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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Literature as laboratory: Hilda Kuper's factional representations of Swaziland
Author:Vincent, KerryISNI
Year:2011
Periodical:African Studies (ISSN 1469-2872)
Volume:70
Issue:1
Pages:89-102
Language:English
Geographic terms:South Africa
Swaziland - Eswatini
Subjects:anthropology
literature
social scientists
About person:Hilda Kuper (1911-1992)ISNI
Abstract:Anthropologists have long recognized the intersections between factual and fictional representations of other cultures, and have actively engaged in producing imaginative cultural translations alongside ethnographic accounts. This resulting 'blurring of genres' has also been investigated by anthropologists, but often at the expense of the imagined subject and the social, political, and cultural forces at work in the literary versions. Hilda Kuper's literary expression attests to how an anthropologist can negotiate the boundaries of science and art to produce a literature of protest that acknowledges the larger project of writing back to empire, engages with South African apartheid, and intervenes in the representation of Swaziland by earlier colonial and travel narratives by producing alternative visions that at once affirm and critique custom and tradition. At the same time, her fiction and drama betray the tensions at work in the ethnographic imagination. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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