This seminar is a review of the dominant gender discourses in South Africa. Using Critical Discourse Analysis, I read dominant trends in sex/gender studies within the South African context from an Azanian Philosophy-informed perspective. I examine how dominant discourses on sex and gender in South Africa present, conceal and distort knowledge on indigenous sex/gender systems and/or modes of being. I situate this failure to address the persistent and unabated universalisation of Eurocentric sex/gender logics in the inability to read and interpret sex/gender systems from a decolonial perspective. In other words, the dominance of Eurocentricity in the field of sex/gender studies in South Africa signals the reluctance and failure to centre the fact of colonial conquest and its attendant cultural and epistemic imperialism in knowledge production and theorisation.
Palesa Nqambaza is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Studies, Wits University. Her research interests are in gender politics, with a particular focus on promoting Afrocentric alternatives to making sense of African modes of being and social organisation. Moved by the 2015 #RhodesMustFall moment in South African history, she has dedicated her scholarship to contributing toward Afrocentric knowledge-making. Palesa has lectured at top South African universities, including the University of Johannesburg, Wits University and Monash South Africa. She is a THInK, NIHSS and SSRC doctoral fellow.