Case studies help reveal intriguing story of the development of black theatre in SA
This publication is republished in the WITS PRESS RE/PRESENTS series. Wits University Press celebrates its centenary in 2022. Drawing on an extensive backlist dating from 1922, WITS PRESS RE/PRESENTS is a new series that makes important research accessible to readers again.
About the book:
Much of the work in the field of African studies still relies on rigid distinctions of “tradition” and “modernity”, “collaboration” and “resistance”, “indigenous” and “foreign”. This book moves well beyond these frameworks to probe the complex entanglements of different intellectual traditions in the SA context, by examining two case studies.
The case studies constitute the core around which is woven this intriguing story of the development of black theatre in SA. It also highlights the dialogue between African and African-American intellectuals, and the intellectual formation of the early African elite in relation to colonial authority and how each affected the other in complicated ways.
The first case study centres on Mariannhill Mission in KwaZulu-Natal. Here the evangelical and pedagogical drama pioneered by the Rev Bernard Huss, is considered alongside the work of one of the mission’s most eminent alumni, the poet and scholar, BW Vilakazi. The second moves to Johannesburg and gives a detailed insight into the workings of the Bantu Dramatic Society and the drama of Herbert Dhlomo in relation to the British Drama League and other white liberal cultural activities.
An intellectual history of considerable subtlety and richness ... lucid and richly suggestive ... beautifully written.
—Prof Karin Barber, University of Birmingham
An excellent and important book moving with great ease in very tricky terrain ... I must confess that having finished it, I wanted to start reading it again, immediately.
— Prof Liz Gunner, University of Natal
- Article provided by Wits University Press