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Head of Department

Qualifications: BEd, MEd, (UZ), PhD (UWC)
Position: Departmenal Chair and Associate Professor (Convenor of WGS 211 Gender in SA politics & culture; Convenor of WGS 311 Gender & Development and Co-Convenor of WGS 321 Research Project)

Research specialisation

  • Contemporary gender issues; sexuality education; gender and development, gender based violence; young people and sexualities, photovoice as feminist praxis. Current research focuses on intersectionality; young women and work under neo-liberal globalisation; Gender and Sexualities.

Selected visiting scholar, scholar residences and teaching 

  • 2019: Visiting scholar to teach on UNU-GEST Programme, University of Iceland, Reykjavik
  • 2013: Visiting UMAPS Scholar: African Studies Centre/ International Research for Women and Gender. University of Michigan, USA (August- December).

Selected publications 

  • 2019: (co-written with T Shefer) Sexualities education in South African Schools: Deconstructing the dominant response to young people’s sexualities in contemporary schooling contexts. Sex Education, 19(4): 422- 435
  • 2019: Skills development and young women’s work in the call centre industry in South Africa. In A. Sey and N. Hafkin(eds).Taking Stock: Data and evidence on gender equality in digital access, skills and leadership. pp. 294-303. Macau. United Nations University.
  • 2018: Engaging in Photovoice -based research on a university campus: Young people's reflective experiences. In T Shefer, J. Hearn, K. Ratele and F. Boonzaier (eds). Engaging Youth in Activism, Research and Pedagogical Praxis).Transnational and Intersectional perspectives on gender, sex and race (pp.147-161). New York: Routledge
  • 2018: co-written with T, Shefer, & L. Clowes, Students’ narratives on gender and sexuality in the project of social justice and belonging in higher education. South African Journal of Higher Education, 32(3).139-153.
  • 2017: with T. Shefer, Young mothers parenting at school: Gendered narratives on family and care practices. In N. Mkhwanazi and D. Bhana (eds), Young Families: Gender, Sexuality and Care. Cape Town: HSRC Press.
  • 2016: co-written with T Shefer, & C. Macleod. ‘Girls need to behave like girls you know”: the complexities of applying a gender justice goal within sexuality education in South African schools. Reproductive Health Matters, (24), 71–78
  • 2015: with T Shefer,. “And I have been told that there is nothing fun about having sex while you are still in high school”: Dominant discourses on women’s sexual practices and desires within Life Orientation programmes at school. Perspectives in Education, 33(2), 67-76.
  • 2012: with D. Bhana, Teachers’ responses to pregnancy and young parents in schools. In R. Morrell, D. Bhana and T. Shefer (eds.), Books and/or Babies. Pregnancy and young parents in school (pp. 49-62). Cape Town: Human Science Research Council Press
  • 2011: ‘Positively pregnant: Teenage women’s experiences of negotiating pregnancy with their families’, Agenda, 25, 42-57.

Academic Staff

Qualifications: BA (Hons), MA (UCT), DPhil (UWC)
Position: Senior Professor (Convenor of WGS711; WGS806 (Feminist Research Methodologies); WGS736 and WGS836 [elective]; Co-convenor of WGS321)
Tel: +27 (021) 959 3360

Research Specialisation

I have foregrounded youth, gender and sexualities in my scholarship, including a focus on HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence, masculinities, pregnancy and sexuality education in schools. I have also researched memory and post-apartheid, gender and care, and social justice and critical, feminist pedagogies in higher education. I am currently interested in thinking about different ways of engaging critical scholarship, both research and pedagogical practices for intersectional gender justice.

I am currently PI on a 5-year Andrew W. Mellon foundation project entitled ‘New Imaginaries a critical humanities project on gender and sexual justice’.

Selected guest professorships, teaching and residencies

  • 2020 and 2017: Visiting Faculty to teach on UNU-GEST Programme, University of Iceland, Reykjavik 
  • 2019: Guest public lecture and research project meetings, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary and Ghent University, Belgium
  • 2018: Research project meetings and presentations at Universities of Linkoping and Orebro, Sweden.
  • 2017: Research project meetings and presentation at University of Bergen.
  • 2016: Resident Fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation, Bellagio, Italy.

Selected publications

  • 2020: Care ethics and relationality in re-imagining scholarship in/through feminist decolonial pedagogy and research. In V. Bozalek, M. Zembylas & J. Tronto (Eds), Posthuman and Political Care Ethics for Reconfiguring HigherEducation Pedagogies. London & New York: Routledge.
  • 2019: The International Handbook of Masculinity Studies. London: Routledge. Edited with L. Gottzén and U. Mellström
  • 2019: Socially Just Pedagogies in Higher Education: Critical posthumanist and new feminist materialist perspectives. London: Bloomsbury. Edited with  V. Bozalek, R. Braidotti, M. Zembylas.
  • 2019: A feminist politics of shame. Special edition of Feminism & Psychology, 29(2), guest edited with S. Munt, V. Bozalek and R. Carolissen.
  • 2019: with S. Ngabaza. Sexuality Education in South African schools: Deconstructing the dominant response to young people’s sexualities in contemporary schooling contexts. Sex Education, 19(4), 422-435.
  • 2019: Activist performance and performative activism towards intersectional gender and sexual justice in contemporary South Africa.  International Sociology, 34(4) 418–434.
  • 2019: ‘Troubling’ stories: thoughts on the making of meaning of shame/ful narratives in (post)apartheid South Africa. Social Dynamics. DOI: 10.1080/02533952.2019.1668620.
  • 2019: Introductory thoughts. In Donskis, L., Sabelis, I., Kamsteeg, F. & Wels, H. (eds), Academia in crisis: the rise and risk of neoliberal education in Europe (pp 1-10).  Leiden: Brill.
  • 2019: with D. Bhana. Gender, Culture and Sexuality: Young People’s Conceptualisations of ‘Queer’ in South Africa. In Kjaran, Jón Ingvar and Sauntson, Helen (Eds), Schools as Queer Transformative Spaces: Global Narratives on Sexualities and Genders. New York: Routledge.
  • 2019: Performative activism and activist performance: Young people engaging in decolonial feminist community psychology in contemporary South African contexts. In F. Boonzaier & T. Van Niekerk (eds), Decolonial Feminist Community Psychology (pp. 143-154). Basel: Springer Nature
  • 2018: Engaging Youth in Activism, Research and Pedagogical Praxis: Transnational and Intesectional perspectives on Gender, Sex, and Race.  New York: Routledge. Edited with J. Hearn, K. Ratele and F. Boonzaier.
  • 2018: Embodied pedagogies: Performative activism and transgressive pedagogies in the sexual and gender justice project in higher education in contemporary South Africa. In Bozalek, V., Braidotti, R., Shefer, T. & ., Zembylas, M. (Eds). Socially Just Pedagogies in Higher Education: Critical posthumanist and new feminist materialist perspectives (pp. 171-188). London: Bloomsbury
  • 2018: ‘Doing gender’ on campus: students’ experiences of normative practices of heterosex in South African higher educational contexts and some critical reflections on dominant responses. In Pattman, R. & Carolissen, R. (Eds), Transforming Transformation in Research and Teaching at South African Universities (271-289). Stellenbosch: SUN PRESS.
  • 2017: with Clowes, L & Ngabaza, S. Participating unequally: Student experiences at UWC. Education as Change, 21(2), 86-108. DOI: 10.17159/1947-9417/2017/2029.
  • 2017: with Ngabaza, S. Young mothers parenting at school: gender and heteronormativity in the shaping of family. In N. Mkwanazi & D. Bhana (eds). Young families: Gender, sexuality and care (pp. 147-161). Cape Town: HSRC Press.
  • 2016: Resisting the binarism of victim and agent: Critical reflections on 20 years of scholarship on young women and heterosexual practices in South African contexts. Global Public Health: An international journal for research, policy and practice, 11(1-2), 211-223.  DOI: 10.1080/17441692.2015.1029959.
  • 2015: Special issue: Life Orientation sexuality education and gendered norms, justice and transformation. Perspectives in Education, 33(2). Edited with C. Macleod & J. Baxen.
  • 2015: Special issue: Gender and Disability. Agenda, 104(29.2). Edited with K. Mohamed.
  • 2015: Special Issue: Men, masculinities and young people: North-South dialogues. NORMA: The International Journal for Masculinity Studies, 10(2). Edited with J.  Hearn& K. Ratele.
  • 2014: Care In Context: Transnational Gender Perspectives. Cape Town: HSRC Press. Edited with V. Reddy, S. Meyer & T. Meyiwa. 
  • 2012: Books and/or Babies: Pregnancy and young parents in school. Cape Town: HSRC Press.Edited with R. Morrell & D. Bhana.

Qualifications: BA (Hons), MA, PhD (UCT)
Position: Professor and Undergraduate Programme Coordinator (Convenor of WGS212 Intro to sex, gender & sexuality; WGS 321 Research Project)

Research specialisation

  • Historical representations of masculinities in SA media; sexuality and parenting; histories of feminist & gender studies in SA;
  • Current research explores masculinities and the politics of teaching gender in neo-liberal and postcolonial contexts; decolonial pedagogies

Qualifications: MA (Wits), MA (York), PhD (UCT)
Position: Professor and Postgraduate Programme Coordinator (Convenor of WGS731; WGS 832 (Feminist Theory) and WGS312 Gender & Embodiment)

Research Specialisation

I have had an abiding interest in diasporic women’s writing, popular, visual and literary culture in South Africa; postcolonial studies of feminisms; nexus of nationalism and gender; representations of sexualities. My recent work focuses on critical food studies and neo-liberalism’s impact on knowledge production, higher education and feminism.

I am currently the lead PI in a supra-national Mellon-funded Programme titled “Critical Food Studies: Transdiscplinary Humanities Approaches”. The Programme seeks to build research networks and enhance postgraduate research in a relatively new but expanding field. As a supra-institutional collaborative venture, the Programme brings together three research-intensive universities: Western Cape (UWC), KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and Pretoria (UP). The Programme focuses on research-driven outputs (including scholarly books, journal special issues, articles and open-access writings), postgraduate education, junior researcher mentoring, and a public humanities component. The programme also seeks to strengthen transdisciplinary humanities research capacity-building and foster research community.

To visit the programme's website, click here:

Selected Guest Professorships and Teaching

  • 2018 and 2019: Visiting Professor at African Gender Institute, UCT 
  • 2017: Marie Jahoda Visiting Professor, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany (January- April) 
  • 2017: International Course on Education for Political Educators, Escola Nacional Florestan Fernandes, Sao Paulo, Brazil 
  • 2013: Seminars and Guest Lectures at the Centre for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, New York University, (March-April) 

Selected Publications

  • 2020: “Nativism and African Performance”, Rai, S and Saward, M, eds. Politics and Performance. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (forthcoming) 
  • Co-edited with Gabeba Baderoon, Surfacing: On Being Black and Feminist in South Africa, Wits University Press (In production) 
  • 2020: “Governmentality and South Africa’s Edifice of Gender and Sexual Rights” in Journal of Asian and African Studies, 
  • 2019: “Revisiting Familyhood and Queer Belonging” in Morrison, T, Lynch, I and Reddy, eds. Queer Kinship. Unisa Press
  • 2018: Neo-liberalism and feminism in the South African Academy in Keilert, H. eds. Gender Studies and the New Academic Governance. Wiesbaden: Springer. 
  • 2017: (co-written with Cheryl Hendricks), “Epistemic Ruptures in South African Standpoint Knowledge-Making: Academic Feminism and the #FeesMustfall Movement” in Gender Questions. 
  • 2017: “Bodies, Matter and Feminist Freedoms: Revisiting the Politics of Food”, Agenda, 30,4. 
  • 2016: “Academy-Based Feminist intellectuals and the Nexus of state, globalization and civil society” in The Role of the State in Civil Society, Johannesburg: Real African Publishers 
  • 2013: ”Politics, Freedoms and Spirituality in Alaa al Aswani’s The Yacoubian Building, Journal for Islamic Studies, vol 33, pp100-125 
  • 2013: with Tigist Hussen and Monique van Vuuren, “Exploring New Media Feminist Technologies Among Young South African Women”, Feminist Africa, Issue 18. 
  • 2012: “Aesthetics and Identity in South African Fashion” in Moletsane, R, Mitchell, C and Smith, A, eds. Was it Something I Wore: Dress, Identity, Materiality. Cape Town: HSRC Press. 
  • 2011: “Representing African Sexualities” in Tamale, S, ed.African Sexualities: A Reader. Cape Town, Dakar, Nairobi and Oxford: Pambazuka Press), pp 119-217. 
  • 2011: “Writing Baartman’s Agency: History, Biography and the Imbroglios of Truth” in Gordon-Chipembere, N. ed. Representation and Black Womanhood. New York: Palgrave. pp101-120. 
  • 2011: Guest Editor of Social Dynamics, “Scripted Bodies” special issue 37, 2. 
  • 2011: Guest Editori of Agenda, special issue, “Gender, Sexuality and Commodity Culture” 25, 4. 
  • 2010: “Discursive Challenges for African Feminisms” in African Feminist Politics of Knowledge: Tensions, Possibilities, Challenges. Eds. Ampofo, Akosua and Arnfred, Signe, Uppsala: Nordic Africa Institute. 
  • 2009: “Gendered Spectacle: New Terrains of Struggle in South Africa” in Body Politics and Women Citizens – African Experiences, ed. Ann Schlyter, Stockholm: SIDA Studies. 2009. 
  • 2008: Rethinking Nationalism in Relation to Foucault's History of Sexuality and Adrienne Rich's “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence” in Sexualities, 11, 1/2 
  • 2007: Living on a Horizon: the Writings of Bessie Head Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press

Qualifications: BA, BA (Hons), MA, PhD (UWC)
Position: Lecturer (Co-convenor of WGS 211 Gender in SA politics & culture; WGS711; WGS806 [Feminist Research Methodologies])

Research specialisation

  • I have a keen interest in gender justice, gender equality, women in politics and gendered legislative reforms having worked in the Parliament of South Africa for 16 years. My interest in gender justice has led to my pursuit of research related to gender equality, happiness (subjective well-being). My research foregrounds feminist research methodologies, with a focus on qualitative and quantitative methodologies, as well as mixed methods research. I am currently a researcher on the Andrew W. Mellon foundation project entitled ‘New Imaginaries a critical humanities project on gender and sexual justice’

Selected visiting scholar; scholar residences and teaching

  • September 2018 - April 2020: Post-doctoral Fellow - Andrew W. Mellow New imaginaries for an intersectional feminist, queer project on gender and sexual justice

Selected publications

  • Rustin, C (2019). Surprise! Most women are happy. Weekend Argus, August 11.
  • Rustin, C (under review). What gender legislative reforms have meant for women in South Africa. Law, Development and Democracy.
  • Rustin, C (under review). Studying happiness in post-colonial, post-apartheid South Africa: theoretical and methodological considerations. New Tools for Transnational Analysis in Intersectional Feminist Research. Routledge.
  • Rustin, C (in progress). Surprising and not so surprising places to learn about equality and justice. In J Watson and O Nzewi (Eds) Striving for social equity.

Administrative Staff

Position: Administrative officer
Tel: +27 (021) 959 2234