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Centre of African Studies: Research


Race, Taste and Power

In 2009, Paul Nugent will be engaged in researching a history of the South African wine industry with a Leverhulme Research Fellowship.

His research is entitled 'Race, Taste and Power: The Cape Wine Industry'.


Abstract of research proposal

A study of the Cape wine industry since 1960, focusing on KWV regulation, challenges to this system by estate producers in the 1980s and the remaking of the industry since the 1990s. Central themes are the effort to define a captive local market through advertising directed at white and Coloured consumers, and
the championing of the cause of fine wine that eventually led to the uprooting of old varietals and the planting of the noble cultivars. The role of farmers, judges, critics, regulators and consumers will be examined, all within the matrix of shifting power relations in South Africa.











Paul is intending to carry out his research by travelling to the Western Cape (Cape Town and surrounding rural districts): field research in winelands; archives (e.g. KWV. Distell) and newspaper libraries in Cape Town and Stellenbosch Pretoria: using national archival records relating to co-operative sector.





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