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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'A Rain a Fall But the Dirt it Tough': Scholarship in African Theatre in South Africa
Author:Peterson, Bhekizizwe
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
literary criticism
Architecture and the Arts
Education and Oral Traditions
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/2637209
Abstract:This paper explores the politics of representation that have bedevilled the criticism of African theatre in South Africa. Representation must be understood as meaning more than the 'reflection' of the historical experiences of black people in dramatic narratives. It entails the institutional politics that inform all aspects of the creation and reception of performance, including criticism. What is striking about much of the scholarship is the implicit or explicit salience of race as a political factor. The intractable problematic is how one must understand the articulation between race and class and its bearing on identity formation. How are these factors and concerns encapsulated and expressed in the aesthetics of African theatre? And how have scholars institutionalized their arguments, patented theatre practitioners, by making selective recourse to history, notions of authenticity and a morally charged search for relevance? The paper addresses these questions by analysing books and essays by literary critics such as Mafika Gwala, Ian Steadman and Kenyan Tomaselli, Kelwyn Sole, Robert Kavanagh, David Coplan and Ari Sitas. Notes, ref., sum.