Zinhle Ka’Nobuhlaluse

Graduate Spring 2024: Zinhle Ka’Nobuhlaluse

Towards an Existential-Standpoint Reading of Blackwomen’s Autobiographies Under Apartheid South Africa

Department of Philosophy, Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

This dissertation project draws from Frantz Fanon, Steve Biko and Jean-Paul Sartre’s analysis of racism as a system to enhance their limited approaches to understanding racism as a system by using an intersectional lens. By relying on Patricia Hill Collins’ development of Black feminist standpoint theory and exploration of intersectionality, the project combines the philosophical framework of existentialism with standpoint theory, developed as an ‘existential standpoint theory.’ The existential standpoint approach asserts that the sociohistorical particularity of racialized, classed, and gendered women in a racist and sexist society provides these women with abundant epistemic resources that enable a rich analysis of racist societies. Drawing from the autobiographies of two South African Blackwomen, Mamphela Ramphele and Caesarina Kona Makhoere the project attunes us toward radically situated analyses that account for the multiple and intertwined forms of systemic domination.