University of KwaZulu-Natal's Gender Studies Programme, the first
academic department of its kind in South Africa has a rich history. The
Programme has seen momentous evolution over the past two decades. It was
established in 1988, and then known as Women Studies under the old
University of Natal, Durban campus. The History Department of the time
hosted the Programme. At one stage the Programme was also associated
with a Gender Research Group, which consisted of individuals from the
old University of Natal, Durban campus and the old University of
Westville. Through this collaboration the merger of the two universities
(now known as the University of KwaZulu-Natal) was long heralded.
Gender Studies Programme is a vibrant interdisciplinary academic
program that participates in a wide range of research, teaching and
community service activities. We focus on intersectional approaches to
the study of gender, race, class, and sexuality within the African
continent and beyond
What is Gender Studies?
Gender Studies is a multi-discipline
that incorporates a variety of questions, problems, theories, and
methods in the analysis of structures, operations, relations, and
representations of gender. Amongst other sources, the discipline draws
upon several decades of work which has been informed by women issues
studied within the women studies field. The discipline uses diverse
methodologies, theories, and knowledge(s) that aim to examine gender
within a number of interrelated areas and practical case.
Both men and women are socialized in
many oppressive ways. At Gender Studies we seek to unpack and understand
this fact. Our approach to the discipline is a focus on gender,
subjectivity, sexualities, and related cultural discourses. We pose
questions by employing a rich array of more specific topics, including:
cultural constructions, health, subjectivity, sexual behaviors,
ideologies, policy and regulation, race, class, religion etc.
The Gender Studies Programme has 3 main
members, 2 research fellows as well as 5 affiliate members whose
expertise in gender studies is enhanced by their specialization in the
performance arts, anthropology, philosophy, sociology, political
science, and comparative literatures.