(u)Mzantsi Classics

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An Open Access edition of this book will be available on publication on the Liverpool University Press and African Minds websites

Though Greco-Roman antiquity (‘classics’) has often been considered the handmaid of colonialism, its various forms have nonetheless endured through many of the continent’s decolonising transitions. Southern Africa is no exception. This book canvasses the variety of forms classics has taken in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and especially South Africa, and even the dynamics of transformation itself. How does (u)Mzantsi classics (of southern Africa) look in an era of profound change, whether violent or otherwise? What are its future prospects? Contributors focus on pedagogies, historical consciousness, the creative arts and popular culture. The volume, in its overall shape, responds to the idea of dialogue – in both the Greek form associated with Plato’s rendition of Socrates’ wisdom and in the African concept of ubuntu. Here are dialogues between scholars, both emerging and established, as well as students – some of whom were directly impacted by the Fallist protests of the late 20-teens. Rather than offering an apologia for classics, these dialogues engage with pressing questions of relevance, identity, change, the canon, and the dynamics of decolonisation and potential recolonisation. The goal is to interrogate classics – the ways it has been taught, studied, perceived, transformed and even lived – from many points of view.

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Author Information

Samantha Masters is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Ancient Studies, Stellenbosch University. She is also an Honorary Research Associate at Iziko Museums of Cape Town where she has been working on a database of the South African Collections of antiquities in South African museums. Imkhitha Nzungu is a Research Assistant at the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Stellenbosch University) and editor at the not-for-profit publisher, African Minds. She has a Masters in Ancient Cultures. Grant Parker is Associate Professor of Classics, Stanford University and former Co-Director, Center for African Studies, and former Chair of Classics, both at Stanford. His publications include (ed.) South Africa, Greece, Rome: Classical Confrontations (Cambridge University Press 2017) and The Making of Roman India (Cambridge University Press 2008). His current research focuses on the heritage of enslavement in the Cape and the Indian Ocean world.

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
1       
Nothing about us? Reflections on classics in
southern Africa (Samantha Masters, Imkhitha Nzungu and Grant Parker)
I FIRST DIALOGUE: ON BAGGAGE
2 Classical imagery and policing the African body (Ian Glenn)
3 Classics and colonial administration in Southern Rhodesia
(Obert Mlambo and John Douglas McClymont)
4 Conversation with Christiaan Bronkhorst
 
II SECOND DIALOGUE: ON INTERSECTING IDENTITIES
5 Classics for the third millennium: African options after
The Fall (Jo-Marie Claassen)
6 The liberatory potential of Latin studies: Stellenbosch University’s
Latin Project              (Reshard
Kolabhai and Shani Viljoen)
7 Conversation with Chanté Bhugwanth
 
III  THIRD DIALOGUE:
ON CLASSICS AND THE CANON
8  Responses to
crisis: Cicero in Zimbabwe (Madhlozi Moyo)
9 Rethinking the commemorative landscape in South Africa after
The Fall: A pedagogical case study (Samantha Masters)
10 Conversation with Amy Daniels
 
IV FOURTH DIALOGUE: FROM RECEPTION TO RE-IMAGINATION
11 African port cities and the classics (Carla Bocchetti)
12 ‘Wilder than Polyphemus’: Towards a tragic poetics of the
post-colonial consumption of symbols (David van Schoor)
13 Conversation with Nuraan Essop
14 Ovid in the time of statues (Grant Parker)