Title page for ETD etd-10212011-145642

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Musvoto, Rangarirai Alfred
Email ramusvoto@yahoo.com
URN etd-10212011-145642
Document Title Recasting history : imagining and mapping out identities in some Zimbabwean poetry
Degree DLitt
Department English
Advisor Name Title
Prof A J Chennells Supervisor
  • Freedom Nyamubaya
  • Philip Zhuwao
  • Dambudzo Marechera
  • Chenjerai Hove
  • Musaemura Zimunya
  • vision(s)
  • narratives
  • representation
  • identity
  • poetry
  • Zimbabwean history
  • John Eppel
  • women poets
Date 2011-09-08
Availability unrestricted
This study investigates how selected Zimbabwean poets use their poetry to re-imagine and rewrite Zimbabwean history to create new identities. It seeks to achieve this by analyzing the poetry of Musaemura Zimunya, Chenjerai Hove, Dambudzo Marechera, Philip Zhuwao, Freedom Nyamubaya and some other women poets from the anthology A Woman’s Plea and John Eppel’s poetry. The study argues that history and identity are unstable concepts whose meanings and usages are influenced by a variety of factors. It further contends that while the significations of history are generally split between how it is regarded in the academic discipline of history and its meanings outside the academic discipline, the controversies surrounding history are about the ways of representing the past. The study builds its central arguments around this existence of multiple ways of ordering the past, and asserts that poetry is also a form of representing history which utilizes its own rhetoric to authorize its versions of the past and construct identities in its own unique ways. These arguments are raised in Chapter One.

The analysis of the selected poets’ texts in Chapters Two, Three, Four, Five and Six links them to the arguments raised in Chapter One. It critiques the versions of histories and the nature of identities that are represented differently by different poets. The study in these chapters reveals that poetic narratives are unstable accounts of both the past and identity, but it is this instability that allows poetry to interrogate narrow concepts of what is ‘real’ in history. There are both similar and dissimilar trends that abound in the selected poets’ texts which reveal that even within the poetic mode of representation, there are layers of understanding of the metaphorical symbols which we use to fix the meanings of Zimbabwean history and identities. The study applies different theoretical approaches to the work of each poet in order to show how each has different contribution to make towards the recovery of Zimbabwe’s past and how it speaks to our present.

© 2010 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Musvoto, RA 2010, Recasting history : imagining and mapping out identities in some Zimbabwean poetry, DLitt thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-10212011-145642/ >


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