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Throwing the Genes

A Renewed Biological Imaginary of 'Race', Place and Identification

Zimitri Erasmus

In the United States of America, use of DNA samples in criminal investigation and of genetic ancestry tests in 'personalised medicine', 'pharmacogenetics' and for personal consumption has grown exponentially. Moreover, use of such technologies is visible in the public sphere. In South Africa, DNA sampling for ancestry testing is the most publicly visible application of these technologies. This work has shifted constructions of 'KhoiSan' communities from yesterday's 'missing evolutionary link' to today's 'Edenic origin of humankind'. I question human biogenetics as a home for meanings of history, humanity and belonging. To this end, I read selected genetic genealogical studies of communities considered 'KhoiSan', 'Coloured' and 'Lemba' in South Africa against concerns raised in recent literature about the use of such studies in the United States of America. I ask why bio-centric conceptions of 'race', identity and 'the human' remain so resilient. To grapple with this question, I draw on Sylvia Wynter's (2001; 2003) adaptation of Frantz Fanon's (1986) concept of 'sociogeny' into 'the sociogenic principle'. I close by suggesting the code for what it means to be human is best located in the 'word' rather than the human genome.

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A Sinful Landscape

Moral and Sexual Geographies in Cape Town, South Africa

Melissa Hackman

'Spiritual mapping' is a transnational Pentecostal 'spiritual warfare' practice that aims to identify and fight 'territorial spirits', or demons that possess specific places. It was unique in Cape Town, South Africa, at the beginning of democracy, because it was both racialized and sexualized. This article examines how Pentecostals in Cape Town employed spiritual mapping techniques to identify and police groups they understood as morally and spiritually 'dangerous': black and 'coloured' communities and gays and lesbians. I argue that South African spiritual mapping was a response to the material and physical insecurities of democracy, particularly the declining economy, failed promises of the African National Congress, and some of the highest rates of crime in the world.

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Michael Longley

Poet in No Man's Land

Fran Brearton

‘I am still of [the] opinion’, Yeats writes, ‘that only two topics can be of the least interest to a serious and studious mind – sex and the dead’. Echoing this attitude, Longley states ‘[m]y concerns continue to be Eros and Thanatos, the traditional subject-matter of the lyric’, concerns that are focused for him by ‘the natural world’ and by ‘the catastrophe of the First World War, the influence of that catastrophe on subsequent Irish and European history and politics’. Those two things – the war and the natural world – like love and death, impinge upon each other throughout his work; both inform a psychic landscape that, Yeatsian-style, is always characterised by awareness of its dual possibilities. Paul Durcan notes the grounding of Longley’s aesthetic in the landscape, literal and metaphorical, of the Great War, a grounding which has coloured all his collections from the early No Continuing City through to the recent The Ghost Orchid: ‘Longley’s themes: Of Love and War. The First World War (which was the beginning of the Irish tragedy as indeed it was the beginning of every other convulsion in the western world in the twentieth century) has been the primal landscape of Longley’s poetry from the start’.

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‘The Expenditure of a Million of British Sovereigns in this Otherwise Miserable Place’

Frontier Wars, Public Debt and the Cape’s Non-racial Constitution

Jeff Peires

paying the troops and fighting the war, the British Exchequer was drained by a variety of colonials, who can be classified into distinct categories. Losers At the bottom of the colonial social scale were its black auxiliaries, Coloureds and Mfengu

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Michael Schuldiner

aquatint had not yet been applied. The second state shows the first five panels with aquatint applied and is also dated 9 January 1937. However, the Picasso Catalogue states that ‘on May 25[, 1937], he [Picasso] coloured the etchings with aquatint’. 6 If

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Bret Gustafson, Francesco Carpanini, Martin Kalb, James Giblin, Sarah Besky, Patrick Gallagher, Andrew Curley, Jen Gobby, and Ryan Anderson

. The laborers who worked these farms were predominantly “coloured”—a racial categorization used in South Africa to connote people of mixed racial background. Some coloured farmers also managed to grow rooibos on their own small plots. Rooibos is endemic

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Rabbi Andre Ungar z'l

(21 July 1929–5 May 2020)

Jonathan Magonet

into English. I found that our own genteel white leisure and wealth was a thin veneer over a vast mass of coloured suffering; and that the distinction was artificially created, maintained and, since the Nationalist victory of 1948, deliberately

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Whites Cannot Be Black

A Bikoist Challenge to Professor Xolela Mangcu

Keolebogile Mbebe

Registration Act that had been passed in 1950 divided the population into three racial collectivities: Coloured, Native, and White. In 1959 the Coloured category was further divided into the subgroups ‘Cape Coloured, Malay, Griqua, Chinese, Indian, other

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Must Labour Lose?

The 1959 election and the politics of the people

Charlotte Lydia Riley

, well-fed and free, the other coloured, hungry and struggling for equality.” Foreign policy, and even more so Britain's role in relation to the late empire and the new postcolonial world, were thus central to Labour's campaign and its image of itself and

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Daryl Glaser

also coloureds and Indians. 17 Even inside the movement the substance of the proclaimed equality is questionable. The emergence of de facto leaders and their precaucusing of decisions attests to the fact that ‘some are more equal than others’; and