Friday, January 6, 2017: 11:30 AM
Mile High Ballroom 2B (Colorado Convention Center)
Professor Rassool discussion of contestation over human remains and their meaning in South Africa will open up the possibility for discussions of an issue (human remains and repatriation) that has occupied a large place in indigenous politics in settler-colonial contexts from North America to New Zealand and Australia and beyond. “Reimagining Lives and Rethinking Biography in South Africa” considers the relation among biographic representations ranging from those of physical anthropology to others that permit the study of the individual lives of racialised and colonised subjects. It might be possible to represent lives of racialised subjects (such as /Khanako and Klass and Trooi Pienaar) as those of modern persons caught up in colonial processes that may not have been so successful in turning them into generic types. It will consider how repressive biographic representations, such as the portraiture of physical anthropology, may possibly be reclaimed and reordered for biographical purposes. In thinking about the biography of the corpse, Rassool considers the ambiguities of the dead body, as person and thing. These questions form a single project about re-imagining lives and rethinking biography in South Africa.