[Podcast] What Happened to Cecil Rhodes’s Nose? with Hedley Twidle

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What Happened to Cecil Rhodes’s Nose? Issue [Podcast]

What Happened to Cecil Rhodes’s Nose?

On problematic statues and new approaches to writing about lingering historical trauma

There are many monuments to Cecil Rhodes, the mining magnate and politician who founded the DeBeers Company, around Cape Town, South Africa. These statues have been vandalized and reconstituted, respectively, by his detractors and supporters—the latter camp embedded a GPS device inside concrete within a replacement for a Rhodes statue’s decapitated head. In the December 2021 issue, Hedley Twidle, a professor at the University of Cape Town who teaches Nikolai Gogol’s story “The Nose” every semester, adopted a unique approach to this ongoing battle. In this episode, Twidle discusses the physical and political landscape that remains from Rhodes’s era, the frustrations of a long-unresolved history, and new approaches to writing and thinking about intergenerational traumas.

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