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Type: Journal article
Title: Orienting the Cape: a 'white' woman writing Islam in South Africa
Author: Samuelson, M.
Citation: Social Dynamics, 2011; 37(3):363-378
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Issue Date: 2011
ISSN: 0253-3952
Statement of
Meg Samuelson
Abstract: This article engages the archive of M.K. Jeffreys with a focus on her writing of Islam in the Cape. It explores the ways in which this body of work is shaped by Orientalist desire while simultaneously counteracting Orientalist impulses. A complicated nexus of identification, disavowal, incorporation and othering is surfaced in which Jeffreys negotiates competing desires for authority and absorption, simultaneously orienting the Cape towards Mecca and rendering this orientation foreign. Finally, her oeuvre is shown to tease out a three-fold heritage that produces an estranged, entangled self as it articulates the Cape’s historical and cultural location at the meeting point of three worlds: Africa, Atlantic and Indian Ocean. While tracing how Jeffreys’s inscription of Islam in South Africa, and of the founding figure Shaykh Yusuf in particular, is partially embedded in and partially at odds with the colonial archive, I consider also how it might be seen to both anticipate and trouble the ways in which he is enshrined in post-apartheid statist memory, which evokes him to strengthen south-south solidarity in an emergent world order.
Keywords: M.K. Jeffreys; Islam; Cape Town; Orientalism; Shaykh Yusuf; Indian Ocean
Rights: © 2011 Taylor & Francis
DOI: 10.1080/02533952.2011.655034
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 3
Linguistics publications

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