Contaminations and Ethnographic Fictions

Southern Crossings

  • Oscar Hemer

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Literary Anthropology book series (PSLA)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Oscar Hemer
    Pages 11-15
  3. Oscar Hemer
    Pages 17-36
  4. Oscar Hemer
    Pages 37-88
  5. Oscar Hemer
    Pages 89-106
  6. Oscar Hemer
    Pages 107-189
  7. Oscar Hemer
    Pages 191-199
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 201-220

About this book


"The form that Oscar Hemer has created in Cape Calypso allows a multi-perspectival treatment of the subject—a great improvement on linear narrative."

—J.M. Coetzee, Professor of Literature, University of Adelaide, Australia, and recipient of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature

In an unusual merging of academic and literary practices, this volume attempts to identify a form (or forms) that is congenial with the subject of interrogation: the world in transition, with South Africa as the main focal point. Approaching anthropology from the position of the literary writer, Oscar Hemer here takes the reader through a kaleidoscope of  perspectives—a stream-of-consciousness understanding of “writing the city” of Johannesburg, embedding ethnography in subjectivity; a challenge to binaries both temporal and gendered in examining the growth of the IT metropolis Bangalore to a combusting mega-city; an auto-ethnographic interweaving of fictional reportage with a close-reading of anthropological and philosophical treatises, including Mary Douglas’s Purity and Danger and Edouard Glissant’s Poetics of Relation, among others—to interrogate themes of transition, identity, purity and variation in the Western Cape. As the form transcends boundaries to create a methodological hybrid, creolization comes to the fore as a theoretical concept and as cultural practice.


creolization containment autoethnography literary anthropology anthropological fictions fiction gender studies South Africa colonialism

Authors and affiliations

  • Oscar Hemer
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Arts and Communication, K3Malmö UniversityMalmöSweden

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-34924-0
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-34925-7
  • Buy this book on publisher's site