Remains of the Social

Desiring the Post-Apartheid
Editor(s): , , ,
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Dimensions and Pages: 229x152mm
  • Paperback EAN: 978-1-77614-030-5; 978-1-77614-032-9 (North and South America, China); 978-1-77614-033-6 (Rest of world)
  • PDF EAN: 978-1-77614-031-2
  • Rights: World
  • Recommended Price (ZAR): 350.00
  • Recommended Price (USD): $34.99

Remains of the Social is nothing less than a kaleidoscopic critical philosophy of postapartheid as it took shape in South Africa and as it reverberated across the globe. The collection features a splendid ensemble of thinkers drawing upon a brilliant intellectual palate, including continental philosophy, psychoanalysis, contemporary critical theory, literary theory and poetics. This is political theory for the 21st century — crossing hemispheres with ease, promiscuous in its scholarly touchstones, yet disciplined and pedagogical.

Wendy Brown, University of California, Berkeley

To translate apartheid into globality shares the problem of all translation: it is necessary yet impossible. Remains of the Social inhabits this problem brilliantly, moving from high theory to punk in Afrikaans, from the grand staging of the Moses of Michelangelo to the Moses Twebe Great Hall in subaltern Dimbaza. Again and again, I was transported into ‘a memory of the future’. In this brief comment I will mention three: the careful unpeeling of ‘empathy’, a word that plagues top-down philanthropy; the anguish of the last letters from Dimbaza to the International Defense and Aid Fund; and the murder of education as ‘the desire to learn’ recounted in the very last chapter. A witnessing book, moving and instructive.
– Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, University Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University

Remains of the Social is an interdisciplinary volume of essays that engages with what ‘the social’ might mean after apartheid; a condition referred to as ‘the post-apartheid social’. The volume grapples with apartheid as a global phenomenon that extends beyond the borders of South Africa between 1948 and 1994 and foregrounds the tension between the weight of lived experience that was and is apartheid, the structures that condition that experience, and a desire for a ‘postapartheid social’ (think unity through difference).

Collectively, the contributors argue for a recognition of the ‘the post-apartheid’ as a condition that names the labour of coming to terms with the ordering principles that apartheid both set in place and foreclosed. The volume seeks to provide a sense of the terrain on which ‘the post-apartheid’ – as a desire for a difference that is not apartheid’s difference – unfolds, falters and is worked through.

Introduction: Traversing the social
Maurits van Bever Donker, Ross Truscott, Premesh Lalu and Gary Minkley
1. The Mandela Imaginary: Refl ections on post-reconciliation libidinal economy   Derek Hook
2. The ethics of precarity: Judith Butler’s reluctant universalism  Mari Ruti
3. Hannah Arendt’s work of mourning: The politics of loss, ‘the rise of the social’ and the ends of apartheid   Jaco Barnard-Naude
4. The return of empathy: Post-apartheid fellow feeling  Ross Truscott
5. Souvenir   Annemarie Lawless
6. Re-covery: Afrikaans rock, apartheid’s children and the work of the cover   Aidan Erasmus
7. The graves of Dimbaza: Temporal remains   Gary Minkley and Helena Pohlandt-McCormick
8. The principle of insufficiency: Ethics and community at the edge of the social   Maurits van Bever Donker
9. The Trojan Horse and the becoming technical of the human   Premesh Lalu

Contributors info:

Maurits van Bever Donker is currently Academic Coordinator and a Next Generation Scholar at the DST-NRF Flagship for Critical Thought in African Humanities at the Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape. His research interests are in postcolonial theory and Literature, critical theory, African literature and history, Black Consciousness philosophy, transnational articulations and intersections of race and gender, and desire in the postcolonial.

Ross Truscott is currently a Next Generation Scholar at the DST-NRF Flagship for Critical Thought in African Humanities at the Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape. He has a PhD from the University of Fort Hare where he studied at the NRF SARChI Chair in Social Change. He has held fellowships at Duke University, the University of Minnesota, and the London School of Economics. He has published on psychoanalysis, history, and postcolonial theory, post-apartheid empathy and its discontents, nationalism, popular culture, race, gender, and sexuality.

Gary Minkley currently holds the NRF SARChI Chair in Social Change at the University of Fort Hare in East London. He has a PhD from the University of Cape Town. He worked in the History Department at the University of the Western Cape until 2003, and then at the University of Fort Hare as a Senior Researcher and a Professor of History. Until September 2009 he was the Director of Post Graduate Studies at the Govan Mbeki Research and Development Centre at the University of Fort Hare. His research interests are in South African history and the dynamics of social change, in public and visual history, public memory and public space. His extensive publication record includes four book manuscripts, three edited journal collections, and more than 30 articles.

Premesh Lalu is Professor of History and the Director of the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape. He has published widely in academic journals on historical discourse and the Humanities in Africa and is a regular contributor of public opinion pieces in local and international newspapers. His book, The Deaths of Hintsa: Postapartheid South Africa and the Shape of Recurring Pasts (2009) argues that in order to forge a concept of apartheid that allows us to properly formulate a deeper meaning of the post-apartheid, what is necessary is a postcolonial critique of apartheid. Lalu is a board member of the international Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes and Chairperson of the Handspring Trust for Puppetry in Education.

Derek Hook is Associate Professor of Psychology at Duquesne University. He is a scholar and a practitioner of psychoanalysis, with expertise in the area of critical psychology and psychosocial studies. Before moving to Duquesne he was in Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is the author of Foucault, Psychology and the Analytics of Power (2007), A Critical Psychology of the Postcolonial (2011) and more recently (Post)apartheid Conditions: Psychoanalysis and Social Formations (2013). He is a research fellow of the Independent Social Research Foundation and a lead researcher in the Apartheid Archive Project.

Jaco Barnard-Naudé is Professor of Jurisprudence in the Department of Private Law in the Faculty of Law at the University of Cape Town. He is an NRF rated researcher and a recipient of the UCT Fellows Award. His wide range of research interests include postmodern and poststructural legal theory, law and sexuality, post-Apartheid jurisprudence and Law & Literature. Of late, his work has increasingly moved into a psychoanalytic mode of enquiry. He holds the degrees BCom(Law), LLB and LLD from the University of Pretoria and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. He is an honorary research fellow in the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, University of London and has been a visiting professor at the University of Westminster and at Birkbeck College, University of London. In 2016 he was a visiting fellow in the TraMe Centre in the Department of Philosophy and Communication at the University of Bologna, Italy.

Mari Ruti is Professor of Critical Theory at the University of Toronto, where she teaches contemporary theory, continental philosophy, psychoanalysis, and feminist and queer theory.  She is the author of ten books, including The Singularity of Being: Lacan and the Immortal Within (2012); The Call of Character: Living a Life Worth Living (2013); Between Levinas and Lacan: Self, Other, Ethics (2015).

Annemarie Lawless earned degrees from Trinity College, Dublin (BA), Durham University (MA), and the University of Minnesota (Ph.D). Her doctoral research explores the idea of love, as a mode of knowledge and a form of ethics, in the work of Walter Benjamin and Gilles Deleuze, in particular Benjamin’s understanding of redemption and Deleuze’s concept of immanence; the relation between knowledge and the aesthetic image; the function of the image in texts by Shelley, Kierkegaard, Beckett, among others. Her current research is focused on the connection between being and the image in the work of Deleuze, Heidegger, and Blanchot. She currently teaches courses in critical theory in the English Department at the University of Minnesota.

Aidan Erasmus is currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of History and an Early Career Fellow at the DST-NRF Flagship for Critical Thought in African Humanities at the Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape. His dissertation, titled ‘A Phonography of War’ is invested in constituting sound as a modality through which to think the resonant contours of imperial war, through the examination of aesthetic production in music, radio and cinema under apartheid and in the postapartheid.

Helena Pohlandt-McCormick is Associate Professor of African History at the University of Minnesota and has served as the ICGC/UWC Mellon Research Chair at the University of the Western Cape. She received an MA in Communications from the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich in 1984, an MA in Journalism from the University of Michigan in 1986, and a Ph. D. from the University of Minnesota in 1999. Her research focuses on postcolonial and postapartheid history and theory, archival studies and gender/sexuality studies. Her book, “I Saw a Nightmare …” Doing Violence to Memory: The Soweto Uprising, June 16, 1976 examined competing historical memories and representations of the Soweto Uprising and was published by Columbia University Press and the American Historical Association in 2005.

 

Remains of the Social is nothing less than a kaleidoscopic critical philosophy of postapartheid as it took shape in South Africa and as it reverberated across the globe. The collection features a splendid ensemble of thinkers drawing upon a brilliant intellectual palate, including continental philosophy, psychoanalysis, contemporary critical theory, literary theory and poetics. This is political theory for the 21st century — crossing hemispheres with ease, promiscuous in its scholarly touchstones, yet disciplined and pedagogical.

Wendy Brown, University of California, Berkeley

This is exciting work. The concept of the remains—or thinking about postapartheid South Africa based on various theorisings of loss—is a valid one. It is original and astute in its applications of theory and philosophical thinking.
– Rita Barnard, Director of the Comparative Literature Programme and Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania University, USA

To translate apartheid into globality shares the problem of all translation: it is necessary yet impossible. Remains of the Social inhabits this problem brilliantly, moving from high theory to punk in Afrikaans, from the grand staging of the Moses of Michelangelo to the Moses Twebe Great Hall in subaltern Dimbaza. Again and again, I was transported into ‘a memory of the future’. In this brief comment I will mention three: the careful unpeeling of ‘empathy’, a word that plagues top-down philanthropy; the anguish of the last letters from Dimbaza to the International Defense and Aid Fund; and the murder of education as ‘the desire to learn’ recounted in the very last chapter. A witnessing book, moving and instructive.
– Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, University Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University

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