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 Dr. Bradley Rink

Position: Senior Lecturer
Department: Department of Geography
Faculty: Faculty of Arts
Qualifications: BA (St. Johns University, USA); MA (University of
Vermont, USA); PhD (UCT)
Tel: +27 21 959 2626
Fax: +27 21 959 3422


 I am a human geographer, focusing my research and teaching on tourism, mobilities, and urban place-making.  I completed my PhD in Environmental and Geographical Science at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2008, and began my work at UWC in 2015, coming from UCT where I lectured within the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science (EGS).

My interest in tourism geographies began with research toward my MA and continues to the present day.  The results of my masters research, focused on a Swedish-American heritage site in the American State of Illinois where I was born, illustrate the use of historical narrative in forming the utopian community and in later promoting it as a heritage site.  I carried this focus forward with fieldwork performed in 2007-2008 in Cape Town’s De Waterkant enclave.  In that research I contributed to an understanding of the mediation of urban quarters—how they shift and change in both material and discursive ways—and their utopian/dystopian outcomes.  Emerging from the broader project was a critical analysis of tourist maps through my study of Cape Town’s Pink Map that formed an important entry-point to the understanding of De Waterkant.  My (2013) chapter from the edited volume Tourism in the Global South brought this work to a wider audience.  Continuing my contribution toward a critical understanding of tourism in our African context, I have co-authored a piece to be included in the forthcoming Springer Encyclopedia of Tourism, to be published in 2015. 

My focus on the urban context emerges from mobilities research and teaching that is grounded in the social aspects of moving in and through the city.  I am concerned with the relational aspects of people, objects and ideas in/around the urban environment.  Empirically I am currently engaged in research that aims to better understand pedestrian mobilities in Cape Town, and its contribution to our understanding of the city, urban dwellers and their livelihoods. 


Journal Articles

Rink, Bradley (2017). Mobile heterotopia: Movement, circulation and the function of the university, Kronos, 43(1): 137-151.

Rink, Bradley. (2017). The aeromobile tourist gaze: Understanding tourism ‘from above’, Tourism Geographies, 19(5): 878-896.

Rink, Bradley and Gamedze, Asher.  (2016). Mobility and the City Improvement District: Frictions in the Human-capital Mobile Assemblage, Mobilities, 11(5): 643-661. DOI: 10.1080/17450101.2015.1053716

​Rink, Bradley. (2016). Race and the Micropolitics of Mobility: Mobile Autoethnography on a South African Bus Service. Transfers, 6(1): 62-79, DOI:10.3167/TRANS.2016.060106

Rink, Bradley. (2016). Quartering the city in discourse and bricks: Articulating urban change in a South African enclave, Urban Forum, 27(1): 19–34, DOI: 10.1007/s12132-015-9270-8

Sarmento, João and Rink, Bradley (2015). ‘Africa, tourism, In Jafari, J. and Xiao, H. (eds), Springer Encyclopedia of Tourism, Springer, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-01669-6_230-3.

Rink, Bradley and Rodriguez, Karen.  (2011). Performing cities: Engaging the high-tech fneur. Frontiers. Vol. 20: 103-119.

Rink, Bradley. (2008). Community as utopia: Reflections on De Waterkant. Urban Forum 19 (2): 205-220.


Book Chapters

Rink, Bradley. (2017). Sojourn to the dark continent: Landscape and affect in an African mobility experience. In Doerr, N. and Taieb, H. (eds) The Romance of Study and Volunteering Abroad: Affect in the Experience of Border-Crossing, Oxford: Berghahn Books: pp. 93-113.

Rink, Bradley. (2013). Que(e)rying Cape Town: Touring Africa’s gay capital with the Pink Map. In Sarmento, J. and Brito-Henriques, E. (eds) Tourism in the Global South: Heritages, Identities and Development. Lisbon: Centre for Geographical Studies: 65-90.

Rink, Bradley. (Forthcoming). Between the spaces of field and home: Negotiating the borderlands of identity and the terrain of difference on the streets of Cape Town. In Jacobsen, A. and Farrell, L. (eds) Writing Fieldnotes in the Streets: Ethnographic Reflections on Conducting Fieldwork in Contemporary Urban Africa.

Book Reviews

Rink, Bradley. (2015). [Review of the book Migrant Women of Johannesburg: Life in an in-between city, by Caroline Kihato]. Refuge: Canada's Journal on Refugees, 31(2): 97-98.

Rink, Bradley. (Forthcoming). [Review of the book Cities of the Global South Reader, by Faranak Miraftab and Neema Kudva (eds)]. South African Geography Journal.

International Conference Papers (recent):

·         30 November-3 December 2017: International conference paper entitled 'Queer cartographies: Psychogeographic pink maps of Cape Town' presented at the Global Partnership for Better Cities Hong Kong Sandpit in Hong Kong.

·         31 August-1 September 2017: International Conference paper entitled 'Mobilising theory through practice: Mobile diaries as a teaching and learning tool' presented at the Royal Geographical Society in a session entitled Teaching Mobilities: Practice, Pedagogies, Power.  Organised by leading scholars in the field Peter Adey (Royal Holloway, University of London, UK); Simon Cook (Royal Holloway, University of London, UK); and Justin Spinney (Cardiff University, UK)A draft version of the paper can be found here.

·         27-29 October 2016: International conference paper entitled 'The aeromobile gaze: Tourism 'from above' in Cape Town 1932-2016' presented  at the International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility (T2M) in Mexico City, Mexico.·         14-17 September 2015: International conference paper entitled ‘Relational practice and micro-politics of mobility: Mobile auto-ethnography on a South African bus service’ presented at the joint Conference of the International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility (T2M) and the Cosmobilities Network in Santa Maria Capua Vetere (Caserta), Italy. Funded by UWC Senate Research Committee

Local  Conference Papers (recent):

·         28 September 2016: Paper entitled ‘Living with aeromobility: Relational geographies of flying and informality in Freedom Farm, Cape Town’ based on an article to be co-published with former honours student Lwando Klaas presented at the 10th Biennial Conference of the Society of South African Geographers.

·         23 August 2016: Paper entitled ‘Understanding internationalization inequalities through a new paradigm: Mobility, moorings, frictions and fixities’  presented at the Global Conference on The Internationalisation of Higher Education, organised by the International Education Association of South Africa. Conference funded by the Forum on Education Abroad (USA).

·         7 July 2016: Invited speaker, CHR Winter School for paper entitled ‘Obligations of presence: Mobility and network capital in the university of austerity’, presented at the Centre for Humanities Research Winter School 2016.




 Professional Affiliations/Networks:
• Global South Studies Center (University of Cologne)
• Rutgers University (USA) – Scholar in Residence, Global Urban Studies Program
• International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility (T2M)
• Research Committee 21 (RC21)
• Association of American Geographers
• Society of South African Geographers
• Forum on Education Abroad, Curriculum Committee (past Chair)

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