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Research Areas

  • Land occupations in Shamva and Bindura

The Director of the Unit (Professor Kirk Helliker) and Dr Sandra Bhatasara, who graduated with a PhD in 2015 and lectures at the University of Zimbabwe, undertook research in May 2015 on the land occupations in Shamva District (Mashonaland Central Province) which took place in the year 2000.

The land occupations, which took place on a nation-wide basis and led to the Zimbabwean government’s fast track land reform programme, remain under-researched despite the considerable number of studies undertaken on the fast track land reform programme.

We have written two papers on the Shamva occupations, both of which are currently being prepared for submission to journals.

The papers are as follows:

  1. “Interrogating the Grand Narratives about Fast Track Land Occupations in Zimbabwe: the Case of Shamva District” presented at Unit for Humanities at Rhodes University (UHURU) Seminar, 12th August 2015.
  2. “A Commoning Perspective on the Fast Track Land Occupations in Shamva District, Zimbabwe” presented at Colloquium on “Class, Colonialism and the Commons: the case of Southern Africa”, Department of History, Rhodes University, 20th-21st August 2015.

We will be undertaking research on the land occupations in Bindura later this year (2016).

    • Autonomist feminism and land occupations in Zimbabwe

Professor Helliker, the Director of the Unit of Zimbabwean Studies, has recently finalised an article on an autonomist feminist perspective of the land occupations which took place in Zimbabwe starting in the year 2000. The article is co-written with Tarryn Alexander, a colleague of his in the Department of Sociology at Rhodes University.

The article is based on a conference paper titled “Autonomist Feminism, Commoning and Land Occupations in Zimbabwe” delivered at the Conference on Women, Autonomism and the Formation of the Commons: Latin American and African Experiences” at the University of Puebla in Mexico held in March 2015.

The article will appear in a special edition of the Journal of Contemporary African Studies. The special edition, for which Professor Helliker is co-editor, is on politics at a distance from the state.


Last Modified: Wed, 31 May 2017 13:58:49 SAST