Introduction: Reckoning with apartheid the conundrum of working through the past

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Today in South Africa issues of political economy, including the land question, are necessarily coming face-to-face with a resurgent politics of difference informing long-standing histories of dispossession whose continuities with such politics of difference are frequently denied. Despite the country's “transition” to democracy a genuinely decolonial present has not, as yet, come into being. But from #Rhodes-MustFall to #FeesMustFall to the October 6, 2015, anti–outsourcing campaign there is a growing sense that the incompletion of the transition to democracy is being contested and that the interregnum is drawing to a close as something genuinely new is trying to be born.






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Makhulu, AMB (2016). Introduction: Reckoning with apartheid the conundrum of working through the past. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 36(2). pp. 256–262. 10.1215/1089201x-3603319 Retrieved from

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Anne-Maria B. Makhulu

Associate Professor in the Department of Cultural Anthropology

Anne-Maria Makhulu is an Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology and African and African American Studies and Core Faculty in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Duke University. Her research interests cover: Africa and more specifically South Africa, cities, space, globalization, political economy, neoliberalism, the anthropology of finance and corporations, as well as questions of aesthetics, including the literature of South Africa. Makhulu is co-editor of Hard Work, Hard Times: Global Volatility and African Subjectivities (2010) and the author of Making Freedom: Apartheid, Squatter Politics, and the Struggle for Home (2015). She is a contributor to Producing African Futures: Ritual and Reproduction in a Neoliberal Age (2004), New Ethnographies of Neoliberalism (2010), author of articles in Anthropological Quarterly and PMLA, special issue guest editor for South Atlantic Quarterly (115(1)) and special theme section guest editor for Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East (36(2)). A new project, South Africa After the Rainbow (in preparation), examines the relationship between race and mobility in postapartheid South Africa and has been supported with an award from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

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