Journal article

Retrieving grandfathers and histories through objects and affective registers

Research Areas

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Publication Details

Author list: Canhama, H., Kotze, E. , Nkomo,N. ,Nkomo, S

Publisher: Elsevier

Publication year: 2020

Journal: Emotion, Space and Society

Volume number: 34

Issue number: 100650

Total number of pages: 8

ISSN: 1755-4586

eISSN: 1878-0040



This paper explores the trace and residue of the authors' grandfathers when understood through affect. Against a
backdrop of fractured temporalities and histories, the authors centre objects to think about their grandfathers
historically and in the present. The authors are interested in what emerges when the public humanities are
drawn upon to reflect on intergenerational relationships when family narratives are incomplete. The authors
suggest that objects tell us about the past, present, future and the temporal and affective spaces in-between their lives and those of their grandfathers. The objects that are used to facilitate the affective trace are a photograph, a blikbeker or tin cup, and a written archive. All three of these objects directly index the authors’ grandfathers. The paper illustrates that assemblage thinking through sensoriality, affectivity, memory, multi-temporality, and political effects can serve as a means of tracing residues of familial and social histories. This aids in re-imagining the past, present and the future.


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affect, Life history

Last updated on 2020-16-09 at 07:09