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Psychology in Society

Print version ISSN 1015-6046

Psychol. Soc.  n.40 Durban Jan. 2010

 

Paedophile as apartheid event: genealogical lessons for working with the apartheid archive

 

 

Brett BowmanI; Derek HookII

IDepartment of Psychology School of Human and Community Development University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg, Brett.Bowman@wits.ac.za
IIInstitute of Social Psychology London School of Economics England & Department of Psychology School of Human and Community Development University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

 

 


ABSTRACT

The narratives that constitute the beginnings of an apartheid archive do well to illustrate the value of collecting, centralising and analysing everyday accounts of apartheid's subjects. Developing an archive of narratives that give voice to the quotidian experiences of apartheid is a valuable historical strategy. This approach may be usefully mobilised to offset some of the totalising effects of conventional history writing. Notwithstanding this value, an unreflective turn to narrative as a means to reading the socio-historical and political contours of apartheid, risks reducing critique to a symbolic exercise that centres subjectivity and subject positions as the key analytic targets. Such readings may shift the analysis away from the various levels of materiality and power of which these subject positions are both instruments and effects. In an attempt to demonstrate the way that Foucault's genealogical maxims may be used to counter the danger of centring the subject in history writing, we present some of the key analytic strategies undertaken in a previous study that produced an effective history of the South African paedophile. In so doing, we argue for a re-scoping of the apartheid archive project to include materials required for undertaking histories of the present. This extension would challenge many of the methodological and political constraints implied by limiting the archive to a corpus of memory narratives.

Key words: Apartheid Archive Project, Foucault, genealogy, paedophile, South Africa


 

 

"One has to dispense with the constituent subject, to get rid of the subject itself, that's to say, to arrive at an analysis which can account for the constitution of the subject within a historical framework" (Foucault, 1980: 117).

 

INTRODUCTION.

The theoretical possibilities and shortcomings implied by Foucault's genealogical method as a mode of critique have been widely debated (Hunter, 1991; Visker, 1995; Flynn, 1999; Hook, 2001; 2005; Hook & Bowman, 2007). Writings of this sort do well to locate this method within the broader literature on the potentially critical contributions of Foucaultian thought to the long-established tradition of history writing. Despite the apparent longevity of these debates, applications of the set of methodological maxims offered by Foucault under the ambit of genealogy appear limited to a relatively small number of recent studies largely, but not exclusively aimed at tracing emergences within the histories of the socio-medical sciences (Lightfoot, 1997; Butchart, 1998; Georges, 2003; Winch, 2005; Stevenson & Cutcliffe, 2006; Weir, 2006) and education (Popkewitz & Brennan, 1997; Meadmore, Hatcher & McWilliam, 2000; Baker, 2005). Other studies have provided critical histories of practices and objects as far ranging as oral sex (Hunt & Curtis, 2006), disability (Shildrick, 2005; Galvin, 2006) and stress management (Kelly & Colquhoun, 2005).

However, some 13 years after Butchart (1997: 101) commented on the fact that, despite the availability of his theoretical formulations to South African scholars "[...] a Foucaultian presence in local work is conspicuous by its almost complete absence [...]", and, where it does appear, by what is (in most instances) "a systematic misreading of the Foucaultian thesis", very little Foucaultian work under the ambit of the genealogical methods has been undertaken in South Africa. Noteworthy exceptions to this absence include Butchart's (1998) own seminal book, Macleod and Durrheim's (2003) application of Foucaultian theory to the emergence of teenage pregnancy as an object of South African psycho-medical discourse, and Wilbraham's (1994; 2008) Foucault-informed analyses of advice columns in women's magazines and discourses clustered around HIV and reproductive health education. Despite Butchart's (1997) own cogent epistemological explanations for the absence of Foucault-based scholarship and the seminal studies cited above, the relevance of Foucault's genealogical work to the South African social sciences remains under-elaborated.

The Apartheid Archive Project (AAP) established at the University of the Witwatersrand by a multi-national team of social science researchers in 2008 is explicitly committed to the constitution of alternative histories of apartheid and its racisms through the narrated experiences of everyday apartheid life by ordinary South Africans. Such a project provides a timely opportunity to link the potentially critical contributions of Foucault's theoretical and methodological formulations to South African history-making for at least two reasons. Firstly, both Foucault's overarching genealogical project and the AAP are committed to countering the totalising effects of grand histories but through seemingly opposing methodological means. While the AAP offers a selection of narratives of quotidian apartheid racism as a means to disrupting the various grand narratives of apartheid life and politics, Foucault's genealogy seeks to "account for the constitution of knowledges, discourses, domains of objects [...] without [making] reference to a subject which is [...] transcendental in relation to a field of events or [...] [understood] in its empty sameness throughout the course of history" (Foucault, 1980a: 117). Secondly, whether through lack of political will, the perceived opacity of his theoretical formulations, or because the Foucaultian thesis presents both neo-liberal and Marxian-inspired analyses of South Africa with some fundamental challenges (Butchart, 1997), the value of Foucault's genealogical method for reading the apartheid archive has not yet been demonstrated by recent scholarship. This paper therefore aims to demonstrate the critical promises of Foucault's genealogical method through a commitment to the constitution of a subject via the prioritisation of genealogical historical analysis.

As a means to interrogation of some of the AAP's theoretical and epistemological assumptions in doing critical history, the paper undertakes a speculative overview of the value of Foucault's genealogical method which it illustrates with the results of a genealogically oriented doctoral study (Bowman, 2005) of the emergence of the South African paedophile between 1994 and 2004, published elsewhere (Bowman, 2010). The selection of this study as a way of demonstrating the relevance of genealogy for the apartheid archive is useful for two reasons. Firstly, the paedophile represents a category of abnormality that exemplifies the deeply individualising subjectification characteristic of many mainstream methods of reading history. While the AAP's focus is on the normal and quotidian rather than the monstrous, its tendency to subjectification is writ large in the questions that prompt or cue the narrative-based contributions to its archive (for a list of these questions and prompts please see www.apartheidarchive.org). Thus, if we are able to demonstrate that it is possible to provide an account of the constitution of this extraordinary subject within a socio-historical context that does not rely solely on the narrative of the subject itself (Foucault 1980a), our analysis will hold important lessons for effective histories of apartheid's arguably less subjectified, ordinary subjects. That is to say, if we utilise a mode of writing history that prioritises subjectivity and effectively subjectivises its contributors, we risk losing sight of the ways in which the discursive violence of the apartheid regime depersonalised, de-subjectivised those who it took to be second-class citizens.

Secondly, the paedophile is commonly held to be a figure universally recognisable, a generic type that presents as a problem to the specificities of experience favoured by the apartheid archive. As such, the results of such a genealogical analysis demonstrate the value of a critical and subversive mode of history that is able to account for the emergence of categories of personhood less prone to the historical presentism of approaches that utilise contemporary experience as a privileged means of accessing the past.

 

AGAINST TRADITIONAL HISTORY AND THE OBJECTS OF GENEALOGICAL ANALYSIS.

In Nietzsche, genealogy, history (Foucault, 1980b) and the Order of discourse (Foucault, 1981), Foucault outlines a set of methodological injunctions that inform the building-blocks for a method of genealogical analysis1. The most important of these for this paper are the principles of specificity, exteriority and reversal and the category of the event.

Together, these building-blocks drive a critique of conventional readings of history that presume that words retain their meanings, desires continuously point in a single direction and that ideas are bound to a timeless logic (Foucault, 1980b). Foucault's genealogy by contrast has as its primary aim the provision of a way of reading history that "fragment[s] the unitary and set[s] in motion the immobile" (Butchart, 1998). The targets or objects most amenable to a genealogical analysis are to be found "in the most unpromising of places, in what we tend to feel is without history - in sentiments, love, conscience, in instincts [...] [as such genealogy] must be sensitive to their recurrence [...] [and needs] to isolate the different scenes when they are engaged in different roles" (Foucault, 1980b: 140). Fundamentally then, the genealogical project must target those objects, practices and sentiments that appear to transcend history. Universalising histories of these objects should be dismissed in favour of attention to their specific relationship to localised conditions of possibility. Thus the apartheid perpetrator of racism and her victim do not present us with trans-historical templates for analysis. Apartheid itself is not a generalisable historical category that we can treat as a transcendental given in the lives of its subjects - it can likewise be approached via a circuitous pre-history, by multiple contingencies of political force and circumstance.

 

DESCENT, EMERGENCE AND THE PRINCIPLE OF SPECIFICITY.

Genealogy prioritises the study of the dynamics of descent and emergence. This implies that the genealogist should target discontinuity rather than continuity in the historical record. The genealogist uses descent as a means of "discovery, under the unique aspect of a trait or a concept, of the myriad events through which - thanks to which, against which - they were formed" (Foucault, 1980a: 147). An analysis of descent therefore does not seek to re-appropriate history. Rather, it desires to "identify the accidents, the minute deviations - or conversely, the complete reversals - the errors, the false appraisals, and the faulty calculations which gave birth to those things that exist and continue to have value for us" (Foucault, 1980a: 146). Thus, an analysis of descent allows us to trace discontinuity by showing up a series of reversals, ruptures and contingencies that underpin the historical object or event of discourse in question (Bowman, 2005).

For Foucault, the emergence of an object or a discourse into the historical framework for analysis does not imply that these represent an origin of any kind. In fact, under the genealogical method, the category of the origin is regarded as a meta-physical invention. Rather, the emergence of an object or a discourse should be conceptualised as a moment, an outcome, or a salient product of a network of opposing and clustered forces. Importantly, analysis itself cannot be extricated from this network. Thus in any analysis of the narratives of the AAP, "all such objects of knowledge are at the same time the effects of the methods with which they are analysed" (Butchart, 1997: 103). Identifying the emergence of any object, subject or discourse in the apartheid archive therefore requires that we pay attention to "substitutions, displacements, disguised conquests, and systematic reversals" (Foucault, 1980a: 151) and how these are shaped by very specific conditions.

This principle of specificity (Foucault, 1981), forces the analysis to isolate the way in and through which universalising discourses are animated, resisted or transfigured by local and specific practices. For example, general readings of the paedophile have done well to reveal the figure as an historical object. However, these readings have tended to regard this figure as a long-standing category of personhood waiting to be discovered by social science. Both international (see for example, De Mause, 1990) and national researchers (see for example, Lyell, 1998; Richter & Higson-Smith, 2004) argue that paedophilia was in fact as old as human history itself. In a seminal report, (Runyan, Wattam, Ikeda, Hassan, & Ramiro, 2002) again argued that child abuse (as we know it) was certainly a historical phenomenon that had only received attention relatively recently.

What differentiates a genealogical or effective historical account from readings such as these is its insistence on privileging specificity and regularity over interiority and originality. The principle of specificity overcomes the tendency to produce a general reading of discourse such as may be found in some of the studies cited above. In targeting the South African paedophile for analysis we rejected the assumption that discourse is decipherable through the mere general unpicking of its significations; our focus has been rather on the physicality and precise materiality of historically circumscribed discursive practices (Hook, 2005; Hook & Bowman, 2007). Of course the genealogical analysis does not jettison such general readings all together; it regards them rather as texts through which to trace the descent of the object from general to local conditions of possibility. The principle of specificity therefore requires an analysis that is cognisant of the way that the analytic object descends and emerges from both general and specific conditions. The methodological principles of descent and emergence pose serious challenges for the analyst: if we are to resist assuming that our analytic object has not transcended the mutations of chance and change overtime, how do we constitute the object in the first place? In other words, where and on which materials do we begin our analysis? More strongly put, what can or should we consider the legitimate archival configuration from which to trace the apartheid object or apartheid more generally? In the case of the AAP, how do we resist classing the speaker as the originator and endpoint of the narrative?

 

FROM PAEDOPHILE TO SOUTH AFRICAN PAEDOPHILE.

In Bowman's (2010) study, the paedophile as both general and specific object was traced in two ways. In the international literature, child sexual abuse was being declared "the public health problem of the decade" (Glaser, 1997:1) internationally. In South Africa, social scientists and crime analysts echoed this claim. A range of prevalence studies (Levett, 1989; Collings, 1997; Madu & Peltzer, 2000; Madu, 2001) pointed to widespread sexual violations of children and the Child Protection Unit (CPU) of the South African Police Services (SAPS) drew attention to an approximate doubling of its reported child sex crime cases from 1994 to 1998 (Pienaar, 2002). The South African print media appeared to track this trend with an analysis of the SA Media database showing year-on-year increases on reports indexed by the term paedophile between 1988 and 2004 (Bowman, 2010). Globally, an analysis of the PsycINFO database also showed yearly increases against this search term beginning in 19272. In addition to these growing bodies of discourse on paedophilia, moral panic amongst the general South African public was palpable, reaching a crescendo with the infamous Gert van Rooyen case in the late 1980s. In this sense, an historical reading of the paedophile as object of discourse from 1927 to the present in the international literature formed a general reading of the object against and through which we could isolate the local paedophile within local conditions of production. This enabled us to take seriously Foucault's principle of exteriority.

 

EXTERIORITY.

In reading the archive, Foucault insists that an effective analysis must "not go from discourse towards the interior, hidden nucleus [...]" (Foucault, 1981: 67) or attempt to decipher what lies at the kernel of the inner meaning of a set of significations. Rather, the analyst should look at the exterior boundaries of a discourse; focusing on its exteriority in order to locate it as both an instrument and effect of power. To trace a series of lateral discursive connections, moving outwards rather than attempting to grasp an inner essential logic characterised the approach to this research question of paedophilia; a priority was placed on questions that emphasised its limits and political logic rather than its intrinsic meaning. These included: what factors have accounted for the marked increase or explosion of discourses on paedophilia? How and why had paedophilia become a subject of increasing interest to scientific and popular publications? In short, when and how did the paedophile and paedophilia become significant objects of knowledge both globally and in South Africa? To ask these questions begged a tracing of sorts - a characterisation of the South African paedophile of the present. This refers primarily to the practical need to disrupt the formerly secure foundations of knowledge and understanding that constitute the object as a stable point of knowledge in a contemporary discursive location (Smart, 1983). In the context of the AAP, this would entail asking a set of questions that treat the memory narrative as the outcome of various clashes between historical and discursive forces.

In this sense the narrative is not the origin of meaning nor does it represent an untouchable truth. The narrative is a discourse to be read alongside the precise material conditions and knowledge systems that enable its production. By splintering the internal and interlocking discourses of paedophilia in the present we effectively provided the platform for a systematic strategy of its defamiliarisation through what Dean (1994: 33) considers the suspension of "contemporary norms of validity and meaning" through "revealing its multiple conditions of formation". Hopefully, as we will later demonstrate, the narratives of the AAP will benefit from a similar form of splintering.

To destabilise this internal formation of the paedophile discourse, we were guided by Foucault's (1980b: 139) insistence on revisiting "a field of entangled and confused parchments, on documents that have been scratched over, and recopied many times". Amongst many of these entangled documents more globally, we traced the emergence of the figure of the degenerate paedophile in early sexological texts and diagnostic manuals. To denaturalise childhood our historical analysis focused on key reversals and transformations in the emergence and constitution of the category of the childhood sexuality against which paedophiliac transgression becomes possible. Using these historical coordinates as the defining parameters of a precontext (Hook, 2005), we heeded two fundamental Foucaultian imperatives for genealogy. Firstly, by conceptualising the formation of a precontext for the figure of the paedophile as a series of events rather than a single a point of origin, our critical enquiry took the relationship between power and knowledge as its central focus by way "of linking historical contents into [...] trajectories that are neither the simple unfolding of their origins nor the necessary realisation of their ends" (Dean, 1994: 36). Secondly, in casting our analytic net across a vast array of materials and treating each as primary data, we were able to identify the historical ebbs and flows in the constitution of proto-paedophilia. The hope was thereby to privilege regularity over originality in building a template for exteriority from which to analyse the descent and emergence of the South African paedophile. This example implies an important consideration for the AAP.

Firstly, the breadth of data generated by the paedophile study enabled an analysis that could read apartheid discourse in a strongly historically contextualised manner, explicitly against the grain of accounts more overtly mediated by the terms of post-apartheid experience. Some of these data took the form of narratives provided by paedophiles, while others reflected court proceedings, medico-legal reports and photographs. The combination of these multiple textual forms enabled us to move the paedophile's narratives from signs of experience into South Africa's political history. In other words, we were able to understand the paedophile as an event in material relations and discourse rather than an artefact of symbolic memory.

 

PAEDOPHILE AS EVENT.

"Events are neither substance nor accident, yet an event is not immaterial. It takes effect on the level of the material. Events consist in relation to, coexistence with, dispersion of, the cross-checking accumulation and selection of material elements; [an event] occurs as an effect of, and in, material dispersion. Let us say that the philosophy of event should advance in the direction, at first paradoxical, of an incorporeal materialism." (Foucault, 1972: 231)

How then to constitute the event (or the memory narrative of the AAP) under a genealogical lens? To do the work of critique that is "deploying oppositional knowledges capable of contestation - like the attempt to defamiliarise, to upturn commonplace contemporary norms and values [...]" the genealogy requires "a weighty 'counter-evidence' that cannot simply be dismissed as a function of either fiction or of crass subjectivism" (Hook, 2005: 8). To this end, Foucault (1980b: 140) calls for "a vast accumulation of source material". The importance of the vastness of these sources of empirical support cannot be overstated. Although Foucault does in fact subject various narratives to scrutiny in the cases of Pierre Rivière (Foucault, 1978) and Hercule Barbin (Foucault, 1980c) these testimonies are supplemented by a variety of other documents within and against which they are set to work. Accounts of the subject in and of themselves are therefore insufficient empirical sources for the genealogist. This is because in reading an object of knowledge as event the emphasis on the collection of materials is on breadth rather than depth as a means to the elucidation of the intricate relations, both continuous and discontinuous in the scattered polymorphous meanings of an assortment of texts and practices.

The breadth of the material serves to provide instances of continuity and discontinuity and therefore manifests the historically mutable nature of the object under investigation. Moreover, an analysis of the event requires a strict adherence to the principle of specificity to guard against generalist readings such as those provided by various incarnations of discursive and narrative analysis. Thus the evidentiary burden of contestation lies in the laterality and scope of the materials selected and their degree of local specificity; this "allow[s] us to constitute a historical knowledge of struggles and to make use of this knowledge tactically today" (Foucault, 2003: 8).

Our genealogy of the South African paedophile included a breadth of formal knowledge production in the form of all peer-reviewed journal articles indexed by paedophilia or paedophile in South African journals. This data corpus was complimented by photographs; court transcripts of high-profile cases; perpetrator and victim narratives; newspaper articles; legal statutes; national and provincial policy documents; reports on the changing demographic profiles of the country; police dockets and medico-legal transcripts. All of these sources were treated as primary data, and subjected to the same genealogical principles. The now substantial number of narratives in the AAP should therefore be weighed up against each other and read against other forms of apartheid discourse such that their privileged place as origins and endpoints of subjective experience may be alternatively understood as apartheid events in a clash of histories and forces of which they form a part.

 

MATERIAL CONDITIONS OF POSSIBILITY.

One central strategy in a genealogical analysis used to counter the dangers of "crass subjectivism" (Hook, 2005 :8) is to read such narratives within and against extra-discursive events. In other words, a sound genealogical analysis should be as concerned with the material conditions of possibility for the production of the account as it is with the account as discourse. For example, our search for the South African paedophile yielded a particular configuration of childhood against which sexual transgression becomes thinkable: the threatened child as a cherished emblem of the future and hope of a biopolitical family of whiteness. Without locating this figure alongside and within the specificity of particular historical occurrences, our analysis is vulnerable to criticism as the identification of the paedophile as historical event would be devoid of the specificity of evidence required for the urgency of its socio-political and discursive mobilisation. Given the racist (post)colonial and apartheid backdrop to the study - a pervasive racism that permeated virtually all the analysed materials - it thus proved crucial to examine the way power intersected with race to produce particular subjects and objects in South Africa. Without the vastness of our materials and our concurrent turn to material conditions of possibility an analysis of power would not have been possible. This represents a fundamental threat to the political utility of using only the memory narratives contained in the apartheid archive project to do political work. Two critical issues thus come to the forefront. Firstly, given the various geographies and time periods that are identified amongst the narratives in the AAP, one way of adhering to the principle of specificity is to read the narratives against one another as opposed to seeking encompassing joint themes running through such narratives. We should avoid treating them each as a contribution to a single over-arching story of apartheid, breaking them apart, seeking instead to understand what might separate them, grant them distinction, emphasising heterogeneity over homogeneity.

Secondly, given the prioritisation of narrative material - subjective accounts of experience written in the present of the past - we should aim to include a far wider range of anonymous, institutional archive material that enables us to pinpoint underlying material conditions of possibility. These could for example include demographic measures, government documents, urban planning measures, white papers.

In our genealogy of the paedophile such data included census reports beginning in 1936 and critical commentaries on the way that statistical surveillance formed an especially important means to the racialised control of an apartheid population (cf Posel, 2000: 126). Census reports were therefore considered important materials for analysis as were policies and reports on the health of the family, the populations of schools, and most significantly, the birth rates, death rates, race ratios, migration patterns and sexual practices of South Africa as a means to understanding state-centralised surveillance. Tracing the changing profiles of these data, against popular representations of white and black children, our analysis of the obvious prioritisation of the health of white children over South Africa's black "illegitimate brats" (de Ridder, 1961: 33) was clear and well substantiated. Without recourse to these reports the linking of race to the preciousness of white childhood as a precondition for the emergence of the paedophile (Bowman, 2010) would not have been possible. Our analysis of the category of childhood across the full spectrum of our materials was therefore important in keeping with Foucault's warning against assuming any unity in the object (in this case South African childhood), because we were able to apprehend a series of historical anomalies and contingencies that particularised the gradual construction of the threatened object of paedophilia (and the paedophile himself) during a period in which white childhood was being generally prioritised.

 

EMERGENCE.

Early reporting of child-adult sexual contact in 1944 in Johannesburg's inner city revealed different descriptors of the paedophiliac. In the newspaper reporting of the time, the proto-paedophile's actions were cited as "interference", "improper examination" and "offence[s]" (Police Searching, 1944). In similar reports both the ages of the children and the approximate age of the perpetrator were strangely absent. Only the European status of the perpetrator and the urban setting of his crime status provided any boundaries for this action. In essence, the perpetrators of such proto-paedophilia stood in relation to a strange type of offence.

Pitting these types of newspaper reports against more formal studies, census data specific to the areas in which these acts were reported (an important strategy in the development of any critical history) revealed very powerful systems of reversal or inversions of logic. For example, in a study of children referred to psychiatric clinics due to sexual experiences with adults, Bender & Blau (1937: 505) noted that such affairs were not always the result of adult coercion but "often the child is the initiator and seducer". Often these children came from poor homes and were the offspring of either indigent or "feeble minded" parents (Ackerson, 1942). In those instances where medico-legal systems provided profiles of the proto-paedophile certain key regular parameters framed the figure. The South African paedophile of the 1940s was always European, suburban and male.

Given the scope of our materials and the objective of fragmenting a seemingly unified object, we sought to trace counter-coordinates of this profile. Crucially, ethnographic studies of the time did not describe a Bantu paedophile. In fact a pivotal study of Bantu sexuality conducted by Laubscher (1937: 271) revealed that "the true paedophilic type where the child or adolescent is sought as a sexual object [...] does not seem to occur" in "Bantu" populations. In tracing the material practices that accompanied such early reporting, our texts indicated that interventions in such cases meant the removal of children from their homes (Steyn, 1948), rather than the incarceration of the perpetrator. In contrast to the comforts of our present certainties, these early paedophiliac acts were instances of a disturbance of social and moral roles and nothing more.
Given the current guidelines for the submission of a narrative to the AAP, the emergence of the apartheid experience or more pointedly, the different ways in which race, blackness, whiteness, maleness and femaleness came to be used in different ways would be difficult to discern. An elementary example suffices: asking participants to report their earliest experience of racism involves an inbuilt quandary: a post-apartheid sensitivity to racism is projected back to a time where racism was so pervasive and omnipresent, so normalised, that the multitude of everyday minor racisms would not presumably have proved memorable at all. As such what is recalled as a first memory of racism has been made significant not by the virtue of its underlying racism - a constant of apartheid social interaction - but by another factor (guilt, violence, trauma, culpability, spoiled relations, affective intensity). Hence the importance not only of reading various contributions of the AAP against one another, but of interspersing narratives written during rather than post-apartheid would perhaps go some way to providing such an analytic possibility.

 

A FOCUS ON THE BODY.

Perhaps one of Foucault's most important contributions to critical thinking about power is his focus on the body. The body is a privileged object of analysis for the genealogist. The body, its forces, its various attributes, prove demonstratively malleable. Indeed, "nervous system [...] digestive apparatus [...] faulty respiration [...] improper diets [...] the debilitated and prostrate body" (Foucault, 1980b: 147) are all points of inscription of assorted historical and political forces. With only narratives as sources of data, this important target of political power cannot adequately be targeted for analysis. In fact, in the AAP, the body is not prioritised as a conduit to better understanding the effects of racism. This is potentially problematic given apartheid's scientific racism that anchored race in and on the body.

In keeping with Foucault's genealogical maxims, the paedophile study paid special attention to descriptions of the bodies of both children and paedophiles. Forensic examinations of children that were the alleged victims of rape were a customary medico-legal practice during this time although they did not feature significantly in the reporting of such acts such as those above. The medico-legal examination of children constitutes a large literature base today but special protocols for the medico-legal examination of sexually abused children were only developed as late as 1987 in South Africa (Winship & Key, 1987). The bodies of prototypical paedophiles of the 1950s were subjected to intense physiological profiling as if their actions were necessarily linked to a physical and organic dysfunction (for an example of such a profiling instrument see Freed, 1949 in Bowman, 2010). The different ways in which children's bodies were constructed together with the very definite shift in understanding the aetiology of paedophilia as organic and then psychogeneic points to the importance of including analyses of the body in its various forms in any archive. Furthermore, the body is an important target of genealogical analysis because it provides a surface area for the operationalisation of Foucault's analytical principle of specificity: a focus on the particular physicality, the precise materiality of discursive practice. Moreover, we have here an example of the genealogical imperative to demonstrate how the body is directly involved in "a political field [...] to show how power relations invest it, mark it...force it to emit signs" (Foucault, 1991: 75).

A particular focus on the body (both external and internal) of the figure of the South African paedophile emerges as undeniable object of moral, legal and psycho-medical discourse and practice in the 1960s. In operationalising the tenets of genealogy as the philosophy of the event we must therefore cross-reference our analysis against the material and bodily practices of the time. The politicisation of the apartheid body has been demonstrated consistently (Butchart, 1998) and materials that implicate the raced body in the AAP would certainly add value to its politics. There is certainly some scope for apprehending the body in some of the narratives in the archive at present but these could be supplemented by a variety of other documents that point to the way that apartheid raced bodies to emit signs. Narrating an experience of racism in an occupational setting could for example be read against differentially formulated (raced) occupational safety regulations or other materials that provide a useful avenue for a critical analysis of the physicality of apartheid.

 

A TACTICS OF WAR: AGAINST THE PRESUMPTION OF A PSYCHOLOGICAL DIMENSION.

The relegation of analyses of meaning in favour of an analytics of power is perhaps one of the most important guidelines for any genealogical project because, for Foucault "[...] the history that determines us has the form of war rather than that of language: relations of power, not relations of meaning" (Foucault, 1980a: 114). In our study, the overtly bio-political framework under which apartheid attempted to wage a social, economic and political war to protect white hegemony against black threats was an obvious target for analysis. Here the focus was not only on the wealth of documents we had at our disposal but an analysis of the material practices in which they were produced. We could not therefore privilege our narrative-type transcripts over the bio-political conditions in which they were produced.

In a very literal sense, apartheid was a form of war. Under this dispensation, the future of Afrikaner Nationalism depended on two key strategies (Bowman, 2010). Firstly, the state conscripted white soldiers to defend against the black peril on its borders (Butchart, Hamber, Terre Blanche & Seedat, 1997). Secondly, the bio-political war that the state had been waging within its borders was intensifying. Internally, the state intensified its prioritisation of the white child (Bowman, 2010). Seemingly innocuous reports on the fact that "Afrikaans boys are slightly taller and heavier than English-speaking boys at three years [...]. A child's height and weight are often important pointers to his state of health" (Afrikaans boys, 1962) needed to be read not as forms of general discourse but as markers of a biopolitical battle. In much the same way, we must be wary of respecting the memory narratives of the AAP as being mere expressions of dialogue or reducing them to a semiology of sorts. In so doing we would perhaps be providing undue respect to "the great model of language" at the expense of the "war and battle" that defined the signs but more importantly, the material relations of life under apartheid (Foucault, 1980a: 115).

Reading for tactics of war rather than systems of meaning, we were able to make sense of for example de Ridder's Personality of the urban African in South Africa (1961), and his insistence that the urban African was found to be sexually aware at a very young age and brandish their sexuality to meet their own "filthy" ends (de Ridder, 1961: 160) and that the urban African is characterised by "morally lax association, characterised by uninhibited primitivism and sexual licentiousness". Using texts that exemplified the symbolic registration of idealised white child citizens, we were able to show that black children were doubly disqualified from preciousness: neither fully citizens, nor fully children. In reading apartheid constructions of childhood we focused on understanding discourses of the time within their own specific periods of construction. In so doing, our study attempted to avoid (as much as possible) the error of presentism or imposing the epistemologies of the present onto the workings of the past. This is one of the principle dangers inherent in an analysis of narratives written in the present about the past: assuming that consensual objects of the present existed in much the same way then as now. Take for example the notions of the white racist, the black subject entitled to full human rights: these two objects of knowledge, these two historical events, simply do not exist in the same discursive universe when it comes to comparing the apartheid past and the post-apartheid present: many white racist infractions of today would presumably not have been considered racist then (or not in the same way). Likewise, under the oppressive conditions of apartheid's racist white supremacy, there effectively was, at least at the level of material everyday existence, no equal human rights. Countering this tendency to read objects of the present into texts of the past requires that the empirical materials under analysis be read against the specific historical and political conditions that framed them rather than under the ethos of the present. Thus in the AAP, we should be especially cautious of reading apartheid history into or out of post-apartheid discourse.

Because our materials were analysed alongside their own historical frames, and the specific logics by which they were constituted, our interpretations were likewise guarded against anachronism. For example, in reading national demographic data against forensic reporting beginning in the 1950s, we were able to clearly see that "the highly psychologised figure of the black paedophile could not be 'discovered' because he could not exist in the townships or within which the stunted psychological structure that racist apartheid medico-legal health systems located him" (Bowman, 2010: 460). He could not exist furthermore, because the children of the townships were themselves criminalised and pathological (de Ridder, 1961). Neither precious, nor the embodied hope of a future generation of whiteness - to the contrary they represented its greatest threat - black childhood was not invested with the same aura as white childhood. Bluntly put, black men and black children, by virtue of their disqualification from preciousness and psychological sophistication respectively, could not be considered thinkable in the logic that guided apartheid paedophilia.

Certainly, black perpetrators were identified in the sporadic accounts of the sexual abuse of black children but in every such case, the adults of the crime were casually contoured and lacked the intense profiling of their white counterparts. Only when apartheid politics began to lose its stranglehold on the maintenance of white purity could black children be desired and therefore warrant protection from paedophiles. Only then could they be as innocent as their white counterparts and only then, could a black body inhabit the heavily psychologised and pathological paedophiliac space.

The material conditions of apartheid possibility for the emergence of the South African paedophile implied a lack of psychological subjectivity accorded to the black subject. Only a reading of a number of distinctly different diagnostic, prognostic and treatment regimens for separated apartheid races via epidemiological investigation and psychological treatment could provide sound evidence for this claim. In summary, an awareness of the necessarily combative, strategic and war-like nature of all socio-historical discursive formations enables us to look behind certain objects that certain discourse analysts take for granted, such as that of the (apparently universal) dimension of psychologically produced subjectivity and childhood or human rights or racism.

This sort of awareness is fundamental to any historical project aimed at doing critical historical rather than descriptive or phenomenological work. Without such engagements with institutional materiality, we would be unable to follow Foucault's overarching objective "to create a history of the different modes by which, in our culture, human being are made subjects" (Foucault, 1982: 208). A particularly useful strategy for showing-up the different ways that such subjects are constituted is a focus on historical reversals in the archive.

 

REVEALING REVERSALS: THE CASES OF GERT VAN ROOYEN AND FANWELL KHUMALO.

Foucault's analytical principle of reversal (1981), needed to "tie discourse to the motives and operations of a variety of power-interests beyond the level of the individual text" (Hook, 2005: 9) was best illustrated in the paedophile study by juxtaposing two high-profile cases of paedophilia.

In 1989, six white female children disappeared from the streets of white South Africa, a country in the midst of political chaos. These early reports ushered in what was arguably to be the most powerful illustration of the relationship between race and paedophilia within South Africa's local conditions of possibility. The case of Gert van Rooyen as South Africa's most notorious paedophile saturated the media from 1990 to 1994 (Bowman, 2010). Never were the deeply individualising and pathologising discourses more clearly articulated in the history of the South African paedophile than in media and forensic constructions of Van Rooyen. Indeed, psychiatrists consistently demonstrated that the psychopathy underlying paedophilia was one of the most severe and untreatable forms of psychopathology (Robertson, 1989).

The "van Rooyen case" and its place in the genealogy of the paedophile is an important illustration of the way that effective histories must resist the temptation to respect conventional psychological analyses that privilege the subject in history. Read as a subject, van Rooyen could be easily dismissed as an anomalous manifestation of human evil or even a monster (D'Arcy, 1996). However read as a key event, we are able to move this analysis into the political realm and in so doing allow the case to do political work. In the context of the paedophile study the van Rooyen case provided a clear example of the convergence of the whiteness, badness and madness that provided the discursive logic for the emergence of the South African paedophile. However, we could not regard this event as either a significant starting or end point in our genealogy. In the context of the genealogical analysis "we need to oppose teleological explanations" (Hook, 2005: 10) that often universalise or finalise a reading of the historical object. Focusing on the different types of transformations and indeed reversals in the discursive logic of the South African paedophile of 1989 went some way to challenging these forms of foreclosure.

In terms of this principle, we were compelled to once again trace the figure of the seemingly well consolidated paedophile of apartheid through the changing bio-political landscape of the country's new democracy in which the white lines that guided the logic of the apartheid paedophile began to broaden considerably. Evidence for this claim was provided by the publications of a set of new texts (Sacoor & Wagstaff, 1992; Dawes & Donald, 1994; Lockhat & van Niekerk, 2000) that emphasised the vulnerability and value of black childhood in a rapidly democratising South Africa. Other texts on paedophiles and child abusers reversed earlier constructions of the figure as a particular type by proclaiming that: "There is no profile that is applicable across the board. Perpetrators have all sorts of different appearances, physically and emotionally. It may be convenient to lump them with poverty, mental illness and poor parenting but often perpetrators hide behind the pillars of society, working as high court judges, priests, child-care workers and doctors" (Marshall & Herman, 1998: 17).

The tipping-point for the full reversal of the construction of the figure of the paedophile was pronounced in 2004 when the South African media reported the discovery of one of the nation's worst paedophiles. In a marked reversal of the discursive logic that bound the preciousness of white children to the sophisticated white psychology of their male custodians, new conditions of possibility had been produced for the birth of a new type of paedophile. During this new event, Fanwell Khumalo, a black male received both the label and the punishments that had been the preserve of white men in apartheid South Africa (Bowman, 2010). By highlighting this inversion of logic and juxtaposing the van Rooyen and Khumalo cases against the pre-apartheid scientific findings that "the true paedophilic type [...] does not seem to occur" in "Bantu" populations (Laubscher, 1937: 271), we are doing critical history. In pitting our materials against each other and reading them into material conditions and beyond their textuality we are able to fragment the objects that maintain an undue integrity in many hermeneutic and phenomenological studies and broader historical work. Surfacing these sorts of reversals in the AAP will certainly go some way to forcing its researchers to think carefully about the integrity of their objects of interest in the archive.

 

CONCLUSION: THE CRITICAL PROMISE OF GENEALOGICAL ANALYSIS.

Although confined to a partial overview of some of the key findings of an exhaustive genealogical analysis of the South African paedophile (for a full overview of the findings, see Bowman (2010)), we hope that the above extracts do well to illustrate some of the more critical and interesting implications of applying the genealogical method to the apartheid archive or more precisely constituting a counter-history of apartheid. Notwithstanding the implied value of the AAP, we suggest that genealogy may provide a useful or supplementary method for both constituting and reading the apartheid archive. By way of summary we highlight some of the problems discernible in constituting an apartheid archive through the privileged solicitation of narratives and offer some suggestions for extending the vision, data and possible methods of analysis of the project.

Genealogy is explicitly a form of critique, a method aimed at doing political work. Thus its modus operandi stands in strong opposition to accounts of history that attempt to surface a long-repressed subjectivity in the present. In this sense, genealogy is loathe to describe things as they are or as they were experienced in the present-tense. Without question, such projects are valuable in as much as they offer some measure of alterity to the grand narratives of history but their reliance on solicited or volunteered accounts via a call for narratives, such is the case with the AAP imply a series of political and methodological constraints. The most pressing of these concerns the centring of the subject as a source of primary data subjected to largely narrative-based analyses. Delimiting data to solicited narratives and possible methods of analysis to the ambit of text-based possibilities implies two central problems. Firstly, appeals to the narrative of the subject as data constrains its subsequent readings to a quasi-relativism of sorts. Because in its current form, the AAP project is aimed at documenting and understanding the various ordinary subjects of apartheid, it is difficult to move beyond the project from the descriptive or perspectival into the political realm of the event, by which we imply a more developed critique of objects of knowledge, their historical and political emergence, their strategic use, their contingency, their empirical pre-history and conditions of possibility. Likewise, with photographs and narratives as the primary sources of data in the archive, it is difficult to move beyond an analysis of the symbolic into the realm of the contrasting and historically located power/knowledge networks of which these narratives may be instruments and effects. In short, in its current form the AAP may be easily dismissed as a phenomenological rather than a political project that is only useful in offering windows into the worlds of apartheid's subjects.

Conversely, some of Foucault's genealogical principles outlined and illustrated in the above study perhaps allow for a more critical and political engagement with the apartheid archive more broadly. Read outside of the genealogical frame the narrative texts that the AAP has collected thus far may be read as important and valuable. However, without an analysis that emphasises materiality, the importance of descent and emergence and guarding against presentism and finalism, these narratives stand as evidence of post-apartheid discourse not apartheid history. It is therefore important to think not only about how different forms of data could be included in the archive, but how different methodological injunctions could be brought to bear in successive stages of data collection and analysis. At the point of writing, valuable linkages to other archives and materials are being incorporated as data for the project. Some of the materials alluded to above that proved valuable to the study of the paedophile included maps, letters, newspaper articles, medico-legal reports, housing blueprints and a variety of other empirical sources so often overlooked in history-making. The AAP should consider linking to or calling for the submission of these sorts of materials in the future. This layering of diverse different textual elements - anonymous, institutional documents, news-media reportage, and the like could then be read against the backdrop of extra-discursive features of the materiality of everyday apartheid practice.

In contrast to the procedures of traditional history, and perhaps the AAP in its current form, we were highly suspicious of our object of analysis. Additionally and perhaps most importantly, we have shown that the paedophile, rather than taking its part alongside various other procedures of knowledge, was a critical and constituent element of the human sciences that birthed it. As is the case with Foucault's own genealogical projects our analysis of the South African paedophile has through an application of a set of genealogical coordinates shown that the paedophile was not discovered but constituted through procedures that idealised a particular type of South African childhood. Our analysis attempted to move beyond an exploration of the subject positions of race and racism toward an account of the historical conditions of possibility for the production of such subjects and racism as historical objects in apartheid's power/knowledge networks. This tier of explanatory utility is enabled by access to a wide array of materials and an injunction to move beyond the confines of the text, both of which would make welcome extensions to the current scope and vision of the Apartheid Archive Project in its current form.

 

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1 Hook (2001; 2005) provides a close reading of these texts.
2 These figures should be read cautiously as they were not analysed as proportions of overall publication trends in the respective databases.