Versions and Subversions of Liberation: the Political Autobiography in Zimbabwe post-2000


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Department of English


Post-2000 Zimbabwe is marked by heightened hegemonic attempts by the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front party to use its liberation struggle credentials to justify the party's exclusive re-construction of liberation as 'the' ultimate site for political legitimacy in Zimbabwe. The memory of the liberation struggle and the political capital it wields in the present is therefore the prerogative of the ruling party. However, this study argues that this conception and (mis)appropriation of liberation for hegemonic ends has of late been contested and problematized in ways that influence our imagining of other, more inclusive notions and experiences of liberation in Zimbabwe. Through a study of political autobiographies by (mainly) former liberation struggle heroes, and informed by the postcolonial theory, the proposed monograph will highlight the importance of alternative memories in re-imagining liberation and its political implications for constructions and de-constructions of power, especially during Zimbabwe's politically tumultous post-2000 period.