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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Entangled patriarchies: sex, gender and relationality in the forging of Natal: a paper presented in critical tribute to Jeff Guy
Author:Sheik, Nafisa EssopISNI
Periodical:South African Historical Journal (ISSN 1726-1686)
Geographic terms:South Africa
colonial history
About person:Jeff GuyISNI
Abstract:The arguments presented here are offered in critical appraisal of Guy's contribution to the scholarship of colonial Natal and are informed by two primary concerns: the first is a politics of producing desegregated historiography, and the second is the need for local historical studies to relate to areas of wider scholarly concern, in this instance relating Shepstonian politics to liberalism and the nineteenth-century British Empire. 'Theophilus Shepstone and the Forging of Natal' (2013) is Jeff Guy's magnum opus and a meticulously researched and richly detailed book. Guy's finely considered archival narrative builds a vision of a colony forged out of the local contingencies of Native administration centred around Shepstone's mediations of power. In this telling, it is out of the struggles between the powerful Shepstone; a small, fractious settler elite - his friends and enemies; and an intricate network of chiefly authorities that Natal is made. It is clear from this tome, as it is in his considerable body of earlier work, that Guy was not one to countenance theoretical generalisations about Shepstone's Natal. It is the contention of this essay that Guy's writing of this history of the colony is, at best, a history in part, and that connections and generalisations beyond these groups and beyond the colony are political and scholarly imperatives. In addressing this, I will draw on instances of my own research on race, sex, marriage and state-making to demonstrate the necessity of, and the possibilities for, a broader, more complex telling of the history of colonial Natal. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]