Stephanie J. Cork

After receiving a BAH'09 and MA'10 in Sociology, with a focus on criminology Queen's University has now moved down from Canada and is currently a PhD Student in Department of Kinesiology, School of Public Health (with a focus PCS) at the University of Maryland. Her current research is focused on the intersections of disability, chronic illness, social determinants of health and different aspects of physiology (teethlegs). 

Title: Post-Colonizing Representations of South African Others

Introduction/Abstract (in-progress).
Western fascinations with the exotic other have a long and violent colonial history (Said, 1979; Sandoval, 2000). Though perhaps contributing to such (neo)colonial manifestations there is something also salient in a critical (affirmative) reading of the subjectivities of the “zef” band Die Antwoord (DA) that hails from South Africa (SA). Though accused by scholars and laypeople alike of embodying racist tropes, the band itself argues for destabilizing concrete identity categories not only of race, but class, gender and sexuality, facets they argue are often silenced in the SA context. In an attempt to resonate my own fascination with this group I propose a re(affirmative) reading through the four-fold structure by discussing (1) Something [that] strikes & moves you (2) Making something in response (3) Understanding the thing’s context – what it was responding to, and (4) Contextualizing what you made (Hedges, 2013). This typology is not meant as a linear comprehension, but as a feedback loop, with each facet (re)inforcing the other. Before I had ever heard of Die Antwoord I was a scholar of disability studies, and in attempting to locate a useful exemplar for students I stumbled upon Oscar Pistorius, who’s cyborg body (a bilateral below-the-knee amputee) had become (in)famous in his quest for Olympic qualification. His journey (not unlike the quest of DA) was to reorient conceptions of fairness, which uncomfortably challenge what we see as “human” achievement (Moola & Moss, 2011; Watermeyer & Swartz, 2008). Paired with the complex reception of DA's work, these multiple (mis)representations of cyborg bodies: raced, classed, gendered and (super)abled are evocative of the complex context that is a post-Apartheid ("Rainbow") nation.


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