To Swim with Crocodiles – Now Out!

Just in case you missed the news on social media, To Swim with Crocodiles came out in the U.S. earlier this summer. It will be out in South Africa in early 2019 with the University of KwaZulu-Natal Press. You can get it now with Michigan State University Press and, of course, that other online seller. Thanks, everyone, forContinue reading “To Swim with Crocodiles – Now Out!”

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The Order of the Luthuli in Gold – Mhlabunzima Joseph Maphumulo

Last month, the Presidency of South Africa awarded the Order of the Luthuli in Gold posthumously to Inkosi Mhlabunzima Joseph Maphumulo. The order “is awarded to South Africans who have served the interests of South Africa by making a meaningful contribution in any of the following areas: the struggle for democracy, human rights, nation-building, justice,Continue reading “The Order of the Luthuli in Gold – Mhlabunzima Joseph Maphumulo”

Violence, Oral History, and Mourning

I wrote this a while ago, when I was finishing my book proofs. I wasn’t sure whether or not I was going to share it. But as I worked through Truth and Reconciliation Commission testimonies today for a project, I felt compelled. I was reading the Commission’s decision on South African Police officer Brian Mitchell’sContinue reading “Violence, Oral History, and Mourning”

Local Elections and the Legacies of War

This is the fourth of an oral history scraps series.*  When commentators consider the contemporary state of South Africa, they discuss it as a country still transitioning from apartheid. Not enough is made of the fact that parts of the country are also recovering from civil war sponsored by the apartheid state. Between 1985 and 1996, at least 20,000Continue reading “Local Elections and the Legacies of War”

Dispossession & Land Myths

*For more on the context of this particular oral history interview, see previous post. The “myth of the empty land” is one of the most pervasive myths of South African history. In 2012, Freedom Front Plus leader and then deputy minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries Pieter Mulder declared that black South Africans had noContinue reading “Dispossession & Land Myths”

Oral Historians & Breakthroughs in Performance

This is the second of an oral history scraps series.*  In this, and the next post, I want to talk about my favorite interview–favorite for the friendships, for the laughs, and for the research breakthroughs. Before kicking off the oral history portion of my fieldwork, my host family took me to the chief for a proper introduction. TheContinue reading “Oral Historians & Breakthroughs in Performance”

On Power, Politics, and Oral History

This is the first of oral history scraps that may or may not become a series depending on my dedication.*  Today, I juxtapose two powerful excerpts on power – on politics and development. But they are also comments about history and the conditions of power within oral history interviews (for readings, see below). In this first snippet,Continue reading “On Power, Politics, and Oral History”

Oral History Snippets and Scraps

I haven’t blogged in a year. Oops. I’m on leave (yay!) and spending a lot of time revisiting my oral history interviews as part of manuscript revisions. Reading, listening again produces a range of emotions and thoughts that won’t make it into any book or article. They deserve to be shared and despite my best efforts atContinue reading “Oral History Snippets and Scraps”