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Term 1 Week 8: Race, Class and Urban Life

This week we will examine life in urban Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe, focussing on issues of race and class. We will examine formal legislation; the racialisation of space; the development and workings of pass laws; and the ways in which people sought to break laws and cross boundaries of space and race.

Core Reading

Michael Savage, 'The Imposition of Pass Laws on the African Population in South Africa 1916-1984', African Affairs, 85 (1986), 181-205.

Harriet Deacon, 'Racial segregation and medical discourse in nineteenth‐century Cape Town', Journal of Southern African Studies, 22, 2 (1996), pp. 287-308.

John McCracken, 'Blantyre Transformed: Class, Conflict and Nationalism in Urban Malawi', Journal of African History, 39, 2, (1998), pp. 247–69.

Busani Mpofu, "Undesirable" Indians, Residential Segregation and the Ill-Fated Rise of the White "Housing Covenanters" in Bulawayo, Colonial Zimbabwe, 1930–1973', South African Historical Journal, 63 (2011), pp. 553-580.

Seminar Questions

1. In what ways did ‘race’ rather than ‘class’ matter in colonial urban societies?

2. How did forms of racial segregation vary over time and space in Southern Africa?

3. How effective were colonial pass laws at controlling the mobility of Africans?

4. To what extent would you agree that urbanisation in Africa followed a distinctive historical pattern?

Primary Sources

Extracts from colonial government files on urban living conditions in Lusaka, capital of Northern Rhodesia: National Archives of Zambia CNP1/1/18 Local Government Township Locations and Compounds and CNP1/16/2 Local Government African Housing General 1950-60

Further Reading

Mohamed Adhikari, Not White Enough, Not Black Enough: Racial Identity in the South African Coloured Community (2005)

Mohamed Adhikari (ed.), Burdened by Race: Coloured Identities in Southern Africa (2009)

David M. Anderson and Richard Rathbone (eds), Africa's Urban Past (London, 1999).

William Beinart and Saul Dubow, eds., Segregation and Apartheid in Twentieth Century South Africa (1995).

Vivian Bickford‐Smith, 'South African urban history, racial segregation and the unique case of Cape Town?', Journal of Southern African Studies, 21, 1, Special Issue: Urban Studies and Urban Change in Southern Africa (1995), pp. 63-78.

Vivian Bickford-Smith et al., Cape Town in the Twentieth Century: An Illustrated Social History (Cape Town, 1999).

Vivian Bickford-Smith, The emergence of the South African metropolis: cities and identities in the twentieth century (Cambridge, 2016). Ebook

C. Coquery-Vidrovitch, ‘The Process of Urbanization in Africa’, African Studies Review, 34 (1991), pp. 1-99.

Saul Dubow, Racial Segregation and the Origins of Apartheid (Basingstoke, 1989).

H. Feinberg, ‘The 1913 Natives Land Act in South Africa: Politics, Race, and Segregation in the early 20th Century’, International Journal of African Historical Studies 26, (1993), pp. 65-109.

S. Field, Oral History, Community, and Displacement: Imagining Memories in Post-Apartheid South Africa (2012).

Bill Freund, The African City: A History (Cambridge, 2007), chapter 3, pp. 65-106.

Patrick Harries, 'Plantations, passes and proletarians: labour and the colonial state in nineteenth century natal', Journal of Southern African Studies, 13, 3 (1987), pp. 372-399.

Timothy Keegan, Colonial South Africa and the Origins of the Racial Order (Leicester, 1996).

Rebekah Lee, African Women and Apartheid: Migration and Settlement in Urban South Africa (2009)

Paul Maylam, 'Explaining the Apartheid City: 20 Years of South African Urban Historiography', Journal of Southern African Studies, 21, 1, Special Issue: Urban Studies and Urban Change in Southern Africa (1995), pp. 19-38.

Garth Andrew Myers, Verandahs of Power: colonialism and space in urban Africa (Syracuse NY, 2003).

J. Parker, ‘Urbanization and Urban Cultures’, in J. Parker and R. Reid (eds), Oxford Handbook of Modern African History (Oxford, 2013), pp. 359-377.

Jane Parpart, Labor and Capital on the African Copperbelt (Philadelphia, 1983).

Jeanne Penvenne, African Workers and Colonial Racism: Mozambican Strategies and Struggles in Lourenco Marques 1877–1962 (Oxford, 1995).

Brian Raftopoulos and Tsuneo Yoshikuni (eds), Sites of Struggle: Essays in Zimbabwe’s
Urban History (Harare, 1999).

Carole Rakodi, Harare: Inheriting a Settler Colonial City (London, 1995).

Carole Rakodi, 'Colonial Urban Policy and Planning in Northern Rhodesia and its Legacy', Third World Planning Review, 8, 3 (1986), pp. 193–216.

T. O. Ranger, Bulawayo Burning. The Social History of a Southern African City, 1893-1960 (Oxford, 2010).

S.J. Salm, and T. Falola (eds.), African Urban Spaces in Historical Perspective (Rochester, 2005).

Hilary Sapire and Jo Beall, 'Introduction: urban change and urban studies in Southern Africa', Journal of Southern African Studies, 21,1 (1995), pp. 3-17.

A. W. Stadler, 'Birds in a Cornfield: Squatter Movements in Johannesburg 1944-47', Journal of Southern African Studies, 6 (1979), 93-123.

Maynard Swanson, '“The Durban System”: Roots of Urban Apartheid in Colonial Natal', African Studies, 35 (1976), 159-76.

G. Wilson, An Essay on the Economics of Detribalization in Northern Rhodesia, 2 vols., (Livingstone, 1941-1942).

Harold Wolpe, 'Capitalism and Cheap Labour-Power in South Africa: From Segregation to Apartheid', Economy and Society, 1 (1972), 425-56.

N. Worden et al., Cape Town: The Making of a City (Cape Town, 1999).