GREAT TEXTS / BIG QUESTIONS - Panashe Chigumadzi
Lecture title: “Big” and “Little” Women Transgressing History: Black Women and Biomythography
Description of lecture:
“I must lower my eyes from the heights of Big Men who have created a history that does not know little people, let alone little women, except as cannon fodder.”
In searching for the spirit of her late grandmother, Mbuya Lilian Chigumadzi - one of the heroines of her book These Bones Will Rise Again (2018) reflecting on Zimbabwe’s de facto coup – Panashe Chigumadzi deploys the black feminist strategy of biomythography in order to transgress traditional narrative, genre, and history. Rather than allowing official versions of history to act upon and define us, rather than to concede our histories to Big Men and other powers of the day, the biomythographical strategy helps us reclaim history for ourselves so that we can begin to unpack the ways different bodies experience the waves of history and the institutions that affect it.
Panashe Chigumadzi was born in Zimbabwe and raised in South Africa. She is the author of Sweet Medicine (Blackbird Books, 2015), which won the 2016 K. Sello Duiker Literary Award. She is the founding editor of Vanguard magazine. Her work has featured in titles including The Guardian, The New York Times, Chimurenga, Washington Post and Die Ziet. Her second book, These Bones Will Rise Again, a reflection on Zimbabwe’s coup that was not a coup, was published in June 2018 by the Indigo Press.
6.30pm, Thu 16 Aug
Hiddingh Hall, UCT Hiddingh Campus
Refreshments from 6pm