Herstory, subjectivity and the public sphere in female narratives of the liberation struggle in Namibia: the case of Ndeshi Namhila, Lydia Shaketange, Libertine Amathila and Tshiwa Trudie Amulungu select="/dri:document/dri:meta/dri:pageMeta/dri:metadata[@element='title']/node()"/>

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dc.contributor.author Simataa, Agness
dc.date.accessioned 2019-06-21T07:49:47Z
dc.date.available 2019-06-21T07:49:47Z
dc.date.issued 2019
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11070/2572
dc.description A dissertation submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in English en_US
dc.description.abstract This study was an exploration of the autobiographical representation of the experiences of four Namibian women who participated in the country’s liberation struggle. The premise of this study was to interrogate how the autobiography genre was used to depict ‘herstory’, subjectivity and the public sphere in these female narratives. Herstory in this study portrays autobiography as a tool of narrating women’s personal history, analysed from the postcolonial-feminist perspective; subjectivity depicts how these women represented themselves as makers of history, taking cognisance of the fact that each individual is unique. Though they all participated in the liberation struggle, they exclusively narrate herstory as individuals through experience, memory, identity, space, and embodiment; as the material/ physical body of the narrator, “the body is a site of autobiographical knowledge, as well as a textual surface upon which a person’s life is inscribed (Smith & Watson, 2001, p. 37) and agency. The study was premised on the postcolonial-feminist and autobiography theories. These two theories helped in critiquing the distinctiveness of each narrative analysed in this study. The study employed a qualitative, desktop research design, whereby four Namibian female autobiographies were critiqued. The selected autobiographies were; The Price of Freedom by Namhila (1997), Walking the Boeing 707 by Shaketange (2009), Making a Difference by Amathila (2010) and Taming my Elephant by Amulungu (2016). The purposive sampling procedure using the criterion sampling technique was employed to select the four autobiographies analysed in this study. These works were chosen firstly, because they best informed the research questions presented in this study. The works tell ‘herstory’ during and after the colonial period. Also, through purposive sampling, the researcher was able to select autobiographies that provided the richest information as these autobiographies were most nteresting and manifested the characteristics that were closely related to the topic of the study. Critical concepts and issues in the works were identified and interpreted using the postcolonial feminist and autobiography theories. The theory of postcolonial feminist provides a useful account of how women from third world countries make a strong case against the general Western feminist theory that had for a long time attempted to exclusively advocate for experiences of all women in the world. The autobiography theory is also relevant to this study because the development of women autobiography in general and the African women autobiography in particular challenges the classical conceptualisation of the genre of autobiography as proposed by Gusdorf (1956). The findings of this study revealed that human agency is ubiquitous because despite the different places that the authors lived in during the apartheid era, their human instincts for survival led them into exile in the quest for Namibian independence. The narrators successfully negotiated the public sphere despite the challenges that sometimes overwhelmed them in their private spheres. It was concluded in this study that women tend to portray their identities as relational to others. Therefore, the analysed autobiographies’ ‘I’ is not only personal but it tends to be inclusive of all significant others in the life experiences of the narrators. Consequently, the personal lives of the narrators are exposed to the public through the autobiography genre which eventually finds its way into the public domain. This study concluded that autobiography was used as a powerful tool to articulate herstory, subjectivity and the public sphere by the narrators of the selected autobiographies in order to claim their places in the liberation struggle of Namibia and nation building thereof. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher University of Namibia en_US
dc.subject Female narratives en_US
dc.subject Liberation struggle in Namibia en_US
dc.subject Postcolonial-feminist en_US
dc.subject Herstory en_US
dc.title Herstory, subjectivity and the public sphere in female narratives of the liberation struggle in Namibia: the case of Ndeshi Namhila, Lydia Shaketange, Libertine Amathila and Tshiwa Trudie Amulungu en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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