Postcolonial Nostalgia: The Ambiguities of White Memoirs of Zimbabwe
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionHistory and Memory. 2018, 30 (2), 147-180.
This article introduces the concept of "postcolonial nostalgia" to discuss four memoirs by white expatriate Zimbabweans Alexandra Fuller and Peter Godwin. The authors borrow from colonial discourse, producing nostalgic accounts that may appeal to their Western audiences but which fail to challenge colonial mindsets in the way that their postcolonial self-image might lead us to expect. Written at a time of national crisis in Zimbabwe, the memoirs contrast a past of childhood innocence and settler contributions with a dystopic present. Even as the authors dissociate themselves from the white supremacist regime of the past, they present white settlers as benevolent and productive, and seem to lament the replacement of white order with nothing.