Edgeland encounters in the South African city : stone plant: a novel

Rose-Innes, Henrietta (2018) Edgeland encounters in the South African city : stone plant: a novel. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

[thumbnail of 2018Rose-InnesHJPhD.pdf]
Download (2MB) | Preview


‘Edgelands’, or urban wasteland spaces, are often represented as sparsely peopled ecosystems existing on the periphery of European and North American cities, in the wake of declining industry. This thesis examines the cultural meanings and literary, artistic and popular representations of such spaces in the context of the South African city, with a focus on Cape Town. I examine the cultural role played by three iconic urban spaces: the perimeter of the Table Mountain National Park, site of centuries-old anxiety over wilderness and criminality; the apartheid-era ‘unfinished bridge’ on the foreshore, which confronts the city with infrastructural dysfunction; and the generic road verge, where the barrier between motorist and pedestrian is breached. To demonstrate the role these spaces play in the popular imagination, I draw on representations in art, literature, journalism, advertising and government communication. South African edgeland differs from the British model in its colonial and apartheid origins, and in its consequent contemporary occupation by marginalised people. The ambiguous, compelling figure of the edgeland denizen emerges as a key figure in representations of these spaces, eclipsing the conventionally depicted edgeland qualities of isolation and wilderness. Thus peopled, South African edgelands are shown as facilitating encounters between historically divided communities. While such encounters are traditionally represented as perilous, they are also symbolic opportunities for empathetic or transformative connection. The thesis is accompanied by a novel that explores these themes, Stone Plant.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Literature and Creative Writing (former - to 2011)
Depositing User: Users 11011 not found.
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2019 15:43
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2019 09:14
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/72630


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item