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

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

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

Maurits van Bever Donker has a PhD in English Literature, with a minor in Comparative Literature, from the University of Minnesota, USA and is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow based at the Centre for Humanities Research (CHR) at the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

Ross Truscott holds a PhD from the University of Fort Hare, carried out under the South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARCHI) in Social Change and is currently a postdoctoral associate in Women’s Studies at Duke University in the USA.

Premesh Lalu is Professor of History and Director of the Centre for Humanities Research (CHR) at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) in South Africa.

Gary Minkley currently holds the National Research Foundation (NRF) SARChI Chair in Social Change at the University of Fort Hare in East London, South Africa.

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, 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 what Lalu calls “the 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, USA

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