Land and identity in Zimbabwean fiction writings in English from 2000 to 2010: a critical analysis

Magosvongwe, Ruby (2013) Land and identity in Zimbabwean fiction writings in English from 2000 to 2010: a critical analysis. UNSPECIFIED thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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This thesis uses African-centred frameworks to critically analyse how selected black and white Zimbabwean-authored fictional narratives published between 2000 and 2010 against the backdrop of Zimbabweans’ post-2000 land redistribution processes depict and project issues of land and identity in the post-independence phase. The process and phase that provides the background to both fictional narratives and its criticism in this study have been canonised as jambanja across the racial divide. Jambanja and its aftermaths have generated immense controversy leading to a new wave of post-colonial literature that deals with land. Given the multipronged and interdisciplinary nature of land as a subject, including the perennial human and social problems that it has caused from pre- to post-independence Zimbabwe, the researcher took field visits to familiarise herself with geophysical and population demography of Zimbabwe. Field visits and interviews with some writers and other stakeholders added insights that desk-research alone might not have produced given that the writers examined deal with land redistribution that is still unfolding. Analyses showed that land re/possession and dis/placements, like slavery, are better appreciated from the vantage point of one’s existential location. Yet, this does not alter in any way its de/humanising effects. This explains why artists examined in this study focusing on land in post-2000 Zimbabwe fall into two broad categories along race lines. Black-authored narratives support land redistribution, citing social justice in view of colonial land dispossessions. Whiteauthored narratives blame land redistribution for the deepening economic decline, mismanagement and polarisation characterising relations in the country and internationally. This reality itself is an indication that the land question remains a sensitive issue, which has the potential of tearing the nation apart if not handled with utmost care. Afrocentric approaches used in the study of the fictional narratives strive for integration and promotion of dialogue intra- and interracially, so that the Zimbabwean society may centralise humwe/oneness/togetherness, peace and reciprocity guided by respect for human worth and human dignity in their dealings with land. Further, by using Afrocentric frameworks, the study’s analysis of fictional narratives’ trajectories of land-cum-identity strives towards holism rather than piecemeal approaches that segment both the subjects and their society. Differential human worth, for whatever reason, locks the country in a cycle of violence. This underscores the need for approaches that prioritise human dignity and human worth across the racial divide. That the study subjects the selected fictional narratives across the racial divide to dialogue on the contentious subject of land and identity in Zimbabwe’s post-2000 period makes a major landmark in encouraging adoption of integrative approaches in the development of mainstream Zimbabwean Literature in English. This is partly how common ground and oneness could be achieved through literature,University of Cape Town, USHEPiA Fellowship Programme

Item Type: Thesis (UNSPECIFIED)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Land distribution,Land question,black authored narratives,fictional narratives,fiction writing
Divisions: Universities > State Universities > University of Zimbabwe
Depositing User: Mr. Edmore Sibanda
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2015 01:00
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2015 01:00

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