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Mary Hames from the GEU will speak at the 2015 Nelson Mandela Lecture at Penn State

GEU’s Mary Hames to speak at 2015 Nelson Mandela Lecture at Penn State

Mary Hames, the director of the Gender Equity Unit at the University of the Western Cape, has been invited to be the speaker at the 2015 at the annual Nelson Mandela Lecture at Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) on 5 October 2015.

Hames is one of many prestigious academics who have been invited to speak at this event. Previous speakers include academic, author and the former director of African Studies at the University of Columbia and the University of Cape Town,Mahmood Mamdani, as well as Kwame Anthony Appiah, well-known philosopher, cultural theorist and novelist, to name a few.

Hames holds an MPhil in South African Political Studies and is currently pursuing her doctorate in Women’s and Gender Studies.

In her presentation, Women and Feminism in Post-Apartheid Narratives: Silences and Possibilities, Hames will make connections between women as both actual and metaphorical prisoners during and post apartheid, the paradoxes of silences versus hypervisibility of women, and she will also discuss the possibilities for revitalising feminist intellectual activism and the challenges that may face this objective.

The lecture is open to the public - and attendance is free for all.

Hames will not be travelling alone to Penn State - she will be joined by six UWC students for a performance of the award-winning play Reclaiming the P...Word. The UWC performers will be joining forces with two students from Iota Iota Iota (TRIOTA), the feminist student organisation at Penn State, to rehearse and perform the play in order to educate the broader Penn State community about combating sexual violence on college campuses.

The play centres around issues of violence against woman in a South African context, and focuses on “reclaiming our bodies and stories and telling them the way we want to tell them”, said Ms Hames.

“It is always an honour having your work recognised,” Hames says, adding that the interaction will allow students at Penn State to learn more about UWC, South Africa, and issues of gender, race and equality in the greater Cape Town area and South Africa at large.