Print version ISSN 0018-229X
MUSIIWA, Estella. Frances Baard's and Helen Joseph's struggle against apartheid, 1950-1963: A comparative analysis. Historia [online]. 2012, vol.57, n.1, pp. 66-81. ISSN 0018-229X.
Women's personal narratives constitute the core of historical inquiry in women's history even though the category "woman" has been contested and redefined at different levels in different cultures. The article purports to provide a general overview of prospects and problems of autobiographies and life histories as a methodology of writing comparative women's political history. The article argues that the differences in the 'I' that is spoken of as a retrospective product in life histories, and the 'I' that speaks for itself as a retrospective cumulative experience in autobiographies, has a bearing on the kind of knowledge that scholars produce on comparative women's political history. It is significant to note that while it is possible to blur boundaries and draw comparisons on women's experiences, the nature of the knowledge produced by using different personal narratives has a bearing on the levels at which similarities of such experiences are drawn.
Keywords : life histories; autobiographies; gender; women methodology; Helen Joseph; Frances Baard; apartheid.