Re-thinking race and class in twentieth century South Africa

224, Arts building, Danford Room
Wednesday 4 December 2013 (17:00-19:00)

Speaker: Jeremy Krikler (University of Essex)

The relationship between race and class, and how this helped to shape the South African past, dominated the debates and the writing of South African history for much of the 1970s and 1980s. Despite its considerable achievements, the limitations of this paradigm became evident, most notably in its tendency to reduce questions of race to the status of epiphenomena of class. Not surprisingly, then, from the 1990s, there was a steady movement away from class-based analysis on the part of most historians of South Africa. This paper offers thoughts on how we might re-think the relationship of race to class in South African history, particularly through a focus on master-servant relations and through an integration into our conception of the South African past of a crucial insight of the late Tim Mason with regard to class interests and the Nazi state.