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Title: Writing the land : representations of 'the land' and nationalism in Anglophone literature from South Africa and Zimbabwe 1969-2002
Author: Graham, James John George
ISNI:       0000 0001 3509 7058
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2006
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As a material possession and as an imagined space of belonging, land was the principle draw for European settlers in southern Africa from the 17th century onwards. The legacy of racial dispossession and conflict that ensued still resonates in the 21 st century, as post-colonial nation-states face up to the daunting task of redistributing land between newly enfranchised peasants, commercial farmers and displaced communities. Representations of 'the land' in literature signal not only geographical entities but also a variety of social and cultural landscapes. In literature written in English from southern Africa the semantic terrain of 'the land' is thus constituted by a diverse range of experiences, encounters and ideologies, testifying to the manifold contradictions that settler colonialism produced. The primary concern of this thesis is to examine how writers from Zimbabwe and South Africa have engaged with these experiences and articulated them as historical 'structures of feeling' (Williams 1978) in their work. In particular, it explores the relationship between representations of 'the land' and the articulation of nationhood and nationalism in selected novels. It argues that certain structures of feeling rival official nationalist discourses in varied and subversive ways. As a comparative project, it focuses on literature produced at important historical moments both before and after the transition to majority rule in South Africa (1994) and Zimbabwe (1980). A transition between two major structures of feeling is identified within this comparative horizon. This thesis explores how representations of 'the land' both propagate and question an ideology of (revolutionary) repossession in the 1970s, but also of (reconciliatory) reform in the 1990s.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN Literature (General)