Dr Patricia (Patti) C. Henderson
B Soc Sc (MA) Anthropology – University of the Witwatersrand
PhD Anthropology – University of Cape Town
Tel: +27 (0)46 6037414
Research Interests: Medical anthropology; anthropology of creativity and performance; gender and sexuality; childhood and youth studies; anthropology of the senses.
Theoretical interests: Phenomenology and embodiment; ethics
Dr Patricia Henderson studied anthropology at the Universities of the Witwatersrand and Cape Town, and was offered a post-doctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. She has conducted ethnographic research in Botswana and in Limpopo Province; New Crossroads, Cape Town and Okhahlamba, KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. Having taught anthropology at the Universities of Cape Town, Johns Hopkins and Stellenbosch, she now teaches at Rhodes University. Her fields of interest include anthropological approaches to the study of children and youth, medicine and healing, gender and sexuality, and creativity and performance. The theoretical and philosophical approaches that inform her work include phenomenology, the anthropology of the senses, theories of embodiment, and the examination of language and silence in the face of the exigencies of everyday life. She is interested in how sociality within the context of inequalities and oppressions is formed, unravelled, reformed and transcended.
An exploration of figures of the child and how they are deployed in global discourse.
The manner in which children and youth shape social, economic and political worlds in ways that are often unacknowledged.
Finding inventive methods of attending to and documenting the everyday lives of children and youth.
Exploring children and youths’ creative genres, and in particular children’s song.
Writing about creativity and self-stylization in relation to contemporary South African artists through exploring the work of Gregory Maqoma, Zanele Muholi, Mary Sibanda and Nicholas Hlobo and relating it to theories of potentiality, hope, desire and futurity.
Tracing the lives of people living with and alongside HIV/AIDs in Okhahlamba, KwaZulu-Natal.
Writing about young people’s relationship with the environment in which they lived in Okhahlamba during a time of AIDS.
Undergraduate Teaching - The theory and practice of ethnography
Postgraduate Teaching - Contested childhoods; The politics of performance
Honours students supervised:
Kerry Leigh Snodgrass (University of Cape Town, 2010). Water-bodies and Anti-bodies: Perceptions of Water among Children in Mandela Park, with distinction.
Naomi Marshak (University of Cape Town, 2010). “It’s a whole latter you could write”: Unravelling narratives of child vulnerability in the context of HIV/AIDS, with distinction.
Farrah Theresa Schwab (University of Cape Town, 2011). Movement as language, Language as Movement: An Ethnographic Exploration into Integrative Dance, with distinction.
Masters students co-supervised:
Marina Chichava (University of Cape Town, 2011). Journeys to health: Middle-class Mozambican women assess healthcare service delivery in Mozambique and South Africa.
Post-graduate students currently under supervision
Tiffani Brown (anthropology-honours). Children in Pienaarsig: Social worlds and their limits.
Work in progress: Journeying through Landscape and Courtship among Orphans in a Context of HIV/AIDS.
2012. A kinship of Bones: AIDS, Intimacy and Care in Rural KwaZulu-Natal. Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press. (First published in 2011 under the title: AIDS, Intimacy and Care in Rural KwaZulu-Natal: A Kinship of Bones. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.)
Chapters in books:
Forthcoming: Pendlebury, S.; Henderson, P. and Jamieson, L. Unsettling notions of participation: a view from South Africa. In Tisdall, K.; Gadda, A.; and Butler, U (eds.) Children and Young People’s Participation: Cross Country Perspectives. Palgrave.
Forthcoming: New directions in child and youth research in Africa. In Massart, G. and Ntarangwi, M. (eds.), Engaging Children and Youth in Africa: Methodological and Phenomenological Issues. Dakar: CODESRIA.
2013. Ukugana: Informal marriage and children’s rights discourse among rural ‘AIDS-orphans” in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, pp. 29-49. In Hanson, K. and Nieuwenhuys, O., Reconceptualizing Children’s Rights in International Development: Living Rights, Social justice and Translations. New York: Cambridge University Press.
2003. Isolo Bantwana (Eye on the children): Community volunteers, social work and surveillance in processes of child protection. In Burman, S. (ed.), The Fate of the Child: Legal Decisions on Children in the New South Africa, pp 59-83.Cape Town: Juta.
2003. Questions on fostering: An anthropologist's perspective. In Burman, S. (ed.), The Fate of the Child: Legal Decisions on Children in the New South Africa, pp. 9-31. Cape Town: Juta.
1998. Tracing Fragility in Families: Children’s reflections on mobility. Compiled conference proceedings of the conference, In View of School – Preparations for and Adjustment to School under Rapidly Changing Social Conditions, Goethe Institute, Johannesburg in Cooperation with The School of Psychology, University of Natal 13-16 November. Johannesburg: Goethe Institute.
1996. Communication and Corporal Punishment: Beatings as a standard form of Admonishing children in New Crossroads' Households. In L.E. Glanz & A. D. Spiegel, (eds.) Violence and Family Life in a (sic) Contemporary South Africa: Research and Policy Issues, pp. 61-88. Pretoria: Human Science Research Council (HSRC) Cooperative Programme on Marriage and Family Life.
Commissioned research reports
2011. Vhutshilo Mountain School: A social study of a rural paediatric antiretroviral programme. South Africa. Melbourne: Oxfam Australia.
2002. Annotated Bibliography on Childhood, with Emphasis on Africa: Outline, General Findings and Research Recommendations. Monograph Series. Dakar: Codesria.
2013. AIDS, metaphor and ritual: The crafting of care in rural South African childhoods. Childhood 20(1):9-21.
2011. Patricia Henderson, Shirley Pendlebury & Kay M Tisdall. Theorising children’s participation: Transdisciplinary perspectives from South Africa. Perspectives in Education 29(8):1-6.
2011. Theorising creative expression in children’s participation. Perspectives in Education 29(8):18-26.
2006. South African AIDS orphans: Examining assumptions around vulnerability from the perspective of rural children and youth. Childhood, 13(3):303-327.
2005. Mortality and ethics of qualitative rural research in a context of HIV/AIDS. Anthropology Southern Africa, 28 (3&4): 78-90.
2005. A gift without shortcomings: Healers negotiating the intersection of the local and global in the context of HIV/AIDS. Social Dynamics: Special issue: AIDS and Healing Strategies in South Africa, 31(2): 24-54.
2004. The vertiginous body and social metamorphosis in a context of HIV/AIDS. Anthropology Southern Africa, 27(1&2): 43-53.
1994. Silence, Sex and Authority: the contradictions of Young Girl's Sexuality in New Crossroads, Cape Town. In Women and Autonomy (VENA) Journal, 6 (2). Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam Press.
2013. Creativity and the call to lie: Self-stylization, memory and potentiality in Gregory Maqoma’s dance piece, Exit/Exist. Life and Mutuality Panel presentation at the Mutuality and its Limits, anthropology southern Africa 2013 Annual conference.
2009. Affinity in the presence of death: HIV/AIDS, courtship and informal marriage in
KwaZulu-Natal. SANORD theme group seminar: “Gender, generation and family practices”, Mont Fleur, Stellenbosch, Cape Town, 23-27 November.
2009. New Frontiers in Child and Youth Research in Africa. New Frontiers in Child and Youth
Research in Africa, Douala, Cameroun 25-27 August. Hosted by CODESRIA.
2009. Corrective ritual, temporality and personhood within a context of HIV/AIDS: The case of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Sawyer Seminar on Personhood, University of Cape Town 5-7 August.
2009. ‘Ukugana’: Informal marriage and children’s rights discourse among ‘Aids-orphans’ in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Living Rights Conference. IUKB, Sion Switzerland, 1920 January.
2008. ‘Care in the Face of Death’, Anthropology Southern Africa annual conference, University of Western Cape, September 2008.
2008. South African AIDS orphans: Examining assumptions around vulnerability from the perspective of rural children and youth. Master of Advanced Studies in Children’s Rights. Institut Universitaire Kurt Bosch, Sion, Switzerland. September 2008.
2007. Journeying through landscape: Rural children's relationship with the natural environment in a context of HIV/AIDS. Panel on Local Knowledge and learning: Interdisciplinary perspectives from South Africa. 14th International Conference on Learning, 26-29 June 2007. University of the Witwatersrand.
2006. Journeying through landscape: Phenomenological explorations of environment amongst rural AIDS orphans. Panel on postcolonial childhoods at the IUES/PAAA/ASnA International Congress/Conference: A joint meeting of the Association of Anthropology Southern Africa, the Pan African association of Anthropology and the International Association of Anthropology. ‘Transcending Post-colonial Conditions: Towards Alternative modernities.’ University of Cape Town, 3-7 December 2006.
2006. ‘A gift without shortcomings’: Healers negotiating the intersection of the local and global in the context of HIV/AIDS. Panel on citizenship and health at the IUES/PAAA/ASnA
International Congress/Conference: A joint meeting of the Association of Anthropology Southern Africa, the Pan African association of Anthropology and the International Association of Anthropology. ‘Transcending Post-colonial Conditions: Towards Alternative modernities.’ University of Cape Town, 3-7 December 2006.
2006. Cattle and wood: Journeying, landscape and courtship amongst orphans in the context of HIV/AIDS. Guggenheim Foundation Workshop on Children and Violence, Ascona, Switzerland, August 2006.
2005. ‘A gift without shortcomings’: Healers negotiating the intersection of the local and the global in a context of HIV/AIDS. Paper presented at the Symposium on AIDS and Citizenship
in Southern Africa, Gordon’s Bay, 11-13 December 2005, hosted by the University of Stellenbosch, and the University of the Western Cape.
2005. ‘We are the Leaders of Tomorrow’: Examining assumptions around vulnerability in relation to South African AIDS Orphans from the Perspective of Rural Children and Youth. Paper presented at the International conference, Children and Youth in Emerging and Transforming Societies, University of Oslo, Norway, 29th June to 3rd July 2005.
2005. Mortality and Ethics of Qualitative Rural Research in a Context of HIV/AIDS, paper presented at interdepartmental seminar hosted by The Centre for HIV/AIDS Networking (HIVAN), University of KwaZulu-Natal, on the 29th of September, 2005.
2004. The Application of Theoretical Trends in Qualitative Childhood Research: the case of rural ‘orphans’ in Okhahlamba, South Africa, in the context of HIV/AIDS. Paper presented at the Child and Youth Research Forum hosted by The Centre for HIV/AIDS Networking (HIVAN), the University of KwaZulu-Natal, 26th -27th November 2004.
2004. The vertiginous body and social metamorphosis in the context of HIV/AIDS presented At the Life and Death in a Time of AIDS: the Southern African Experience, 14th -16th October 2004, co-hosted by the WITS Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER), University of the Witwatersrand, and CRESP, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), University of Paris in collaboration with the Centre for Health Policy, University of the Witwatersrand.
2003. Response paper to Veena Das and Pamela Reynolds’ 'The Child on the Wing: Children negotiating the everyday in the Geography of Violence.' 15 November 2003, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.
June 2002. ‘Silence: Children’s Sexuality in New Crossroads’. Internal seminar, Department Of Social Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University.
November 2001. ‘Ethical Parenthood: Questions from an anthropological perspective’. Presented at Forms of the Local, a joint seminar series of the School of Public Health and the Department of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University.
November 2001. ‘Silence: Children’s Sexuality in New Crossroads’. African Studies Seminar, University of Chicago.
2000. ‘Worker Theatre in KwaZulu/Natal in the 1980s’. Paper delivered at the Hemisphere Institute of Performance and Politics Symposium, performance and politics in the Americas, July 3-15, University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
2000. ‘Ethical Parenthood: Questions from an anthropological perspective’. Paper delivered At the Socio-legal Conference, 8-10 February, University of Cape Town. (The paper critically examines social work discourse in relation to informal patterns of child-care in Sub-Saharan Africa.)
1998. ‘Tracing Fragility within Families: Children’s reflections on mobility’. Paper delivered At the conference, In View of School – Preparations for and Adjustment to School under Rapidly Changing Social Conditions (see above).
1996. ‘Self-Mapping, Memory and Wider Struggles through Song: a performance/paper’. Delivered at the Faultlines Conference: re: remembering, re: collecting, re: constructing: A Rejoinder, 4-5th July, Breakwater Lodge, School of Business University of Cape Town. The conference was convened by Jane Taylor, Department of English, University of the Western Cape.
1993, 1995. ‘House and Street as Locales: Construction of Landscape in New Crossroads’. Unpublished paper on the meanings given to, and occupation of space by children in New Crossroads, Cape Town. The paper was delivered at the Social Anthropology Seminar, University of Cape Town, 1993; at the Critical Views Seminar Series, African Studies Department, University of Cape Town, 1993, and at the multi-disciplinary international conference, Building Identities, Gender Perspectives on Children and Urban Space, the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, April 11-13, 1995.
1991, 1992. ‘Songs in Civil War: Pietermaritzburg, 1984 to 1989’. Unpublished paper presented at the 1991 Ethno-musicology Symposium at Rhodes University, Grahamstown and for students in the Education Department at the University of Stellenbosch in the same year. The paper was presented for a public audience at Natal University, Durban on the 24th of August 1992.
Last Modified: Wed, 10 May 2017 13:00:27 SAST