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Tangible Voice-Throwing: Empowering Corporeal Discourses in African Women’s Writing of Southern Africa

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Bettina Weiss

This study is the first book-length analysis of African women’s writing of Southern Africa with a focus on writing the body. The thesis is that women are not voiceless, but hold a powerful, liberating potential: they «throw their voices» by implementing a strategic corporeal. Notably, this mode is not carried out in a way of emphasising corporeal difference by lack, but by attributing positive markers to the body. It reaches beyond a speaking which only represents women’s thoughts and emotions physically – a mode which might render the impression that they are incapable of expressing their conceptions and sentiments linguistically. It is an empowerment that reflects their skill to break up the bonds between language and body. This study is wide-ranging in its choice of authors and themes.

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Contents

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Acknowledgement 11 A Note an Terminology, Orthography, Glossary, and Language 13 PART I First Steps in Examining Problems, Findings, and Prospects 15 1 Women Have a Mouth': Re-theorising Voicelessness 15 The Myth of Voicelessness 15 Demystifying Old Myths and Creating New Ones 20 2 Methodological Approach to Southern African Women's Writing 31 On the Issue of Feminist and Gender Theories in Africa 31 Writing the Body: The Body as a Narrative Paradigm 37 3 Specification of Study 43 Approaching the Topic 43 Terminology: Coloured — A Contested Term 46 Genre, Ethnicity, and Region 48 4 Women's Authority, Voicing, and Writing in Southern Africa 53 Women and Gender: From Pre-Colonial Times to Post-Independence 53 Literary Landscape and Women Writer's Problems 64 Central Themes in Women's Writing of Southern Africa 75 7 Contents Acknowledgement 11 A Note on Terminology, Orthography, Glossary, and Language 13 PART I First Steps in Examining Problems, Findings, and Prospects 15 1 'Women Have a Mouth': Re-theorising Voicelessness 15 The Myth of Voicelessness 15 Demystifying Old Myths and Creating New Ones 20 2 Methodological Approach to Southern African Women's Writing 31 On the Issue of Feminist and Gender Theories in Africa 31 Writing the Body: The Body as a Narrative Paradigm 37 3 Specification of Study 43 Approaching the Topic 43 Terminology: Coloured — A Contested Term 46 Genre, Ethnicity, and Region 48 4 Women's Authority, Voicing, and Writing in Southern Africa 53 Women and Gender: From Pre-Colonial Times to Post-Independence 53 Literary Landscape and Women Writer's Problems 64 Central...

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