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Desire, Fear and Entitlement: Sexualising Race and Racialising Sexuality in (Re)membering Apartheid

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Race, Memory and the Apartheid Archive

Part of the book series: Studies in the Psychosocial ((STIP))

Abstract

Applying a Freudian psychoanalytic frame, informed by a Fanonian approach to a psychology of colonial oppression, we unpack narratives from the Apartheid Archive Project that speak to the complex ways in which stories about sexuality and racism are intricately enmeshed. We are particularly interested in exploring the way in which these intersecting discourses are enacted through the fantasy of the ‘other’. Key is the realisation that the development of gendered sexualities is powerfully racialised and inscribed at an imaginary level. White femininity, for example, is constructed as submissive and vulnerable in relation, specifically, to an imaginary black (here used in the political sense to include all those disenfranchised by apartheid), dangerous masculinity. We argue that a psychoanalytic lens helps to raise questions about the psychical reproduction of racism through and in sexual desire.

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© 2013 Kopano Ratele and Tamara Shefer

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Ratele, K., Shefer, T. (2013). Desire, Fear and Entitlement: Sexualising Race and Racialising Sexuality in (Re)membering Apartheid. In: Stevens, G., Duncan, N., Hook, D. (eds) Race, Memory and the Apartheid Archive. Studies in the Psychosocial. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137263902_10

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