The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

2238  Large

In 1996, as South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission was beginning its hearings, Nicholas Gcaleka, a healer diviner from the town of Butterworth in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, set off on a journey to retrieve the skull of Hintsa, the Xhosa king. Hintsa had been killed by British troops on the banks of the Nqabarha River over a century and a half before and, it was widely believed, been beheaded. From a variety of quarters including the press, academia and Xhosa traditional leadership Gcaleka's mission was mocked and derided.

Following the tracks of Nicholas Gcaleka, author Lalu explores the reasons for the almost incessant laughter that accompanied these journeys into the past. He suggests that the sources of derision can be found in the modes of evidence established by colonial power and the way they elide the work of the imagination. These forms and structures of knowledge in the discipline of history later sustained the discourse of apartheid.

The Deaths of Hintsa argues for a post-colonial critique of apartheid and for new models for writing histories. It offers a reconceptualisation of the colonial archive and suggests a blurring of the distinction between history and historiography as a way to set to work on forging a history after apartheid.

Product information

Format : 148mm x 198mm (Soft Cover)
Pages : 352
ISBN 10 : 0-7969-2230-0
ISBN 13 : 978-07969-2233-5
Publish Year : 2009
Rights : World Rights
List of Illustrations
Acknowledgements
Introduction: thinking ahead


1. Colonial modes of evidence and the grammar of domination
2. Mistaken identity
3. The properties of facts or how to read with a grain of salt
4. Reading 'Xhosa' historiography
5. The border and the body: post-phenomenological reflections on the borders of apartheid
6. History after apartheid

Conclusion
Bibliography
Index
Two years into the transition to democratic rule in South Africa, a little-known healer-diviner, Nicholas Tilana Gcaleka, stumbled onto the stage of history. He claimed to have brought the skull of Xhosa king Hintsa back to South Africa from Scotland, where he said he had traced it. Amidst a flurry of media attention, the skull was confiscated from Gcaleka and handed to a team of scientists to “prove” its authenticity. They declared the cranium was that of a human female, and definitely not Hintsa. Gcaleka was proclaimed, at least, laughable, and at worst, a liar. This event therefore poses the question: is South African history developing an authentic new discourse or is it stuck in the colonial archive? Through mining a rich field of research, from colonial archival material to contemporary museum exhibitions, Lalu states in his book 'The Deaths of Hintsa: Postapartheid South Africa and the shape of recurring pasts' that overcoming apartheid has required coming to terms not only with the effects of history, but with the discourse of history itself. Hear the views of Professor Lalu, along with those of historians Leslie Witz and Ciraj Rassool, in this podcast.

Duration: 9 min 10 sec

Premesh Lalu is Professor of History at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). He is also Director of the Centre of Humanities Research and convenes the Programme on the Study of the Humanities in Africa at UWC. Lalu is also Trustee of the District Six Museum.

Share this

You might also consider these related books

1934  Large

Behind the Mask
Getting to grips with crime and violence in South Africa

A variety of authors contribute to this book on the causes of crime and violence in South Africa. Based on a public health approach, it presents strategic case studies and local and international research findings. The writers develop a model of integrated crime and injury prevention strategies for South Africa.

Product information

Format : 150mm x 210mm (Soft Cover)
Pages : 350
ISBN 10 : 0-7969-1958-5
ISBN 13 : 978-07969-1958-8
Publish Year : 2000
Rights : World Rights
Price R 265.00
Out Of  History

Out of History
Re-imagining South Africans Pasts

Out of History brings together exciting and innovative work in History and the Humanities. Drawing upon papers which have been presented at the South African Contemporary History and Humanities Seminar at the University of the Western Cape, the book reflects upon how this space fashioned new histories of the South African past over the last twenty years. Written by leading scholars in fields of visual history, public history, heritage, linguistics, oral history and postcolonial studies, the contributions address critical questions about the production of academic knowledge and the status of the Humanities in the post-apartheid present.

Product information

Format : 240mm x 168mm
Pages : 284
ISBN 13 : 978-0-7969-2515-2
Publish Year : September 2016
Rights : World Rights
Price R 320.00
Rethinking  Reconciliation

Rethinking reconciliation
Evidence from South Africa

South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994 heralded the end of more than forty years of apartheid. The Government of National Unity started the process of bringing together this deeply divided society principally through the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

Product information

Format : 240mm x 168mm
Pages : 384
ISBN 13 : 978-0-7969-2554-1
Publish Year : March 2017
Rights : World Rights
Price R 350.00
2013  Large

New Dictionary of South African Biography
Volume 2

It is not only the lives of the illustrious monirity who achieve greatness that have much to teach us, but also those less famous who inspire and help to bulid a nation. This volumes offers biographies of journalists Percy Qoboza, Nata Nakasa and George Heard, composers such as Todd Matshikiza, writers such as Bloke Modisane. Community leaders, social scientists, educationists and many more.

Product information

Format : 145mm x 210mm
Pages : 312
ISBN 10 : 1-8682-8133-7
ISBN 13 : 978-18682-8133-6
Publish Year : 1999
Price R 209.00