Hottentot Venus

Topics: Saartjie Baartman, Georges Cuvier, Khoikhoi Pages: 4 (1444 words) Published: July 18, 2010
Ms. Kimberly Ryan Kirk
Book Review #1 Tuesday Feb. 9, 2010 3:30-4:45

Crais Scully, Clifton and Pamela. Sara Baartman and the Hottentot Venus. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2010.

Crais and Scully, have meticulously and skillfully pieced together the life and times of Sara or Sartjee Baartman. The Authors have given us insight as to whom Sara Baartman the Gonaqua woman was opposed to the Hottentot Venus that she was worldly famous for. For centuries Sara Baartman has embodied westerner’s ideologies of the primitive, savage, and uncivilized Africans. The ghost of Sara Baartman will forever haunt history and our present day lives as long as beliefs in racial supremacy and anti-feminist theories are supported by her very existence.

Crais and Scully, are both currently professors at Emory University. Clifton Crais received his B.A. from The University of Maryland and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins. Crais is also the author of The Politics of Evil: Magic, Power and the Political Imagination in South Africa and White Supremacy and Black Resistance in Pre-Industrial South Africa: The Making of the Colonial Order in the Eastern Cape. Pamela Scully, is the professor of women’s studies and has a Ph.D. in history from the University of Michigan and is the author of Liberating the Family? Gender and the British Slave Emancipation in Rural Western Cape South Africa. Crais and Scully’s similar interest in African and Women’s studies have produced a well written and descriptive biography of Sara Baartman.

Crais and Scully, wanted to depict Baartman differently than previous scholars did at the time of her life. The only importance Baartman had to them was the small period of time she spent in Europe and the few interviews that were probably paraphrased Ms. Kimberly Ryan Kirk

Book Review #1 Tuesday Feb. 9 2010 3:30- 4:45

Crais and Scully said “ Fixing Sara Baartman within the conventional genre of biography raise fundamental questions about...
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