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Grounds of EngagementApartheid-Era African American and South African Writing$
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Stéphane Robolin

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039478

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039478.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 25 June 2022



Imagining a Transnational Ground

(p.1) Chapter 1 Introduction
Grounds of Engagement

Stéphane Robolin

University of Illinois Press

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the book's main themes. This book explores the literary relationships between black South Africans and African Americans during the years of South African apartheid (formally, 1948–1994). It offers a literary history informed by spatial and cultural theory. On the one hand, it advances a mode of cultural analysis that foregrounds the geographic in black lives and cultural imaginaries and, in doing so, models a way of reading black South African and African American writing attuned to the relevance of race, space, and place. On the other hand, this study interprets the two literary traditions in relation to one another. Bringing attention to underaccounted-for cultural traffic that has shaped both traditions in the latter half of the twentieth century, it develops a literary history based on defining moments of cross-cultural engagement.

Keywords:   black South Africans, African Americans, South Africa, apartheid, racial segregation, cross-cultural engagement

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