On 8 January 2012, the African National Congress (ANC) of South
Africa, the oldest African nationalist organisation on the
continent, celebrated its one hundredth anniversary. This historic
event has been cause for celebration and has generated signifi cant
public debate both within the ANC and South African society at
large. This centennial anniversary of the ANC is an opportune
moment for critical refl ection on the ANC's historical trajectory
on the struggle against colonialism and apartheid. This edited
collection brings together new work by a number of South African
and international scholars and seeks to open up debate around
various aspects of the ANC's past. Covering a broad chronological
and geographical spectrum, using a diverse range of sources and
multiple theoretical frameworks, the chapters in this anthology
both build upon and extend the historiography of the ANC by
offering new perspectives on a variety of themes. These include the
relationship between Christianity and African nationalism;
political biography; language and the politics of performance; the
production of ideas; popular movements; exile politics; and the
complex transformation of the ANC from liberation movement to
state-governing party. By moving away from utilitarian approaches
to the history of the ANC that have dominated contemporary
discussions around the centenary, the contributions published in
this volume suggest that the relationship between the histories of
earlier struggles and the present needs to be rethought in more
complex terms. This timely contribution will certainly challenge
hegemonic narratives of liberation that have become an established
part of the national discourse since 1994.
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