Internal Frontiers

African Nationalism and the Indian Diaspora in Twentieth-Century South Africa
Author(s):
  • Publication Date: February 2018
  • Dimensions and Pages: 229 x 152 mm; 360pp
  • Paperback EAN: 978-1-77614-210-1
  • Rights: Africa
  • Recommended Price (ZAR): 380.00

“This paradigm-shifting book locates a radical strain of South African nationalism in the
political firmament of postwar Durban. Deeply researched and beautifully written, Internal
Frontiers reveals how insurgent intellectuals such as Anton Lembede and Albert Luthuli,
influenced by India’s independence movement and the challenges of building solidarity with
Natal’s Indian diaspora, conceived a vision of the nation ‘from below’ that affirmed African
agency while also embracing a diverse, multi-ethnic political community.”
— Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination

In this ambitious new history of the antiapartheid struggle, Jon Soske places India and the Indian diaspora at the center of the African National Congress’s development of an inclusive philosophy of nationalism. Even as Indian independence provided black South African intellectuals with new models of conceptualizing sovereignty, debates over the place of the Indian diaspora in Africa forced a reconsideration of South Africa’s internal and external boundaries, not least by the ANC thinkers—led by Albert Luthuli—centered in Durban. There, they developed a new philosophy of nationhood that affirmed South Africa’s simultaneously heterogeneous and fundamentally African character. In describing this process, Soske makes a major contribution to postcolonial and Indian Ocean studies and charts new ways of writing about African nationalism.

Preface and Acknowledgments Note on Language Introduction The Internal Frontier of the Nation-State PART ONE Chapter 1 The Racial Crucible Economy, Stereotype, and Urban Space in Durban Chapter 2 Beyond the “Native Question” Xuma, Lembede, and the Event of Indian Independence PART TWO Chapter 3 “That Lightning That Struck” The 1949 Durban Riots and the Crisis of African Nationalism Chapter 4 The Racial Politics of Home Sex, Feminine Virtue, and the Boundaries of the Nation PART THREE Chapter 5 The Cosmopolitan Moment Chief Albert Luthuli, the Defiance Campaign, and a New Aesthetics of Nation Chapter 6 The Natal Synthesis Inclusive Nationalism and the Unity of the ANC Epilogue Notes Selected Bibliography Index
Jon Soske is an associate professor of history at McGill University and research associate at the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa, University of the Witwatersrand. He has coedited three books, One Hundred Years of the ANC: Debating Liberation Histories Today, Apartheid Israel: The Politics of an Analogy, and Ties That Bind: Race and the Politics of Friendship in South Africa.
“Ambitious and rivetingly intelligent, Internal Frontiers offers a decolonized model of global history. Located at the intersection of South Africa’s antiapartheid struggle with the idea of India, this book rescripts notions of race, empire, nation, diaspora, and much more. Exquisitely written with exceptional interdisciplinary depth, it will become a model of intellectual transnational history.” — Isabel Hofmeyr, author of Gandhi’s Printing Press: Experiments in Slow Reading “This paradigm-shifting book locates a radical strain of South African nationalism in the political firmament of postwar Durban. Deeply researched and beautifully written, Internal Frontiers reveals how insurgent intellectuals such as Anton Lembede and Albert Luthuli, influenced by India’s independence movement and the challenges of building solidarity with Natal’s Indian diaspora, conceived a vision of the nation ‘from below’ that affirmed African agency while also embracing a diverse, multi-ethnic political community.” — Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination “Soske’s combination of ‘high’ political narrative with material histories of class, race, and sexuality is indispensable. This book is an extremely important counter to sentimental ideas about social and political relations between Africans and people of South Asian descent in South Africa during turbulent times.” — Antoinette Burton, author of  The Trouble with Empire: Challenges to Modern British Imperialism  

Related titles

Leave a Reply