By Jon Soske
“Ambitious and rivetingly intelligent, Internal Frontiers offers a decolonized model of global history. Located at the intersection of South Africa’s anti-apartheid struggle with the idea of India, this book rescripts notions of race, empire, nation, diaspora and much more. Exquisitely written with exceptional interdisciplinary depth, it will become a model of intellectual transnational history.”
Isabel Hofmeyr, author of Gandhi’s Printing Press
“This paradigm-shifting book locates a radical strain of South African nationalism in the political firmament of postwar Durban. Deeply researched and beautifully written, Internal Frontiers reveals how insurgent intellectuals such as Anton Lembede and Albert Luthuli, influenced by India’s independence movement and the challenges of building solidarity with Natal’s Indian diaspora, conceived a vision of the nation ‘from below’ that affirmed African agency while also embracing a diverse, multiethnic political community.”
Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination
“Soske’s combination of ‘high’ political narrative with material histories of class, race and sexuality is indispensable. This book is an extremely important counter to sentimental ideas about social and political relations between Africans and people of South Asian descent in South Africa during turbulent times.”
Antoinette Burton, author of The Trouble with Empire
In this ambitious new history of the antiapartheid struggle, Jon Soske places India and the Indian diaspora at the center of the African National Congress’s development of an inclusive philosophy of nationalism. In so doing, Soske combines intellectual, political, religious, urban, and gender history to tell a story that is global in reach while remaining grounded in the everyday materiality of life under apartheid.
Even as Indian independence provided black South African intellectuals with new models of conceptualizing sovereignty, debates over the place of the Indian diaspora in Africa (the “also-colonized other”) forced a reconsideration of the nation’s internal and external boundaries. In response to the traumas of Partition and the 1949 Durban Riots, a group of thinkers in the ANC, centered in the Indian Ocean city of Durban and led by ANC president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Albert Luthuli, developed a new philosophy of nationhood that affirmed South Africa’s simultaneously heterogeneous and fundamentally African character.
Internal Frontiers is a major contribution to postcolonial and Indian Ocean studies and charts new ways of writing about African nationalism.
Jon Soske is an assistant professor of history at McGill University and research associate at the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa, University of the Witwatersrand. He has co-edited three books, One Hundred Years of the ANC: Debating Liberation Histories Today, Apartheid Israel: The Politics of an Analogy, and Ties That Bind: Race and the Politics of Friendship in South Africa. More info →
Save 20% ($27.96)
Save 20% ($64)
US and Canada only
Availability and price vary according to vendor.
Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center
The struggle for freedom in South Africa goes back a long way. In 1909, a remarkable interracial delegation of South Africans traveled to London to lobby for a non-racialized constitution and franchise for all. Among their allies was Mahatma Gandhi, who later encapsulated lessons from the experience in his most important book, Hind Swaraj. Though the mission failed, the London debates were critical to the formation of the African National Congress in 1912.
Taifa is a story of African intellectual agency, but it is also an account of how nation and race emerged out of the legal, social, and economic histories in one major city, Dar es Salaam. Nation and race—both translatable as taifa in Swahili—were not simply universal ideas brought to Africa by European colonizers, as previous studies assume.
Interracial sex mattered to the British colonial state in West Africa. In Crossing the Color Line, Carina E. Ray goes beyond this fact to reveal how Ghanaians shaped and defined these powerfully charged relations. The interplay between African and European perspectives and practices, argues Ray, transformed these relationships into key sites for consolidating colonial rule and for contesting its hierarchies of power.
This brilliant little book tells the story of the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League from its origins in the 1940s to the present and the controversies over Julius Malema and his influence in contemporary youth politics. Glaser analyzes the ideology and tactics of its founders, some of whom (notably Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo) later became iconic figures in South African history as well as inspirational figures such as A. P. Mda (father of author Zakes Mda) and Anton Lembede.