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The whiteness of Afrikaans literary feminism

In (Black Afrikaans poet) Ronelda Kamfer’s collection Chinatown (2019), she criticises canonical Afrikaans white women poets for their implied complicity with apartheid and continued white hegemony within the Afrikaans literary sphere. Using Kamfer’s critique and  the emergence of Black Afrikaans feminist poetry in the 21st century as a framing device, this  project will build on postcolonial feminist studies (for example Louise Vijoen’s “Postcolonialism and Women’s Writing in Afrikaans”) and anthologies (My Mother’s  Mother’s Mother, edited by Annemarié van Niekerk) of Afrikaans literature to synthesise an asyet under researched feminist literary tradition in Afrikaans. While investigating the political and aesthetic contributions of this feminist intervention in the Afrikaans literary
space, I will
also interrogate Afrikaans literary feminism’s limited attempts at intersectionality and its resulting whiteness. In this way the study will function as a history of  Afrikaans literary feminism and will open up the possibility of the comparison of this  phenomenon with manifestations of socalled “white feminism” (see Ogunyemi and Olufemi) elsewhere, especially in other settler colonial contexts. The study will contribute to discussions about the historical and continuing symbolic centralisation of whiteness in African art, as well as to Black African artists’ attempts to interrogate and move past global white hegemony and local iterations thereof.


Fellows involved in this project

Iso Lomso Fellow
South Africa

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Is any information on this page incorrect or outdated? Please notify Ms. Nel-Mari Loock at [email protected].