The Classics and South African Identities

A&C Black
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The teaching and research of the Classics in South Africa are deeply rooted in the racial, political and educational inequalities which have characterised its turbulent history. In this original study, Michael Lambert opens three windows on to this history, using the creation of identities as his theoretical lens.

The foundation of the Classical Association of South Africa in 1956 and the cultural reinforcement of Afrikaner nationalist identity; the deployment of British colonial identity in public discourses about the role of the Classics in apartheid South Africa at an English-speaking university; and the exploration of black African identities in response to the teaching of the Classics at missionary institutions, where 'vocational training' was locked in combat with a classical education, regarded by an educated black elite as the means for upward social mobility in a highly-stratified colonial society. The book will be of interest to students of many subjects, including Classics, Cultural Studies, African Studies and History of Education.
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About the author

Michael Lambert is Senior Lecturer in the School of Literary Studies, Media and Creative Arts (Classics), University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
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Additional Information

Publisher
A&C Black
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Published on
Dec 12, 2013
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Pages
160
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ISBN
9781472519757
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Africa / General
Literary Criticism / Ancient & Classical
Literary Criticism / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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In the 1880s, as the European powers were carving up Africa, King Leopold II of Belgium seized for himself the vast and mostly unexplored territory surrounding the Congo River. Carrying out a genocidal plundering of the Congo, he looted its rubber, brutalized its people, and ultimately slashed its population by ten million—all the while shrewdly cultivating his reputation as a great humanitarian. Heroic efforts to expose these crimes eventually led to the first great human rights movement of the twentieth century, in which everyone from Mark Twain to the Archbishop of Canterbury participated. King Leopold's Ghost is the haunting account of a megalomaniac of monstrous proportions, a man as cunning, charming, and cruel as any of the great Shakespearean villains. It is also the deeply moving portrait of those who fought Leopold: a brave handful of missionaries, travelers, and young idealists who went to Africa for work or adventure and unexpectedly found themselves witnesses to a holocaust. Adam Hochschild brings this largely untold story alive with the wit and skill of a Barbara Tuchman. Like her, he knows that history often provides a far richer cast of characters than any novelist could invent. Chief among them is Edmund Morel, a young British shipping agent who went on to lead the international crusade against Leopold. Another hero of this tale, the Irish patriot Roger Casement, ended his life on a London gallows. Two courageous black Americans, George Washington Williams and William Sheppard, risked much to bring evidence of the Congo atrocities to the outside world. Sailing into the middle of the story was a young Congo River steamboat officer named Joseph Conrad. And looming above them all, the duplicitous billionaire King Leopold II. With great power and compassion, King Leopold's Ghost will brand the tragedy of the Congo—too long forgotten—onto the conscience of the West.
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