EPISODE 8 | HOME-MADE EMPIRE: IN CONVERSATION WITH KHWEZI MKHIZE

In this episode, we talk to Dr. Khwezi Mkhize as part of his stay in Potsdam during June ’22 as a Visiting Scholar at the RTG Minor Cosmopolitanisms. Our conversation follows three weeks of workshops, lectures, and the ongoing discussions around Black internationalism that his stay enabled. Here, we talk about his current project Home-Made Empire: South Africa’s Imperium, where he moves away from the dominant periodization of apartheid, to think about South Africa as a nation-state with its own imperial project, particularly evident in its aspirations toward Namibia. Khwezi brings a different focus to the work of black intellectuals working against colonialism and racial rule in South Africa, adding a global and diasporic dimension to South African intellectual history, a history that has often remained in the shadow of the singular national history of apartheid.

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In conversation with:

Khwezi Mkhize (The University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg South Africa)

Khwezi Mkhize is Senior Lecturer in the Department of African Literature at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania in 2015. His dissertation, Empire Unbound: Imperial Liberalism, Race and Diaspora in the Making of South Africa, explored the politics of imperial belonging in late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century South Africa, using black print culture as an archive. Khwezi has published in journals such as The Black Scholar, Safundi, Scrutiny2, Social Dynamics, and the Journal of Commonwealth Literatures. And he is a co-editor of the journal African Studies.

References:

  • Duiker, K. Sello. The Quiet Violence of Dreams. Kwela Books, 2001
  • Edwards, Brent Hayes. The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalism. Harvard University Press, 2003
  • Getachew, Adom. Worldmaking after Empire. Princeton University Press, 2019.
  • Hall, Stuart. “Cultural Identity and Diaspora.” Colonial discourse and post-colonial theory. Routledge, 2015. 392-403
  • Mkhize, Khwezi. “Archives of empire”, Social Dynamics, Vo.l 45, no.2, 2019, pp. 183-197, doi: 10.1080/02533952.2019.1625014 
  • Mpe, Phaswane. Welcome to  Our Hillbrow. 
  • Plaatje, Solomon T. Native Life in South Africa. Graphic Arts Books, 2021.
  • Scott, David. Stuart Hall’s Voice: Intimations of Receptive Generosity. Duke University Press, 2017
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