Spring 2004, pages 7 - 27The Rhetorical Space of Robben Island
Abstract: Drawing on the concept of rhetorical space, as described by Roxanne Mountford, this essay gives an account of Robben Island. A notorious South African prison, Robben Island was home to the majority of the apartheid government's high-profile political prisoners. After the transition to a democratic government in South Africa, the prison became a national heritage site. Documenting representative accounts of the space of Robben Island during and after apartheid, this essay elaborates the concept of rhetorical space, demonstrating the complex and dynamic interactions of spatial experience and rhetorical authority. In particular, the example of Robbern Island illustrates the ways in which space functions as a maleable rhetorical resource.