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Rhodes > AGCLE > People > Darlene Miller

Darlene Miller

Research Focus:

Land and Agrofoods


Darlene Miller has recently joined the PLAAS program on Land and Agrofoods. Her past research on South African retail multinationals in Africa will position her to assist with research on the commercialisation of land and food systems in Africa. Darlene is a sociologist who lectured on Social Theory as well as Work and Labour in post-apartheid Southern Africa. She was a Senior Lecturer at Rhodes and Wits Universities. She completed her doctorate at Johns Hopkins University in Sociology. Her dissertation was on Labour and Shoprite, a South African retail multinational in Mozambique and Zambia after South Africa’s democratic elections. More recently she initiated a project called the Red Tent on Matriarchs and Women’s Leadership. The focus groups for the Red Tent project were produced as audiovisual research outputs and raise questions on ‘Regionality’ and democratic dispositions.

Darlene was a trade union activist in the early 1990s in her capacity as the National Education Coordinator for the South African Commercial and Allied Workers Union (SACCAWU). She participated in numerous civil society organisations in the student, youth and civic sectors in the 1980s. She was also the Director of the South African chapter of the Institute for African Alternatives (IFAA), a research and policy advocacy institute that focused on Africa and South Africa.

Darlene was also the Principal Investigator on a project on women's leadership called The Red Tent. The final report and video outputs for this report can be viewed on  http://m.youtube.com/#/user/HumanSciencesRCSA. RED TENT 1 - 6. More recently she has directed a documentary on African women farmers and land grabs in Africa called Speak, Lioness, Speak.

She has been a Research Fellow at various African and international bodies in Paris (International Social Science council, ISSC), New York (Human Rights Watch), Zambia, Mozambique and also has research experience in Egypt, Zimbabwe and South Africa. She has had an ongoing collaboration with CODESRIA (Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa) in various research initiatives, including a collaboration on South Africa in Africa through the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC). Most recently she was the Senior Advisor for the ISSC to the CEO of the HSRC. She is currently also a Senior Research Fellow at the Allan Gray Centre for Leadership Ethics (AGCLE) at Rhodes University.


PhD in Sociology, Johns Hopkins University


  1. Miller, D., 2013. How to change the world: Hobsbawm, Serageldin and languages of the future(No. 2), Democracy. Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Johannesburg.
  2. Miller, D., 2013. Understanding “Regionality” – Hidden “democratic dispositions” and women’s leadership in post-Apartheid Southern Africa (The Red Tent). Human Sciences Research Council, Cape Town.
  3. Miller, D., 2012. Sisonke said: Space Matters, and Politics is a Matter of Space. Presented at the OSISA Money, Politics and Sex Conference, International Convention Centre, Cape Town.
  4. Miller, D., Harris, P., 2012. The Red Tent – Regional Dispositions and Women’s Leadership in Post-Apartheid Southern Africa, in: Waiting to Be Heard: IFE Equity Report for Rio +20 Earth Summit. Presented at the Rio +20 Earth Summit, Initiative for Equality, Rio de Jainero.
  5. Miller, D., 2011. Changing African Cityscapes: Regional Claims of African labor at South African-owned Shopping Malls, in: Murray, M.J., Myers, G.A. (Eds.), Cities in Contemporary Africa. Palgrave Macmillan, New York.
  6. Bond, P., Miller, D., Ruiters, G., 2009. The Southern African Working Class: Production, Reproduction and PoliticsSocialist Register 37.
  7. Miller, D, 2008. Chinese vs African Renaissance: A match made in heaven or what? South African Labour Bulletin 32, 65.
  8. Miller, Darlene, 2008. “Retail Renaissance” or Company Rhetoric: The Failed Partnership of a South African Corporation and Local Suppliers in ZambiaTRAVAIL, Capital et Société 41.
  9. Miller, Darlene, 2008. Food Frontiers in Zambia: Resistance and Partnership in Shoprite’s Retail EmpireAt Issue Ezine 8.
  10. Miller, D., Nel, E., Hampwaye, G., 2008. Malling Africa? South Africa and retail expansion in Lusaka, Zambia. African Sociological Review 12.
  11. Miller, D., Nel, E., Hampwaye, G., 2008. Malls in Zambia: Racialised retail expansion and South African foreign investors in ZambiaAfrican Sociological Review/Revue Africaine de Sociologie 12.
  12. Miller, D., Saunders, R., Oloyede, O., 2008. African Perceptions and African Realities: South Africa’s Post-Apartheid Expansion in Africa: Introduction. African Sociological Review 12.
  13. Miller, D., Saunders, R., Oloyede, O., 2008. South African Corporations and post-Apartheid Expansion in Africa–creating a new regional spaceAfrican Sociological Review/Revue Africaine de Sociologie 12.
  14. Miller, D., 2006. “Spaces of resistance” – African workers at Shoprite in Maputo and Lusaka. Africa Development 31, 27–49.
  15. Miller, D., 2006. Shoprite in Maputo and Lusaka. Africa Development: Afrique Et Développement 31.
  16. Miller, D., 2005. India, Brazil, South Africa (IBSA) – can a global tripartite alliance work? South African Labour Bulletin 29.
  17. Miller, D., 2005. New regional imaginaries in post-Apartheid Southern Africa – retail workers at a shopping mall in ZambiaJournal of Southern African Studies 31, 117–145.
  18. Miller, D., 2005. Regional Solidarity and a New Regional Movement in Post-Apartheid Southern Africa: Retail Workers in Mozambique and ZambiaLabour, Capital and Society 38, 95–125.
  19. Miller, D., 2005. Solidarité régionale chez les travailleurs en l’Afrique australe durant la période post-apartheid: Les cas du Mozambique et de la ZambieTRAVAIL, Capital et Société38, 1–2.
  20. Miller, D., 2005. South Africa and the IBSA initiative?: constraints and challengesAfrica Insight 35, 52–57.
  21. Miller, D., 2005. South Africa and the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) initiative. Debate 11.
  22. Miller, D., 2004. África do Sul e o IBSA: constrangimentos e desafios. Cena Internacional 6.
  23. Miller, D., 2004. South African multinational corporations, NEPAD and competing spatial claims on Post-Apartheid Southern AfricaAfrican Sociological Review 8, 176–202.
  24. Miller, D., 2004. The South African multinational corporations, NEPAD and competing spatial claims on post-apartheid Southern Africa (Occasional Paper No. 40). Institute for Global Dialogue, Pretoria.
  25. Miller, D., 2003. Book review: Midlands, Johnny SteinbergPolitikon 30, 219–224.
  26. Miller, D., 2003. Malling or Mauling Africa. South African Labour Bulletin 27.
  27. Miller, D., 2003. A remarkable dispute – the June 2003 strike at Shoprite in Zambia. NALEDI, Johannesburg.
  28. Miller, D., 2003. NEPAD and SA Multinational Corporations in Africa: Whose “African Renaissance”? (Occasional Paper). International Labour Resource and Information Group, Cape Town.
  29. Manby, B., Miller, D., 2002. Fast Track Land Reform in Zimbabwe (No. 14(1)). Human Rights Watch (Africa Division), Johannesburg.
  30. Kippenburg, J., Miller, D., 2001. Uganda: Not a level playing field. Human Rights Watch (Africa Division), Johannesburg.
  31. Miller, D., 2001. Privilegzuniedrigem Standard - Die Arbeitbei Shoprite-Maputo. Afrikasüd 1.
  32. Bond, P., Miller, D., Ruiters, G., 2000. Regionalism, environment and Southern African class strugglesCapitalism Nature Socialism 11, 3.
  33. Maserumule, B., Miller, D., 2000. Understanding regionalism in post-apartheid South Africa.South African Labour Bulletin 24, 34–38.
  34. Miller, D., 2000. SA corporations and recolonisationSouth African Labour Bulletin 24, 14–19.
  35. Miller, D., 2000. Shoprite-Maputo a different “Renaissance” for workersSouth African Labour Bulletin 24, 20–26.


  1. Miller, D., 2013. Men and Women are Equal in God’s Eyes – So In Whose Name Do Men Rape? Filmmakers Against Women Abuse (FAWA), Encounters Documentary Film Festival, Cape Town.
  2. Miller, D., 2013. Trading Spaces – Bride walks Long Street and Photographs with Street Traders.
  3. Miller, D., 2012. The Red Tent 1- Rough Diamonds, who’s got your back?: Introduction to the Red Tent - Hypothesis and Methodology.
  4. Miller, D., 2012. The Red Tent 2 - Rough Diamonds, who’s got your back?: Occupy and Issues of Governance.
  5. Miller, D., 2012. The Red Tent 3 - Rough Diamonds, who’s got your back?: On Women’s Leadership.
  6. Miller, D., 2012. The Red Tent 4 - Rough Diamonds, who’s got your back?: On Motherhood, Marriage and Activism.
  7. Miller, D., 2012. The Red Tent 5 - Rough Diamonds, who’s got your back?: On identity.
  8. Miller, D., 2012. The Red Tent 6 - Rough Diamonds, who’s got your back?: Waiting to be heard.


Last Modified: Tue, 16 May 2017 15:29:49 SAST