BABEL UNBOUND, rage, reason and rethinking public life

: Cowling (L.) & Hamilton (C.) eds.

R 420.00
- +

283pp., paperback, Johannesburg, 2020


"This finger-on-the-pulse collection offers a new theory of the public sphere. Through news media, photography, archives, hashtags, ‘art-rage’, Muslim manuscripts, and much more, this incisive book illuminates the underlying dynamics of public engagement." Isabel Hofmeyr, Global Distinguished Professor, New York University, and Professor of African Literature, University of the Witwatersrand, and author of Gandhi’s Printing Press: experiments in slow reading

"…an exciting book that brings the South African experience into the centre of debate over today’s deep crisis of public life and democracy. The interest is not just local. It is deeply relevant for understanding populism and protests around the world.' Craig Calhoun, University Professor of Social Sciences, Arizona State University (USA) and Centennial Professor, London School of Economics and Political Science (UK)

"This is a timely, original and sophisticated collection that thinks the idea of the public sphere from a southern location. The essays attempt, in creative ways, to move out of the impasse of quibbles over how ‘public’ the public sphere is, stressing its pluralities, capillary nature and dispersed sites of discussion." Dilip Menon, Mellon Chair in Indian Studies and Director of the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa, University of Witwatersrand

Contributions include:

"Tracing Public Engagement in Visual Forms" by Carolyn Hamilton, Litheko Modisane and Rory Bester

"Media Orchestration in the Production  of Public Debate" by Lesley Cowing and Pascal Newbourne  Mwale

"The Politics of Representation in Marikana: a tale of competing ideologies" by Camalita Naicker

"Anger, Pain and the Body in the Public Sphere" by Anthea Garman. 

Lesley Cowling is Associate Professor of Journalism at the University of the Witwatersrand and Associate Researcher at the Archive and Public Culture Research Initiative at the University of Cape Town.

Carolyn Hamilton is the South African Research Chair in Archive and Public Culture at the University of Cape Town and leader of the research projects on the nature of public discourse.