Investigating Onto-cartographies of Memory and Postmemory, and (Trans)raciolinguistics and Practice of Race Theory in Selected Excerpts of Ellen Kuzwayo’s Call Me Woman

Chaka Chaka


This paper is undergirded by two sets of analytic tools: the onto-cartographies of both memory and postmemory, and (trans)raciolinguistics and practice of race theory. Employing these types of analytic tools, the paper sets out to answer the following two research questions: (a) what types of geo-narratives can be detected in the onto-cartographies of both memory and postmemory in the analysed excerpts of Call Me Woman as an autobiographical text?; and (b) what does analysing these excerpts of Call Me Woman through (trans)raciolinguistics and practice of race theory reveal about these excerpts of the autobiography? Pertaining to the first research question, the paper has discovered instances of imprecise geo-narratives, and of the problematics of remembering and forgetting that characterize the analysed excerpts of Call Me Woman. In addition, it has presented instances of postmemorializing and of intergenerational and transgenerational postmemories employed in the analysed excerpts. As regards the second research question, the paper has argued that there are instances of spatioracial apartheid, of a vindicationist view, and of metaculture, metarace and metalanguage that can be detected in the excerpts of Call Me Woman that it has analysed. Moreover, the paper has presented a case for an instance of postmemorially and vicariously deferring to and defying Whiteness in one of the analysed excerpts. In the main, the paper has argued that Ellen Kuzwayo’s Call Me Woman is an autobiography of onto-cartographies of both memory and postmemory. In this sense, the novelty of this paper lies in its endeavour to analyse autobiography through a dual conceptual perspective of the onto-cartographies of both memory and postmemory, and through the lenses of both (trans)raciolinguistics and practice of race theory.


Autobiography, Onto-cartography, Memory, Postmemory, (Trans)raciolinguistics, Practice of Race Theory, Vindicationist View, Whiteness

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