Monday, March 9, 2020
12:00pm – 1:00pm
McKinney Conference Room, Third Floor, 111 Thayer Street
In support of our community's continued health, if you are not feeling well for any reason, please consider staying home rather than attending the event. For up-to-date information, including campus travel restrictions, please visit the University’s COVID-19 Updates website.
This presentation examines the history and historiography of women’s engagement in popular politics in twentieth-century South Africa. Over the first half of the century, women’s combination of marginality from male-dominated politics and centrality to social life made women critical to a range of grassroots movements. Feminist scholars have demonstrated how contending visions of nationalism aimed at transforming the state through not only moments of protest, but also everyday transformations of social institutions. Women became central to both apartheid state-building and anti-apartheid politics, often by organizing in ways that shared much with older forms of organization: most strikingly, they continued to mobilize as mothers. While women’s grassroots activism enabled the survival of the anti-apartheid movement, an entrenched history of male leadership worked to women’s disadvantage in the democratic transition.