Rhodes>Critical Studies>People>Staff> Ulandi du plessis

Ulandi du Plessis

Picture for Profile

Dr Ulandi du Plessis is Senior Researcher and Project Manager at the centre for Critical Studies in Sexualities and Reproduction (CSSR) at Rhodes University. She started at Rhodes University in 2007 studying towards a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Political and International Studies. 

For her postgraduate studies she was registered at the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER). Her Masters, (supervised by Robert van Niekerk) was on health systems and funding. Her PhD thesis, entitled Governing pregnancy in South Africa: Political and health debate, policy and procedures was supervised by Catriona Macleod.

The thesis entails a Foucauldian Discourse Analysis of South African health policy with a specific focus on maternal health policy 1994-present. Using the framework of governmentality, it investigates the knowledge/power relationships that belie the current rationality of governing pregnancy shaping maternal health policy and practices in South Africa. She received the British Psychological Society’s Psychology of Women and Equalities Section (POWES) and Feminism and Psychology Postgraduate Award for a paper submitted based on her doctoral thesis.

Her interests include governmentality studies, postcolonialism, health and illness, health policy, and reproductive health issues.Ulandi supervises students at the CSSR and has been researcher, lead, and/or project coordinator on a variety of local and international quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods projects in social policy, education, and health.

Some of her current and former studies:

Pregnancy supportability: enabling a holistic health systems response during/following COVID-19, CSSR-based study.

Lead and project coordinator: An assessment of abortion-seeking behaviours and preferences in rural communities of the Eastern Cape, South Africa funded by Marie Stopes South Africa.

Consultant: ‘Building Resilience: Education Opportunities in Fragile and Crisis Affected Environments’, European Commission-funded, University of Sussex-based project.

Consultant, Global Gag Rule Documentation Project, Phase II, funded by International Women’s Health Coalition, New York City.

Researcher, Eastern Cape Liquor Board study on alcohol use during pregnancy in the Eastern Cape.

Project coordinator: Pathways through University and into the Labour Market, Graduate Tracer Study[1], run by the Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit (NALSU formerly LMRU) and commissioned by the Human Science Resource Council (HSRC) and the National Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).[2]

Researcher and data worker: ‘Overcoming poverty through a culture of service: Building a culture of service in the Chris Hani Municipality’, Joint ISER and Chris Hani Institute Study.

Researcher: Effecting social citizenship through social policy: Policies, contestations and practices, SANPAD research project on social citizenship, Institute of Social and Economic Research.


Du Plessis, U, Sofika, D, Macleod, CI, Mthethwa, T (2018) Assessing the impact of the Expanded Global Gag Rule in South Africa: Report. Grahamstown, South Africa: Critical Studies in Sexuality and Reproduction, International Women’s Health Coalition. Report.

Du Plessis, U, Young, C, & Macleod, CI (2017) Harm Reduction Strategies in Alcohol Use and Abuse: A Critical Review of Interventions. Grahamstown, South Africa: Critical Studies in Sexuality and Reproduction, Rhodes University, Report.

Rogan, M, Reynolds, J, Du Plessis, U, Bally, R and Whitfield, K (2015) ‘Pathways through University and into the Labour Market: Report on a graduate tracer study from the Eastern Cape’, LMIP Report 18. HSRC, Department of Higher Education, South Africa.[3]


[1] http://lmip.org.za/document/pathways-through-university-and-labour-market-report-graduate-tracer-study-eastern-cape

[2] https://www.ru.ac.za/nalsu/research/




Last Modified: Wed, 01 Jul 2020 15:59:27 SAST