On Wednesday, October 9th and Thursday, October 10th, Professor Christopher Lee presented his talk “The Night in Question: Event, Metaphor, History,” at the the Stellenbosch History Department and the Stias Seminar Series.

His presentation examines the ways in which the nighttime has informed the cultural history of South Africa. Drawing on an expansive range of archival material, including novels, memoirs, state documents, and visual evidence, this project suggests that the nighttime is both a cultural construction as well as a natural phenomenon that has shaped human agency in South Africa during the past two centuries (and before). The presentation concludes by arguing that the history of the nighttime provides a way of moving beyond established political narratives and revisiting “the ordinary” in South African life.