Washed with Sun

Landscape and the Making of White South Africa

Foster is illuminating on the connections between landscape, aesthetics, and white South African colonial consciousness. This subtly argued, innovative, and theoretically sophisticated study of space and place skillfully articulates issues of common interest to cultural geographers, historians, and art historians.
Saul Dubow, University of Sussex

South Africa is recognized as a site of both political turmoil and natural beauty, and yet little work has been done in connecting these defining national characteristics. Washed with Sun achieves this conjunction in its multidisciplinary study of South Africa as a space at once natural and constructed. Weaving together practical, aesthetic, and ideological analyses, Jeremy Foster examines the role of landscape in forming the cultural iconographies and spatialities that shaped the imaginary geography of emerging nationhood. Looking in particular at the years following the British victory in the second Boer War, from 1902 to 1930, Foster discusses the influence of painting, writing, architecture, and photography on the construction of a shared, romanticized landscape subjectivity that was perceived as inseparable from “being South African,” and thus helped forge the imagined community of white South Africa.

In its innovative approach to South Africa's history, Washed with Sun breaks important new ground, combining the persuasive theory of cultural geography with the material specificity of landscape history.

about the author

Jeremy  Foster

Jeremy Foster teaches architecture and planning at Cornell University. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Journal of Historical Geography, Cultural Geographies, and Journal of Southern African Studies.

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Jeremy  Foster