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Periodical issue Periodical issue Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Special issue: Sophiatown
Editors:Erlank, NatashaISNI
Morgan, Karie L.
Periodical:African Studies (ISSN 1469-2872)
City of publisher:Oxford
Geographic term:South Africa
urban history
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/cast20/74/1
Abstract:Sophiatown, close to the Johannesburg (South Africa) city centre is both historically and socially imbricated. Like other inherently transnational space it is typical of a contemporary conjuncture of possibilities and refusals. It shares with other sites across the globe, such as South Central Los Angeles, Tiananmen Square, Marikana, or even Detroit, a power to invoke and evoke tension and contradiction in the present because of the layers of historic, epic, tragic and nostalgic meanings attached to them. While the articles in this special issue all deal with Sophiatown, and while they emerge from a joint project, they do so in different ways. The pieces by Chapman and Knevel are more historical, dealing with the origins of Sophiatown - one from the perspective of an urban planner interested in social justice, one interested in following up on Pierre Nora's idea of a 'lieu de memoire'. The article by Natasha Erlank looks to the historiography and theory of memory in South Africa, asking how one can make terms like 'history' and 'the past' more relevant. Erlank, Naidoo, and Morgan all use material gathered in Sophiatown to consider how people make and interact with space and the everyday. Fink examines memory and representation from a cultural studies vantage point, asking questions about Sophiatown's transnational reverberations. The articles may focus on Sophiatown, but they also speak to larger transnational issues around the politics of representation and popular history. [ASC Leiden abstract]