myAfrica BETA

  

Books

User Guidelines | Account/Register | Get Help
Sara Baartman and the Hottentot Venus
Sara Baartman and the Hottentot Venus

More by user: tshepo.neito
Created: 2nd Jul 2009
Modified: 2nd Jul 2009
Publisher:
Wits University Press

Sara Baartman and the Hottentot Venus offers the authoritative account of one woman's life and reinstates her to the full complexity of her history.

Displayed on European stages from 1810 to 1815 as the Hottentot Venus, Sara Baartman was one of the most famous women of her day, and also one of the least known. As the Hottentot Venus, she was seen by Westerners as alluring and primitive, a reflection of their fears and suppressed desires. But who was Sara Baartman? Who was the woman who became the Hottentot Venus? Based on research and interviews that span three continents, Sara Baartman and the Hottentot Venus tells the entwined histories of an elusive life and a famous icon. In doing so, the book raises questions about the possibilities and limits of biography for understanding those who live between and among different cultures.          

In reconstructing Baartman's life, the book traverses the South African frontier and its genocidal violence, cosmopolitan Cape Town, the ending of the slave trade, the Industrial Revolution, the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, London and Parisian high society, and the rise of racial science. The authors discuss the ramifications of discovering that when Baartman went to London, she was older than originally assumed, and they explore the enduring impact of the Hottentot Venus on ideas about women, race, and sexuality. The book concludes with the politics involved in returning Baartman's remains to her home country, and connects Baartman's story to her descendants in nineteenth- and twentieth-century South Africa.

Clifton Crais is professor of history at Emory University. He is the author of The Politics of Evil. Pamela Scully is associate professor of women's studies and African studies at Emory University. She is the author of Liberating the Family?

978 186814 488 4   Hard cover, 235x155mm, 248pp, illustrated      February 2009     

 

Wits University Press

With Princeton University Press

Contact Information

Reviews
 

Read comments. Write your own.

Books :  Sara Baartman and the Hottentot Venus

<em>Sara Baartman and the Hottentot Venus</em> offers the authoritative account of one woman's life and reinstates her to the full complexity of her history. Displayed...

Please write a review of this book, if you have read it. Do not hesitate to be the first to write a review. It is as simple as typing in the space below.


myAfrica is an open resource. Most listings, such as this one, are editable by logged in users. Help build on the value of this resource by expanding existing listings.