Ubuntu in Transit: From Divisive Pasts to Open Futures

  • Hanneke Stuit


Stuit opens up an interpretation of ubuntu that counters its frequent use to refer to a “lost” common humanity in an idealized past that needs to be recovered as a predetermined future. Instead, Stuit proposes to think of ubuntu as a convergence of differing and historically contingent interests and pairs ubuntu with the assemblage (DeLanda), answerability (Bakhtin), and the future anterior (Spivak). The chapter further explores the ethical demands placed on the subject by the fact that human relations change constantly. The focus on contingency in the case studies of Gordimer’s None to Accompany Me and Coetzee’s Age of Iron locates a basis for responsible action in these conditions of uncertainty, which differs from the communal forms offered by familial, sexual, and historical relations.


Common Humanity Responsible Decision Fresh Start Democratic Election Common Past 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hanneke Stuit
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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