Articles from a special issue of the Radical History Review that map the development of interpretations of the South African past and depart radically from the official history
History from South Africa
Alternative Visions and Practices
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edited by Joshua Brown, Patrick Manning, Karin Shapiro and Jon Wiener
More starkly than any other contemporary social conflict, the crisis in South Africa highlights the complexities and conflicts in race, gender, class, and nation. These original articles, most of which were written by South African authors, are from a special issue of the Radical History Review, published in Spring 1990, that mapped the development of interpretations of the South African past that depart radically from the official history. The articles range from the politics of black movements in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to studies of film, television, and theater as reflections of modern social conflict.
History from South Africa is presented in two main sections: discussions of the historiography of South Africa from the viewpoint of those rewriting it with a radical outlook; and investigations into popular history and popular culturethe production and reception of history in the public realm. In addition, two photo essays dramatize this history visually; maps and a chronology complete the presentation. The book provides a fresh look at major issues in South African social and labor history and popular culture, and focuses on the role of historians in creating and interacting with a popular movement of resistance and social change.
Preface John Brown, Patrick Manning, Karin Shapiro, and Jon Wiener
Part I: Radical Historians and South Africa's Past
Part II: Photo Essays
Part III: Popular History and Popular Culture
Chronology: South Africa, 1800-1900
Joshua Brown is Art Director of the American Social History Project at Hunter College and a member of the Radical History Review editorial collective.
Patrick Manning is Professor of History and African-American Studies at Northeastern University. He is the author of a 1982 book on the economic history of Dahomey, Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa, 1880-1985 (1987), and Slavery and African Life (1990). He is also a member of the Radical History Review editorial collective.
Karin Shapiro, a history graduate student at Yale University, studies both American and South African history. She will complete her dissertation, "The Tennessee Coal Miners' Revolt, 1981-92: Convict Labor, Political Culture, and Southern Rural Industrialization" in 1991. She is also a member of the Radical History Review editorial collective.
Jon Wiener teaches History at the University of California, Irvine. He is a member of the Radical History Review editorial collective, and a contributing editor to The Nation.
Contributors: Philip Bonner, Helen Bradford, Colin Bundy, Stephen Clingman, C.R.D. Halisi, Jon Lewis, Tom Lodge, Chris Lowe, Bill Nasson, Gideon Mendel, Santu Mofokeng, David Anthony, Luli Callinicos, Harriet Gavshon, C. A. Hamilton, Deborah James, Paul la Hausse, Andre Odendaal, A. W. Oliphant, Bhekizizwe Peterson, Melanie Walker, Leslie Witz, and the editors.
In the series
Critical Perspectives on the Past, edited by Susan Porter Benson, Stephen Brier, and Roy Rosenzweig, is concerned with the traditional and nontraditional ways in which historical ideas are formed. In its attentiveness to issues of race, class, and gender and to the role of human agency in shaping events, the series is as critical of traditional historical method as content. Emphasizing that history is itself an interpretation of material events, the series demonstrates that the historian's choices of subject, narrative technique, and documentation are politically as well as intellectually constructed.