Theorizing discourses of Zimbabwe, 1860-1900 : a Foucauldian analysis of colonial narratives.
This study seeks to understand colonial narratives of Zimbabwe 1860-1900 as a locus of transgression and opposition. I investigate the range and complexity of discourses within the imperial project open to both European male and female writers, their shifts over time or within one or more texts. Narratives of the explorer, missionary, hunter and soldier are examined as a literary genre in which attempts were made to re-imagine the Western self through an encounter with Africans. I consider how positions from which the European in the colonies could speak and write were reformulated. This study will employ Foucauldian discourse theory in an analysis of the British 'civilizing mission' in Central Southern Africa. The Introduction examines existing historical and theoretical approaches in this field and argues for a particular use of Foucualt's insights and vocabulary. Chapter One is concerned with the way European explorers constituted notions of 'civilized nations' in Europe and 'primitive tribes' in Africa . I then question how this process of division and exclusion was reinforced by the mythography of an EI Dorado in the African interior. In Chapter Two I consider how Colonial Man was constituted in different ways by Victorian discourses of adventure, travel and conquest. I also attempt to account for the effects that followed the activation, within colonial culture, of structures of exclusion and division based on race or class. Chapter Three focuses on the economic dimension of a dissident LMS missionary and the sustained resistance to Western philanthropy among the Ndebele. I also examine the later Mashonaland mission where the missionary-administrator became instrumental in the division and control of Africans. In the final chapter I consider discursive formations which sought to constrain African resistance during the 1896-7 Chimurenga and the institutionalization of a settler order in the post-Chimurenga era.