(Re)constructions of the Self and the Nation in Selected Auto/biographies of South African and Zimbabwean Women

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dc.contributor.advisor Mashau, G. S.
dc.contributor.advisor Mulaudzi, L. M. P.
dc.contributor.author Mujakachi, Mercy Precious
dc.date 2021
dc.date.accessioned 2021-12-09T06:30:55Z
dc.date.available 2021-12-09T06:30:55Z
dc.date.issued 2021-11-19
dc.identifier.citation Mujakachi, M. P. (2021) (Re)constructions of the Self and the Nation in Selected Auto/biographies of South African and Zimbabwean Women. University of Venda, South Africa.<http://hdl.handle.net/11602/1768>.
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11602/1768
dc.description PhD (English Literature) en_ZA
dc.description Department of English
dc.description.abstract This thesis examines and interrogates auto/biographies of six African women in the ways in which their selves and the nation are constructed. The selected autobiographies and biographies are largely by and about African women with some measure of political power and or relatively successful career. The study employed Smith and Watson’s (2001) view that autobiography is self-life writing which is porous in nature, in that it accommodates various narratives. Life narrative genre is fundamental in the literary body to interpret social, cultural and political constructions of South African and Zimbabwean identities. The study supports the notion that the self emerges from its gendered private space into the public domain, inadvertently transforms autobiography to protest writing, as well as a political project. The study explored how auto/biographies enable the recovery of women’s voices silenced by history and the specific forms of identities of selves and nation-hoods that they depict. To achieve that, the study employed a panoply of theories which include autobiography, postcolonial, womanist and feminist theories to argue that the life narratives by women are a quest for gender equity as negotiated within the two specific postcolonial nation states of South Africa and Zimbabwe. The study disclosed that women as writers have to negotiate the multiple binds of gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality and class. The study concludes that it is not possible to deploy a singular self to tell a story but rather to include the lived experience of others differently positioned provides a holistic view of the predicaments and prevailing situation of the society. The study further determines that nationalism is a gendered discourse and that violence against women and resistance are shaped by specific cultural contexts and ideological forces. This research adds value to the existing corpus of knowledge in the field. It focuses on recent auto/biographies by Southern African women as these intersect will liberal notions of democracy and the discourse of human rights. The selected auto/biographies have not been subjected to solemn academic and literary scrutiny. It thus adds a voice to studies that were trailblazers in this area from a new perspective. The study focused on the African patriarchal society and called for its modernization so that women can take their proper place in it. This adds to the calls made by scholars and critics for opportunities to be afforded to women to prove their merit. There is a loud cry for African nations to put structures in their societies to make the system work. This study makes a contribution to the growing field of autobiography in South Africa and Zimbabwe and especially recognizes women's life writing. Also, it further forms part of the critical scholarship that seeks to understand how authors frame various issues affecting women in and how their experiences have contributed to the positive social and political development of Southern African communities. en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship NRF en_ZA
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (ix, 253 leaves)
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.rights University of Venda
dc.subject Auto/biography en_ZA
dc.subject Memoir en_ZA
dc.subject Nation en_ZA
dc.subject Postcolonial en_ZA
dc.subject Womanist en_ZA
dc.title (Re)constructions of the Self and the Nation in Selected Auto/biographies of South African and Zimbabwean Women en_ZA
dc.type Thesis en_ZA

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