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Representing the Cape 'Hottentots', from the French Enlightenment to post-apartheid South Africa

Johnson, David (2007). Representing the Cape 'Hottentots', from the French Enlightenment to post-apartheid South Africa. Eighteenth-Century Studies, 40(4) pp. 525–552.

URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/eighteenth-century_st...
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Abstract

The article is framed by South African president Thabo Mbeki's speeches on the relevance of French eighteenth-century thought to South Africa. French travellers who visited the Cape Colony between 1648 and 1792 are then discussed in relation to two questions: How did they represent the Cape "Hottentots"? And how did they conceptualize France's colonial expansion? The writings disclose a shift in the discursive representations of the "Hottentots" from "beasts," "brutes" and "slothful servants" in the seventeenth century to their representations in the eighteenth century as "children of nature," "docile servants" and "useful citizens." This discursive shift was accompanied by military defeats, political violence and economic impoverishment. In conclusion, the relation of the post-apartheid Khoisan to their eighteenth-century predecessors is considered.

Item Type: Journal Article
ISSN: 0013-2586
Academic Unit/Department: Arts > English
Item ID: 7844
Depositing User: David Johnson
Date Deposited: 29 May 2007
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2010 19:59
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/7844
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