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Fellows

Nthabiseng Motsemme
Visiting Ford Fellow, 2006-2007

Nthabiseng Motsemme is a Ford Foundation fellow completing her PhD at the University of South Africa on Intergenerational experiences of Violence and Violation, bodies for Healing amongst mothers and daughters in Chesterville Township, KwaZulu-Natal [South Africa]. Her study is an investigation of the lifeworlds of mothers who bear children, endure and survive political repression, and daughters who embody these memories of the past, but must negotiate their own particular alternative experiences in a time of democracy and AIDS. In drawing us to the lived worlds of these women in urban ghettoes, Motsemme wants us to understand how these women conceptualize violation and ultimately healing for themselves.

During her time at the Center she will be conducting further research for her PhD, presenting and participating in seminars at the center, as well as the Womens and Gender Studies and African and Black Diaspora Studies programs.

Nthabisengs general research interests include Womanist and Black Feminist theory, as well as Cultural theories. She has published on issues focusing on gender and memory at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission [TRC]; and identities in transition after the death of political apartheid. Some of her publications include:

  • Motsemme, N. Loving in a time of hopelessness: On township womens subjectivities in a time of HIV/AIDS." Chapter contribution for book volume entitled: Basus imbokodo Bawel imilambo: Women making history in South Africa. A Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) Project (in press).
  • Motsemme, N (2004) The meanings of silence in Rhodes Journalism Review, Vol 24.
  • Motsemme, N (2004) The mute always Speak: On womens silences at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Current Sociology, Vol. 52 (3), 909-932.
  • Motsemme, N (2003) Distinguishing beauty, creating distinctions: The politics and poetics of dress among Black women in Agenda, Vol. 57, 12-18.
  • Motsemme, N (2003) Black Womens Identities, in K. Ratele and N. Duncan (eds.) Social Psychology: Identities and Relationships (Cape Town: UCT.)

Dr. Angela Winand
Visiting Faculty, 2003-2004

Angela Winand received her Ph.D. in American Culture from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her dissertation entitled, Weighed Upon a Scale: African-American Women, Class and Consumer Culture in New Orleans and Washington, D.C., 1880-1950, is a study of the activist and literary careers and published short stories of Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Mary Church Terrell's autobiography and a reading of the diary of Nellie DeSpelder, a university professor. It is a study in issues of class and visual representation of Black middle-class women in contrast to that of Black working-class women. Dr. Winand's research and teaching interests include African-American women's biography and autobiography, African-American cultural history, and constructions of Black women's sexuality in film. During this year, she is working on external grant development for Center activities, and during the winter and spring quarters, she will be teaching courses in the history and women's and gender studies programs.

Dr. Ivor Miller
Visiting Professor, 2002-2004

Ivor Miller is a cultural historian specializing in the African Diaspora in the Caribbean and the Americas. His forthcoming book, Aerosol Kingdom : The Subway Painters of New York City(UP of Mississippi , 2002), is based on his M.A. thesis in African-American Studies at Yale University . This work documents and interprets the creation of Hip Hop culture in New York City from its beginnings in the late 1960s till the present, focusing on the Afro-Caribbean and African-American contributions resulting from 20th-century migrations. Based on interviews with major painters and musicians of this movement over a period of 14 years, this book examines issues such as the creation of multi-ethnic, racial and gender cultural practices; naming traditions; the train as metaphor in the African Diaspora; the subversion and re-invention of language; cooptation by and resistance to big business; the global expansion of hip hop; and the tensions of race and class conflict in this movement.

Over the past ten years, Miller has conducted field research in Cuba. His doctoral dissertation (Northwestern, 1995) examines the Yorb-derived Santera religion of Cuba, focusing particularly on the status of African-derived religions, cultural traditions, and identities in Cuban history, particularly during the post 1958 Revolution. In 1997 Miller collaborated with Dr. Wande Abimbola, the awise (spokeperson for babalawos) of Ile-Ife, Nigeria, and former president of the University of Ile-Ife, on a book comparing Yorb traditional religion, culture and language in Nigeria with that of its derivatives in Brazil, Trinidad, Cuba and the U.S.A (If Will Mend Our Broken World: Thoughts on Yorb Culture in West Africa and the Diaspora).

Miller's current project documents the little-known history of the Cuban Abaku, a mutual-aid society derived from the Cross River region of Nigeria. Working in collaboration with Abaku elders, he has documented the foundation of the society in the 19th century, and its continual role as symbol of Cuban national culture.