Megan Jones is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Stellenbosch and a research associate with the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, Johannesburg.
The paper explores the rendering of township masculinity in two recent novels and its constitution through crime, money and heteronormative desire. It discusses the emphasis on spectacle, in novelistic form and content, through which the male is imagined. Both fictions rely on a deployment of the spectacular, expressed through violence or excessive consumption, alongside a vernacular of nonchalance that contests conventional morality. As explored in the writing of theorists such as Foucault and Butler, what emerges is a sexed body produced discursively and performed through social practice. I focus specifically on figurations of the masculine as mobile; the protagonists of these fictions move with ease across local and global landscapes through modes which are always vehicular. The project of my paper is ask why this is so. How do representations of vehicular mobility map the male body within and beyond the geography of the township and how do they speak to contesting notions of masculinity in contemporary urban South Africa?
Megan Jones is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Stellenbosch and a research associate with the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, Johannesburg. Her PhD, received from Cambridge University in 2009, considered the literary construction of space and place in Johannesburg. Her research focuses on urban/township spaces and gender in post-apartheid South Africa.
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