc.subject.ddc 823.914
dc.subject.lcsh Autobiography
dc.subject.lcsh South African literature (English) -- 20th century -- History and criticism
dc.subject.lcsh Politics and literature -- South Africa
dc.subject.lcsh Authors, Black -- South Africa -- Biography
dc.subject.lcsh Identity in literature
dc.subject.lcsh South African literature (English) -- Black authors -- History and criticism
dc.subject.lcsh Postmodernism (Literature) -- South Africa
dc.subject.lcsh Mphahlele, Ezekiel -- Biography
dc.subject.lcsh Abrahams, Peter, 1919- -- Biography
dc.subject.lcsh Jabavu, Noni, 1919- -- Biography
dc.subject.lcsh Autobiography
dc.subject.lcsh South African literature (English) -- 20th century -- History and criticism
dc.subject.lcsh Politics and literature -- South Africa
dc.subject.lcsh Authors, Black -- South Africa -- Biography
dc.subject.lcsh Identity (Philosophical concept) in literature
dc.subject.lcsh South African literature (English) -- Black authors -- History and criticism
dc.subject.lcsh Postmodernism (Literature) -- South Africa
dc.title Theorising the counterhegemonic : a critical study of Black South African autobiography from 1954-1963 en
dc.type Thesis en
dc.description.department English Studies
dc.description.degree D. Litt. et Phil. (English)


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