Re-assessing the inner city of Johannesburg : an exploration into emerging African urbanism and the discovery of black agency in Phaswane Mpe's Welcome to our Hillbrow and Kgebetli Moele's Room 207

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Garuba, Harry en_ZA
dc.contributor.author O'Shaughnessy, Emma Vivian en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2015-01-06T18:47:13Z
dc.date.available 2015-01-06T18:47:13Z
dc.date.issued 2008 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation O'Shaughnessy, E. 2008. Re-assessing the inner city of Johannesburg : an exploration into emerging African urbanism and the discovery of black agency in Phaswane Mpe's Welcome to our Hillbrow and Kgebetli Moele's Room 207. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/11595
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (leaves 121-131). en_ZA
dc.description.abstract At present, we are witnessing an exciting moment in African urban discourse, one that sees writers and theorists engaging with new avenues in which the African city can be configured and read. The discourse reflects and focuses on the myriad, creative ways in which African urbanites capitalise on their environments, exploring the kinds of challenges and freedoms generated by a life in the African city. Underlying this exploration is the notion that through the development of creative tactics, African urbanites can lay claim to agency amidst difficult conditions and can also shape their urban environments into flexible and enabling spaces. This approach challenges the idea that African cities are simply 'dysfunctional' or 'chaotic'. Simultaneously, this allows the stigma attached to the entire 'sign' of Africa to be challenged. The following study uses this basis of African urban discourse and applies it to a South African context. Indeed, one local urban centre that has always garnered a wealth of interest is the inner city of Johannesburg. Recent theory and research around African cities allows me to delve deeper into the intricacies of its social and geo-political landscape. The purpose of this is ultimately to shape a literary study. The discourse will aid me as I analyse two novels set in the inner city, namely Phaswane Mpe's Welcome to Our Hillbrow and Kgebteli Moele's Room 207. The theoretical framework creates a context in which I explore the impact of these two, post-apartheid novels. The texts also provide a crossover point that enables me to explore the ideas propagated by emerging African urban theory in depth. Both novels are realistic and semi- autobiographical accounts of life in the inner city. In a sense, the novels provide a semi-fictionalised 'ethnographic' frame for my research. This is not to imply that literature can challenge social theory or that the two naturally should correspond. What this approach does allow for is for me to show how valuable the writer is in this kind of environment, as well as how the city generates a particular kind of story and storytelling. Furthermore, it gives me a space in which the central tenets of African urban thought can be explored and applied in detail. For these reasons, the following research is multidisciplinary, using a range of social, urban theory to understand two creative, urban texts. The contribution it aims to make is to both to the field of literature and to the study of (South) African city spaces. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Creative Writing en_ZA
dc.title Re-assessing the inner city of Johannesburg : an exploration into emerging African urbanism and the discovery of black agency in Phaswane Mpe's Welcome to our Hillbrow and Kgebetli Moele's Room 207 en_ZA
dc.type Thesis / Dissertation en_ZA
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Humanities en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Department of English Language and Literature en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Masters en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationname MA en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image


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