Thinking Through, Talking Back: Creative Theorisation as Sites
Art on our Mind panel discussion with Dr Sharlene Khan, Prof Pumla Dineo Gqola, Dr Yvette Abrahams, Prof Neelika Jayawardane and Dr Betty Govinden held as part of the the Colloquium ‘Six Mountains on her back’ (Re)reading African Feminisms at Rhodes University, 21-22 July 2017
An excerpt of the panel discussion was published by Dr Sharlene Khan in Agenda – Empowering women for gender equity 32:3, 2018 entitled: “Thinking Through, Talking Back: Creative Theorisation as Sites of Praxis-Theory” – A creative dialogue between Sharlene Khan, Pumla Dineo Gqola, Yvette Abrahams, Neelika Jayawardane and Betty Govinden. [pdf]
Find the biographies of the panelists below
VIDEO: Creative Theorisation as Site of Praxis-Theory Panel
AUDIO: Creative Theorisation as Site of Praxis-Theory Panel
TRANSCRIPT: Creative Theorisation as Site of Praxis-Theory Panel
I have worked at the University of Cape Town and the University of the Western Cape. I have consulted for both government and various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) on issues relating to gender equality in policy and practice. I have published widely both locally and internationally on various topics related to gender equality, queer theory, as well as the history of First Nations South Africans. At the Commission for Gender Equality, I was head of their programmes on poverty, energy and climate change. I am currently nominated Extraordinary Professor in the Department of Women and Gender Studies, University of the Western Cape, while I continue to consult for NGOs in the age of gender and climate change. My work at present focuses on food security, energy, and climate particularly indigenous economic plants (as they speak to economic development and climate resilience); and climate change economics. As part of that work, I realised that you can write a hundred papers and attend a thousand conferences, but nothing has the impact of actually practicing what you preach. So now I make organic carbon neutral soaps and oils, based on my many years of research and growing indigenous plants. I reckon one bar of soap does more to convince people of the need to act to end climate change than all my words.
Pumla Dineo Gqola
Pumla Dineo Gqola is a feminist author and Dean of Research at Fort Hare University. She works on African feminist imagination, slave memory, Black Consciousness literature, postcolonial literatures and cultures, post-apartheid public culture and feminist sexualities. She holds MA degrees from the Universities of Cape Town and Warwick, and a PhD from the University of Munich. Her books are: What is slavery to me? Postcolonial/Slave Memory in Post-apartheid South Africa(2010), A Renegade Called Simphiwe(2013), the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award for Non-Fiction winner for 2016, Rape: A South African Nightmare(2015) andReﬂecting Rogue: Inside the Mind of a Feminist(2017).
Devarakshanam (Betty) Govinden
Betty Govinden is a literary and educational scholar and poet. She is the author of the award-winning book ‘Sister Outsiders’: Representation of Identity and Difference in Selected South African Indian Women’s Writings(Unisa Press, 2008) and A Time of Memory: Reﬂections on South African Writing(Solo Collective, 2008).
Manori Neelika Jayawardane
M Neelika Jayawardane is Associate Professor of English at the State University of New York-Oswego, and an Honorary Research Associate at the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa (CISA), University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa). She is a recipient of the 2017 Creative Capital Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for a book project on the Afrapix photographers’ agency. She was a founding member of the online magazine, Africa is a Country, where she was Senior Editor and contributor from 2010-2016. Among published texts, Jayawardane recently contributed the introductory essay for the South Africa pavilion’s 57thVenice Biennale catalogue, and essays for The Walther Collection’s publication (2017) and other artists’ catalogues. Her writing is featured in Al Jazeera English, Transition, Aperture, Contemporary Art South Africa, Contemporary Practices: Visual Art from the Middle East, Even Magazine, andResearch in African Literatures.
Sharlene Khanis a South African visual artist and scholar. Khan uses masquerading as a decolonising strategy to interrogate the intersectionality of race, gender and class of her South African heritage, and the sociopolitical realities of a post-apartheid, post-colonial society. She holds a PhD in Arts from Goldsmiths, University of London and is currently a Senior Lecturer in Art History and Visual Culture at Rhodes University. She runs the NRF-Rhodes University funded visual arts project Art on our Mind, a bi-weekly black feminist reading group, and is co-convener of the Rhodes University African Feminisms (Afems) Conference.