Race Otherwise Cover

Race Otherwise

Forging A New Humanism For South Africa

232 pages

August, 2017

ISBN: 9781776140589



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Zimitri Erasmus is associate professor at Wits University, South Africa in the department of Sociology. She is the editor of the seminal title Coloured by History, Shaped by Place: New Perspectives on Coloured Identities in Cape Town (2001). IShe is a previous recipient of the Commonwealth Fellowship and the UCT-Harvard Mandela-Mellon Fellowship and was resident at Harvard’s Du Bois Institute. She is a committed teacher-activist and has been involved with the #FeesMustFall student movements.

Three tensions to consider in the making and unmaking of race. 

In Race Otherwise: Forging a New Humanism for South Africa Zimitri Erasmus questions the notion that one can know 'race' with one's eyes, or through racial categories and or genetic ancestry tests. She moves between the intimate probing of racial identities as we experience them individually, and analysis of the global historical forces that have created these identities and woven them into our thinking about what it means to be 'human'. Starting from her own family's journeys through regions of the world and ascribed racial identities, she develops her argument about how it is possible to recognise the pervasiveness of race thinking without submitting to its power. Drawing on the theoretical work of Frantz Fanon, Sylvia Wynter and others, Erasmus argues for a new way of 'coming to know otherwise', of seeing the boundaries between racial identities as thresholds to be crossed, through politically charged acts of imagination and love.