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Reconfiguring apartheid loss: reading the Apartheid Archive through a Lacanian lens

Hook, Derek (2014) Reconfiguring apartheid loss: reading the Apartheid Archive through a Lacanian lens. Rozenberg Quarterly (18 Nov 2014). Website.

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Abstract

This paper, the first of two focussed on the topic of libidinal attachments between white children and black domestic workers in narratives contributed to the Apartheid Archive Project (AAP), offers a series of methodological insights derived from a Lacanian type of psychoanalytic reading practice. A Lacanian reading practice is one which emphasizes the importance of symbolic juxtaposition, of recombining different facets of texts, and of attempting to locate what I term the “absent mediator” implied by tacit conjunctions and associations within texts. In this paper I focus particularly on a puzzling aspect shared by a series of contributions to the AAP, namely the role of animals in the narratives of white participants, which appear to emerge precisely when the question of a loving relation for a black person is posed. I argue that this narrative device is an attempt to make sense of a prospective relationship, particularly when such a relationship is effectively prohibited by the prevailing rules of interaction. In response to pressing questions of inter-racial loss and love, and in respect of an ambiguous inter-racial relationship, recourse to an animal provides a fantasmatic “solution”, a model of how to manage a relationship that otherwise difficult to understand.

Item Type: Online resource (Website)
Official URL: http://rozenbergquarterly.com/
Additional Information: © 2014 Rozenberg Quarterly, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Online
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
D History General and Old World > DT Africa
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Sets: Departments > Social Psychology
Departments > Psychological and Behavioural Science
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2014 15:08
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2019 23:14
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/60222

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