The next Finding Africa seminar, hosted in association with the University of Leeds’ Centre for African Studies (LUCAS), will be on 24 May 2016. Ruth Daly will present a reading of Anne Landsman’s The Devil’s Chimney in her paper titled ‘Liberating the Female Voice from the Patriarchal Order of the South African Pastoral Tradition’.
The seminar will take place on 24 May 2016 at 4pm in Seminar Room 1 of the Leeds Humanities Research Institute (physical address: 31-2 Clarendon Place, Leeds). Entrance is free and all are welcome.
Literariness takes precedence over fiction as social document in Anne Landsman’s The Devil’s Chimney, a text which engages with storytelling as a means of escape from hegemonic control. Landsman’s iconoclastic novel echoes the feminist-socialist model of Olive Schreiner, dismantling constructed binaries of sexuality, gender, and race. Dominant myths of the pastoral genre are deconstructed from within in playful and innovative ways. While an undermining of the plaasroman is not new to South African writing, I propose that Landsman’s re-writing of the genre takes it into a new literary sphere in its suggestion of a new symbolic order, one in which ‘women’s [inexhaustible] imaginary’ is explored. This paper will offer a reading of the novel through the lens of French feminist psychoanalytic theory in an attempt to examine the ways in which this new symbolic order is suggested.
About Ruth Daly
Ruth Daly is a PhD student in the School of English at University of Leeds. Her research interests include postcolonial literature, psychoanalytic theory, feminisms, and social and political concerns in post-conflict societies.