Friday, May 10, 2013

Cavanagh's "Settler Colonialism and Land Rights in South Africa"

Edward Cavanagh, a scholar-in-residence at the University of Ottawa, has published Settler Colonialism and Land Rights in South Africa: Possession and Dispossession on the Orange River with Palgrave Macmillan.  The press explains:
Layers of dispossession and disruption are definitive of South African history. Bouncing from Griqua Philippolis (1824-1862) to Afrikaner Orania (1990-2013), this book shows how land rights are prioritised in pre-apartheid and post-apartheid contexts. The result is a new way of looking at the country's history - different to the version of history that guided transformation and inspired an idiosyncratic system of land restitution.
We learn from Professor Cavanaugh that a launch for the book will occur in Ottawa on Thursday, June 6.  (Check this post later for details.)  He explains that “although the book is principally concerned with South African land rights, it develops a framework compatible with Canadian circumstances.”  He has been developing this comparative approach in his current research project.

Here is a blurb:

"This book constitutes a significant contribution to the burgeoning field of settler colonial studies. It does so in a very original and persuasive way: applying this paradigm to the analysis of past and present circumstances and to the investigation of developments affecting very different sociopolitical collectives in very different historical circumstances. Settler Colonialism and Land Rights in South Africa convincingly reintroduces settler colonialism to South African history."
 - Lorenzo Veracini, Swinburne Institute for Social Research

More blurbs after the jump.

"This is a highly innovative study of substantial contemporary relevance. In a compelling analysis, Cavanagh uses the prism of settler colonialism to compare the Griqua Philippolis and Afrikaner Orania polities, foregrounding issues of dispossession, land rights, sovereignty, indigeneity and restitution. Insightful and accessible, this is a book that will appeal to both academic and lay readers." - Mohamed Adhikari, University of Cape Town

"Edward Cavanagh has written an intensely brilliant gem of a book, excavating a credible, pointed comparison from diamondiferous but hard to mine Orange River Valley community history. The conundrums and contradictions of land dispossession and restitution in South Africa are here presented both factually and analytically in a powerful argument for an, until now, politically submerged, subterranean view of land rights and group identity. This study will surely renew much needed institutional as well as scholarly debate in this field." - David B. Coplan, University of the Witwatersrand