Professor Carrol Clarkson, Honorary Research Associate and former Head of the English Department, has won a UCT Meritorious Book Award for 2018, in recognition of her new monograph, Drawing the Line: Towards an Aesthetics of Transitional Justice.
Drawing the Line examines the ways in which cultural, political, and legal lines are imagined, drawn, crossed, erased, and redrawn in post-apartheid South Africa—through literary texts, artworks, and other forms of cultural production. Under the rubric of a philosophy of the limit, and with reference to a range of signifying acts and events, this book asks what it takes to recalibrate a sociopolitical scene, shifting perceptions of what counts and what matters, of what can be seen and heard, of what can be valued or regarded as meaningful.
The book thus argues for an aesthetics of transitional justice and makes an appeal for a postapartheid aesthetic inquiry, as opposed to simply a political or a legal one. Each chapter brings a South African artwork, text, speech, building, or social encounter into conversation with debates in critical theory and continental philosophy, asking: What challenge do these South African acts of signification and resignification pose to current literary-philosophical debates?
“One rarely comes across work of such intelligence and imagination. This book is beautifully written and one finds oneself forever being caught out by wonderful and unpredicted connections, turns of phrase, the ease and acuity with which insights from disparate fields are brought together and developed.” - Emilios Christodoulidis, University of Glasgow