STREAM: THE SOCIAL FABRIC OF WHITES IN SOUTHERN AFRICA: A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE OF WHITE SOCIETY
The attainment of liberation across Southern Africa has led to many countries confronting their racial past. This has manifested itself most notably over the issue of land. In the broader racial discussion (often through the lens of black and white), a nuanced understanding of white society in the African context over the course of the twentieth century remains open to academic inquiry. Debates on white societies in the postcolonial period are critically less engaged on the subtleties and dynamics within white communities, and place emphasis on the material benefits that came with being white. Though the colonial context put whites in a position of privilege, fierce contestations existed producing a divided community often along class, which continues in the postcolonial era. This stream will seek to extricate white society by investigating aspects that speak to the loose strings that bound these communities together. Submitted papers for this stream may address issues such as class divisions, gender positionality, ethnic differences, and cultural and social norms. In discussing the nuances of white society historically, the stream can provide understanding and lay the ground for a far more informed discussion on white society and its place in postcolonial southern Africa. As a contribution to existing scholarship, this stream may introduce a new dimension to settler colonialism. Dominant aspects in settler colonialism scholarship emphasize metropole-colony relations or settler-indigenous relations and power dynamics. By way of the panel papers, settler colonial scholarship could be expanded by looking at the white society in southern Africa, complicating the white experience as complex and antagonistic in nature, adding a new aspect to this field.