Performing Whitely in the Postcolony: Afrikaners in South African Theatrical and Public Life (Studies Theatre Hist & Culture)

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9781609384470: Performing Whitely in the Postcolony: Afrikaners in South African Theatrical and Public Life (Studies Theatre Hist & Culture)

What does it mean to perform whiteness in the postcolonial era? To answer this question—crucial for understanding the changing meanings of race in the twenty-first century—Megan Lewis examines the ways that members of South Africa’s Afrikaner minority have performed themselves into, around, and out of power from the colonial period to the postcolony. The nation’s first European settlers and in the twentieth century the architects of apartheid, since 1994 Afrikaners have been citizens of a multicultural, multilingual democracy. How have they enacted their whiteness in the past, and how do they do so now when their privilege has been deflated?
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Performing Whitely examines the multiple speech acts, political acts, and theatrical acts of the Afrikaner volk or nation in theatrical and public life, including pageants, museum sites, film, and popular music as well as theatrical productions. Lewis explores the diverse ways in which Afrikaners perform whitely, and the tactics they use, including nostalgia, melodrama, queering, abjection, and kitsch. She first investigates the way that apartheid’s architects leveraged whiteness in support of their nation-building efforts in the early twentieth century. In addition to re-enacting national pilgrimages of colonial-era migrations and building massive monuments at home, Afrikaner nationalists took their show to the United States, staging critical events of the Boer War at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition. A case study of the South African experience, Performing Whitely also offers parables for global whitenesses in the postcolonial era.

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About the Author:

Megan Lewis is assistant professor of theatre in the dramaturgy program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her teaching and research passions include African theatre and film, the politics of performance, and the performance of national identity, gender, and race, especially whiteness. Born on the sweeping highveld of Johannesburg, South Africa, she currently lives and works in the Pioneer Valley of Amherst, Massachusetts.

Review:

“This is an important book, rather overdue and commendable for its range and depth of theoretical resourcefulness. It would be a valuable teaching tool, as it aligns a range of thinkers who one would not easily find so provocatively juxtaposed. The writing is clear and strong, at times perhaps rather emphatic in its sense of urgency.”—Yvette Hutchison, author, South African Performance and Archives of Memory

“This interesting book engages with very under-researched material, and also uses excellent methodology. In such terms it is an important study.”—Jane Taylor, author, Ubu and the Truth Commission

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Book Description University of Iowa Press, United States, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. What does it mean to perform whiteness in the postcolonial era? To answer this question-crucial for understanding the changing meanings of race in the twenty-first century-Megan Lewis examines the ways that members of South Africa s Afrikaner minority have performed themselves into, around, and out of power from the colonial period to the postcolony. The nation s first European settlers and in the twentieth century the architects of apartheid, since 1994 Afrikaners have been citizens of a multicultural, multilingual democracy. How have they enacted their whiteness in the past, and how do they do so now? Performing Whitely examines the multiple speech acts, political acts, and theatrical acts of the Afrikaner volk or nation in theatrical and public life, including pageants, museum sites, film, and popular music as well as theatrical productions. Lewis explores the diverse ways in which Afrikaners perform whitely, and the tactics they use, including nostalgia, melodrama, queering, abjection, and kitsch. She first investigates the way that apartheid s architects leveraged whiteness in support of their nation-building efforts in the early twentieth century. She then turns to apartheid- and postapartheid- era performances, including those of Pieter-Dirk Uys, whose alter ego Evita Bezuidenhout became the nation s favourite brutally frank, queer Afrikaner aunty. Attracting huge crowds nostalgic for the past, Deon Opperman simultaneously depicts a heroic Boer history in his musical melodramas and reflects upon the desire for it. By contrast, Peter Van Heerden performs visceral abjections of the iconic white, male Afrikaner body, and the musicians Jack Parow and Die Antwoord turn Afrikaner history and identity politics into kitsch. A case study of the South African experience, Performing Whitely also offers parables for global whitenesses in the postcolonial era. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9781609384470

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Book Description University of Iowa Press, United States, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. What does it mean to perform whiteness in the postcolonial era? To answer this question-crucial for understanding the changing meanings of race in the twenty-first century-Megan Lewis examines the ways that members of South Africa s Afrikaner minority have performed themselves into, around, and out of power from the colonial period to the postcolony. The nation s first European settlers and in the twentieth century the architects of apartheid, since 1994 Afrikaners have been citizens of a multicultural, multilingual democracy. How have they enacted their whiteness in the past, and how do they do so now? Performing Whitely examines the multiple speech acts, political acts, and theatrical acts of the Afrikaner volk or nation in theatrical and public life, including pageants, museum sites, film, and popular music as well as theatrical productions. Lewis explores the diverse ways in which Afrikaners perform whitely, and the tactics they use, including nostalgia, melodrama, queering, abjection, and kitsch. She first investigates the way that apartheid s architects leveraged whiteness in support of their nation-building efforts in the early twentieth century. She then turns to apartheid- and postapartheid- era performances, including those of Pieter-Dirk Uys, whose alter ego Evita Bezuidenhout became the nation s favourite brutally frank, queer Afrikaner aunty. Attracting huge crowds nostalgic for the past, Deon Opperman simultaneously depicts a heroic Boer history in his musical melodramas and reflects upon the desire for it. By contrast, Peter Van Heerden performs visceral abjections of the iconic white, male Afrikaner body, and the musicians Jack Parow and Die Antwoord turn Afrikaner history and identity politics into kitsch. A case study of the South African experience, Performing Whitely also offers parables for global whitenesses in the postcolonial era. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9781609384470

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