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National Mothers: Singing a Queer Family Romance for the New South Africa

National Mothers: Singing a Queer Family Romance for the New South Africa National Mothers Singing a Queer Family Romance for the New South Africa Nicol Hammond "W ait, so you mean that South Africa has two mothers?" Suzanne's eyebrow was arched, and her head was tilted in the manner that told me we'd stumbled onto something important. We were untangling one of my dissertation chapters, and I had explained that scholar Meg Samuelson identifies both Sarah/Sara/Saartjie Baartman and Krotoa/Eva as figurative national mothers in recent South African literary and public discourse.1 I hadn't yet read Brenna Munro's characterization of the New South Africa as a "queer family romance," but the idea that the South African national family might be distinctly queer helped me to think through the complexities of gendered citizenship and national performativity.2 In this article I consider ways that female singers have navigated and reworked motherhood in relation to the South African nation. Even as the profound queerness of the New South Africa produces alternatives to the conventional gendering of citizenship, the trope of mothering the nation reinscribes normative and limited female roles.3 In particular, the work of nurturing, com- 1 Meg Samuelson, Remembering the Nation, Dismembering Women? Stories of the South African Transition (Scottsville: University of KwaZulu-Natal http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture uni_neb

National Mothers: Singing a Queer Family Romance for the New South Africa

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 the International Alliance for Women in Music.
ISSN
1553-0612
Publisher site
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Abstract

National Mothers Singing a Queer Family Romance for the New South Africa Nicol Hammond "W ait, so you mean that South Africa has two mothers?" Suzanne's eyebrow was arched, and her head was tilted in the manner that told me we'd stumbled onto something important. We were untangling one of my dissertation chapters, and I had explained that scholar Meg Samuelson identifies both Sarah/Sara/Saartjie Baartman and Krotoa/Eva as figurative national mothers in recent South African literary and public discourse.1 I hadn't yet read Brenna Munro's characterization of the New South Africa as a "queer family romance," but the idea that the South African national family might be distinctly queer helped me to think through the complexities of gendered citizenship and national performativity.2 In this article I consider ways that female singers have navigated and reworked motherhood in relation to the South African nation. Even as the profound queerness of the New South Africa produces alternatives to the conventional gendering of citizenship, the trope of mothering the nation reinscribes normative and limited female roles.3 In particular, the work of nurturing, com- 1 Meg Samuelson, Remembering the Nation, Dismembering Women? Stories of the South African Transition (Scottsville: University of KwaZulu-Natal

Journal

Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and Cultureuni_neb

Published: Sep 10, 2015

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