The Chair in African Feminist Imagination is dedicated to the study of creative sites of feminist expression. Principally, these include iterature, fine arts and visual arts, film, music, dance and popular culture. Second, interdisciplinary approaches will be brought to bear on feminist imaginative expression outside of the Creative Arts such as to specific experiments with activist strategies in political and public culture.

The study of these locations and expressions of feminist energies necessitates serious engagement with the substantial body of African feminist scholarship and theory, deliberate curiosity about traditions of African women’s intellectual, creative and activist work.

Held by Professor of Literary and Cultural Studies, and leading scholar on rape and gender based violence, Prof Pumla Dineo Gqola, the Research Chair will expand African feminist theory and scholarship while training future generations of African feminist scholars.

Prof Pumla Dineo Gqola is Full Professor of Literary and Cultural Studies. She has been Professor in the Department of African Literature at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Senior Lecturer at the Department of English and Classical Culture at the University of the Free State (UFS), and Chief Research Specialist in the Societies, Cultures and Identities Research Programme at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC). She has designed and taught courses on South African Literature, Postcolonial Humour, Slave Memory in South Africa and the Caribbean, Gender and Media, Writing slavery from the African World, and Writing Gender in African Literature.

Gqola holds two MA degrees in Literature from the Universities of Cape Town (UCT) and Warwick, UK and doctorate in Postcolonial Studies from the University of Munich (LMU) in Germany.

In addition to Editorial Boards of several leading African, Literary and Feminist studies journals, Gqola has also served on the Boards of the 1in9 Campaign (link to:, the Centre for Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) (link to:, the African Feminist Strategic Litigation Firm, Women’s Legal Centre (link to: In 2019, she was appointed to the Ministerial Task Team on Sexual Harassment and Gender Based Violence at South African Universities.

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Her books are:

What is slavery to me? Postcolonial/Slave Memory in Post-apartheid South Africa (Wits University Press, 2010)

A Renegade called Simphiwe (MF Books/Jacana, 2013)

Rape: A South African Nightmare (MF Books/Jacana, 2015)

Reflecting Rogue: Inside the Mind of a Feminist (MF Books/Jacana, 2017)

Miriam Tlali: Writing Freedom (HSRC Press, 2021)

Female Fear Factory (MF Books/NB, 2021)


Opinion pieces

Practical systemic changes needed to move the needle on gender power

This article was published in the Sundays Times on 7 August 2020.