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A History of South African Women’s Education
The politics of black education has long been a key issue in southern African studies, but despite rich debates on the racial and class dimensions of schooling, historians have neglected their distinctive gendered dynamics. A World of Their Own is the first book to explore the meanings of black women’s education in the making of modern South Africa. Its lens is a social history of the first high school for black South African women, Inanda Seminary, from its 1869 founding outside of Durban through the recent past.
Employing diverse archival and oral historical sources, Meghan Healy-Clancy reveals how educated black South African women developed a tradition of social leadership, by both working within and pushing at the boundaries of state power. She demonstrates that although colonial and apartheid governance marginalized women politically, it also valorized the social contributions of small cohorts of educated black women. This made space for growing numbers of black women to pursue careers as teachers and health workers over the course of the twentieth century. After the student uprisings of 1976, as young black men increasingly rejected formal education for exile and street politics, young black women increasingly stayed in school and cultivated an alternative form of student politics. Inanda Seminary students’ experiences vividly show how their academic achievements challenged the narrow conceptions of black women’s social roles harbored by both officials and black male activists. By the transition to democracy in the early 1990s, black women outnumbered black men at every level of education—introducing both new opportunities for women and gendered conflicts that remain acute today.
Zimbabwe: Mired in Transition
Three years after the advent of Zimbabwe's Inclusive Government in February 2009, the country still awaits the elections that people hope will lead to a more enduring political settlement. Zimbabwe: Mired in Transition reviews the experience of recent years assesses the progress that has been made. What is the public mood, and how has it changed? What steps have been taken to reform the media? How important is a new constitution. Although the economy has stabilised to some extent with the adoption of a multi-currency regime, industrial and agricultural production are depressed, and investment inflows are limited; what spaces exist for fiscal reform? Are local authority structures and the state bureaucracy equipped to handle the tasks that will ne asked of them? In terms of two important areas, the book extends its analysis further back than 2009. First, is the issue of emigration. Estimates of the number of Zimbabweans in the diaspora range from three to four million; what impact us this having on national development, and to what extent might the trend of migration be reversed? The second concerns young people, the chapter on which concludes: 'We already have a "lost generation" - those who were once called the "born frees". Unless positive changes are made, we will still have another'. This collection of eleven essays examines in detail some of the pressing questions which Zimbabweans must ask as they chart a way forward.
Zimbabwe's Cultural Heritage won first prize in the Zimbabwe Book Publishers Association Awards in 2006 for Non-fiction: Humanities and Social Sciences. It is a collection of pieces of the culture of the Ndebele, Shona, Tonga, Kalanga, Nambiya, Xhosa and Venda. The book gives the reader an insight into the world view of different peoples, through descriptions of their history and life events such as pregnancy, marriage and death. "...the most enduring book ever on Zimbabwean history. This book will help people change their attitude towards each other in Zimbabwe." - Zimbabwe Book Publishers Association Awards citation
Politics, Development and Society
Zimbabwe occupies a special place in African politics and international relations, and has been the subject of intense debates over the years. At independence in 1980, the country was better endowed than most in Africa, and seemed poised for economic development and political pluralism. The population was relatively well educated, the industrial and agricultural bases were strong, and levels of infrastructure were impressive. However, in less than two decades, Zimbabwe was mired in a deep political and economic crisis. Towards the end of its third decade of independence, the economy had collapsed and the country had been transformed into a repressive state. How can we make sense of this decline? How can we explain the ëlost decadeí that followed? Can the explanation be reduced to the authoritarian leadership of Robert Mugabe and role of ZANU-PF? Or was something defective about in the institutions through which the state has exercised its authority? Or was it the result of imperialism, the West and sanctions? Zimbabweís Lost Decade draws on Lloyd Sachikonyeís analyses of political developments over the past 25 years. It offers a critique of leadership, systems of governance, and economic strategies, and argues for democratic values and practices, and more broad-based participation in the development process.