Grassroots Literacy and the Written Record A Textual History of Asbestos Activism in South Africa Author: John Trimbur

Hardback - 200 pages
Related Formats:
30 Apr 2020
Studies in Knowledge Production and Participation
Multilingual Matters
234 x 156


This book examines how asbestos activists living in remote rural villages in South Africa activated metropolitan resources of representation at the grassroots level in a quest for justice and restitution for the catastrophic effects on their lives caused by the asbestos industry.  It follows the Asbestos Interest Group (AIG) over a fifteen-year period through its involvement in grassroots research, in legal cases and in the compensation systems for asbestos-related disease.  It examines how the AIG became grassroots technicians of translocal paperwork, moving texts back and forth between periphery and center, pushing documents through the textual mazeways of the courts, medical institutions, the compensation system and various government agencies.   The book addresses rhetorical mobility and the extent to which, given the AIG’s position on the periphery, it has been able to enter the voices and interests of villagers into formerly inaccessible forums of deliberation and decision-making.

Author Biography:

John Trimbur teaches rhetoric and writing studies at Emerson College, USA. His research interests include cultural studies of literacy, translingualism and the politics of language in South Africa.

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional

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