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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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Glossary 259

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Glossary As far as known, the corresponding language of origin, other than English, is put in parenthesis. Afrikaner (Afrikaans) Descendant of former Dutch settlers. The first Dutch settler to set foot an the Cape Peninsula in order to set up a permanent staging post was Jan van Riebeeck, a former captain of one of the merchant ships of the Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC), in 1652. afrikanerdom (Afrikaans) Afrikaner nationalism. Afrikaner who cultivated their afrikanerdom regarded themselves as God's chosen people. A people who considered itself as "the modern version of the Children of Israel" (19). Afrikaner conservatives never doubted the debased Status of Black people whom they considered a nuisance, but manageable. Much worse were the British, who paid the Dutch 6 million in 1815 and kept the Cape. Until their defeat in 1910, they were considered to threaten the Afrikaners' birthright. "[T]he blacks were like oxen, lowly creatures that could be dangerous if not kept in their place; but the British Empire was like Assyria in the Book of Isaiah, the incarnation of evil and the foil against which God would reveal His power" (Lapping 107). baloi (seTswana) Witch-doctor. Basali! (seSotho; pronounced Basads) Translates to "Women!"; a most common exclamation uttered by women in seSotho language for the admiration and wonderment of themselves. This outcry is accompanied by a laugh, the clapping of hands, and die shaking of the head. Basotho Women or men from Lesotho (plural); Masotho (singular). boesmanskop (Afrikaans) A busbman's head. bohali (seSotho) Dowry; see...

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