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Intimating a female archive : rendering the wounds of family trauma

dc.contributor.advisorMurray, Sally-Annen_ZA
dc.contributor.advisorSlabbert, Mathildaen_ZA
dc.contributor.authorVan Heerden, Lorindaen_ZA
dc.contributor.otherStellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of English.en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned2019-11-21T07:31:11Z
dc.date.accessioned2019-12-11T06:48:24Z
dc.date.available2019-11-21T07:31:11Z
dc.date.available2019-12-11T06:48:24Z
dc.date.issued2019-12
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/107120
dc.descriptionThesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.en_ZA
dc.description.abstractENGLISH ABSTRACT: This dissertation comprises both a practice-led artist’s book which inventively engages the notion of a female family archive, and a substantial research component which theoretically unpacks questions of femaleness, family, archive, and creative practice with the goal of intimating a female archive. The study investigates existing archival discourses while proposing female-inflected alternatives that reconfigure traditional, received forms. Both as physical object and theoretical concept, ‘The Archive’ as conventionally imagined cannot comfortably hold and embody the complexity that is women’s lives. In this dissertation, working uneasily between discussion lead by Derridean theory and experimental feminist revisioning, I investigate notions of the female archive by engaging the lives of three generations of women in my family. I create an interrelated space of oral history, embodied memory, visual record, material artefact, and vestigial traces of lived, everyday practice. In relation to received understandings of ‘The Archive’, I propose the concepts of the private and the interior archive, examining aspects of archival formation that are rendered unsayable and remain unsaid even as they are (perversely) made obliquely manifest by familial traumas such as alcoholism and domestic abuse. I argue that such reticence in effect facilitates the female family archive, holding ideas, memories and experiences that more formal institutions of history, culture, class, family and language are unable to articulate. Key to the study is bearing witness to another’s life as a proxy for that person’s inability to bear witness. I introduce the concept of a closed archive while highlighting, amongst other things, ostracism, abuse and abandonment within, and by, the family. Exploring interactions between body, object and space, the study further proposes the concept of the surrogate as a proxy or substitute, in order to consider how people, objects and places may be envisaged within a female family archive that comes into being through thought and touch, silence and secrecy. Throughout, the study grapples with my convoluted roles in the making of this alternative archival text: researcher, artist, daughter, recorder, translator, granddaughter, and interpreter. I deliberately make use of multiple modes and discourses (among them theory, poetry, photographs, and testimonies), a hybrid approach which enables me to represent my varied roles, and generatively to blur the critical-creative potentials of scholarship and the auto-ethnographic.en_ZA
dc.description.abstractAFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie bevat beide ʼn praktyk-gedrewe kunstenaarboek, wat op innoverende maniere die konsep van die vroulike familie argief betrek, asook ʼn ekstensiewe navorsings komponent wat vrae oor vroulikheid, familie, argief en kreatiewe praktyke teoreties ontleed met die doel om n vroulike argief voor te stel. Die studie ondersoek bestaande argivale diskoerse terwyl dit vroulik-verbuigde alternatiewes, wat tradisionele en ontvanklike vorms her-konstrueer, voorstel. ‘Die Argief’ soos konvensioneel gekarakteriseer, beide as fisiese objek en teoretiese konsep, kan nie die kompleksiteit van vrouens se lewens deeglik omvat en verteenwoordig nie. Terwyl ek versigtig tussen Derridiaans geleide teorïe en eksperimentele vroulike hersienings in die dissertasie werk, ondersoek ek konsepte van die vroulike argief deur drie generasies van vroue in my familie se lewenservaringe te betrek. Ek skep ʼn onderling verbinde spasie van mondelinge geskiedenis, vergestalte herinnering, visuele rekord, materiële artefak, en residuele spore van geleefde, alledaagse praktyk. In verhouding met gegewe begrippe van ‘Die Argief’ stel ek die konsepte van die private en innerlike argief voor, terwyl ek aspekte van argiefskepping ondersoek wat as onsêbaar geallokeer is en onsê-baar bly selfs al word dit (perverslik) indirek gemanifesteer deur familiêre traumas soos alkoholisme en huishoudelike geweld. My argument is dat sulke swygsaamheid in effek die vroulike familie argief fasiliteer, ʼn argief wat idees van geheue en belewenis, wat geskiedenis, klas, familie en taal nie in staat is om te artikuleer nie, kan huisves. Die sleutel tot die studie is die dra en lewering van getuienis as proksie vir die lewe van ʼn ander persoon en haar/sy onvermoë om self getuienes te lewer. Ek stel die konsep van ʼn geslote argief voor terwyl ek, onder andere, dinge soos verbanning, misbruik en verwerping binne en deur my familie uitlig. Interaksies tussen liggaam, objek en spasie word verken terwyl die studie die konsep van die surrogaat as proksie en substituut voorstel om sodoende te oorweeg hoe mense, objekte, en plekke binne die familie argief, wat geskep word deur denke, aanraking, stilte en geheimhouding, gebruik en geïmplementeer kan word. Die studie worstel deurlopend met my komplekse rolle van navorser, kunstenaar, dogter, argiefhouer, vertaler, kleindogter en interpreteerder in die maak van die kontra-argivale teks. Ek maak doelbewus gebruik van verskeie metodes van diverse diskoerse (ondermeer teorie, digkuns, fotografie, en getuienis), ʼn hibridiese benadering wat my in staat stel om my verskeie rolle voor te stel, en om op ʼn generatiewe manier die krities-kreatiewe potensiaal van navorsing en die auto-etnografiese te vervorm.af_ZA
dc.format.extent263 pages : photograph + artist's booken_ZA
dc.language.isoen_ZAen_ZA
dc.publisherStellenbosch : Stellenbosch Universityen_ZA
dc.subjectFemale family archiveen_ZA
dc.subjectFamily traumaen_ZA
dc.subjectArchival formationen_ZA
dc.subjectDerridean theoryen_ZA
dc.subjectUCTDen_ZA
dc.titleIntimating a female archive : rendering the wounds of family traumaen_ZA
dc.typeThesisen_ZA
dc.description.versionDoctoralen_ZA
dc.rights.holderStellenbosch Universityen_ZA


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