book launch, ipcs



This book shows that the Griqua people are commonly misunderstood. Today, they do not figure in the South African imagination as other peoples do, nor have they for over a century. Cavanagh argues that their comparative invisibility is a result of their place in South Africa’s national narrative: an impediment that has precluded the Griqua from a number of new sources of redress for socio-economically disadvantaged peoples in the transformation era, in particular the program of land restitution developed in 1994. In this revisionist analysis of South African historiography, which connects with scholarship on other regions and peoples, the author analyses over a century’s worth of historical studies and identifies a number of narrative frameworks that have proven resilient to change over this time. The Griqua, in particular, have fared poorly compared to other peoples. They appear in, and disappear from, this body of work in a number of consistent ways, almost as though scholars have avoided re-imagining their history in ways relevant to the present. This book questions why that might be the case.

The book will be launched by Lorenzo Veracini, Queen Elizabeth II Fellow at the Swinburne Institute for Social Research. His research focuses on the comparative history of colonial systems and settler colonialism. He is the author of Settler Colonialism: A Theoretical Overview (2010) and Israel and Settler Society (2006). In 2010 he cofounded the journal settler colonial studies, and is currently the journal’s managing editor.

Edward William Cavanagh is a non-indigenous Australian, formerly a student of the Australian National University, the University of Alberta, Swinburne University of Technology and the University of the Witwatersrand. He is currently an Ontario Trillium Foundation Scholar, and will prepare a comparative legal history of companies within the British Empire from the sixteenth century to the twentieth century, as a graduate student at the University of Ottawa. He specialises on the history of settler colonies, particularly focusing on matters relating to land and sovereignty. His scholarship attempts to explore some of the ways we can understand and address indigenous rights both in the past and in the present, both within and across national boundaries. He is the co-founder and reviews editor of the journal settler colonial studies, and he has authored a number of journal articles in the separate fields of history and law. The Griqua Past and the Limits of South African History, 1902-1994 is his first monograph.

The Institute of Postcolonial Studies is an independent organisation committed to advancing the recognition of cultural difference, and encouraging mutual engagement and reconciliation. The Institute building was once a pub on the route to the Victorian goldfields, but has since been extensively remodelled to suit contemporary needs. The renovation of the building was overseen and designed by architect Shelley Penn and the gardens and plantings are overseen by landscape architect Mary Chapman.

%d bloggers like this: