Tales of the Nation

Feminist Nationalism or Patriotic History?

Lene Bull-Christiansen



In light of the uses and misuses of history in Zimbabwean politics in recent years, this research report focuses on how versions of the country’s liberation war history have become a site of struggle over the definition of Zimbabwean national identity. As "identity politics" often do, Zimbabwean nationalism draws on a wide field of cultural symbols of identity and political discourses of inclusion and exclusion. Therefore, the report takes a cross-disciplinary approach to the issue of national identity by "mapping out" the imaginary field of Zimbabwean nationalism. This approach opens up the possibility of cross-reading the political discourses of the President and the ruling party ZANU (PF) with opposing voices such as those in the works of the author Yvonne Vera.


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Lene Bull-Christiansen holds an MA in International Development Studies and Cultural Encounters from Roskilde University in Denmark. Her research interests include nationalism, gender, political culture, and postcolonial theory.