This book works within the frameworks of post-colonial studies and cultural studies in order to theorise, and then to illustrate, the possibilities for cultural creation in the context of oppression. It re-works the concept of hybridity, and the philosophies of liberalism and humanism, in order to suggest that these important and much-contested terrains within critical theory have specific potential in a South African context. This book applies these theoretical points to a specific trajectory of writing in English in the region, which it finds embodied in the writing of Solomon Plaatje, Peter Abrahams, Es'kia Mphahlele, Bloke Modisane, and Can Themba. By seeking to unlock the complex and sometimes contradictory ways in which Shakespeare is useful to these writers, the book addresses the traditional imbalance of knowledges in Shakespeare Studies by conceptualizing the presence of Shakespeare in these texts as indicative of an act of cultural appropriation and political resistance. Ultimately, the book makes a contribution to post-colonial and cultural studies' engagements with how culture works, how resistance is inscribed, and what role theory can play in the neo-colonial world.
Dr. Natasha Distiller is a Lecturer in the English department at the University of Cape Town. She has published in the areas of early modern women writers, post-colonial theory, Shakespeare studies, and South African cultural studies.
Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. Towards Post-Colonial Culture; 2. Shakespeare and the Essentially Human; 3. South African Shakespeare: Tracing the Trajectory; 4. Drum's Shakespeare; 5. Shakespeare in Post-Apartheid South African Education; Conclusion; Notes; Bibliography; Index.