Professor Pumla Dineo Gqola

Research Professor at the Centre for Women and Gender Studies and Chair for African Feminist Imagination

Professor Gqola is Professor of Literary and Cultural Studies and the NMU-DSI-NRF SARChI Chair in African Feminist Imagination. She has previously been Professor of African Literature at the University of the Witwatersrand, Senior Lecturer in the Department of English and Classical Culture at the University of the Free State, and Chief Research Specialist in the Societies, Culture and Identities Research Programme of the Human Sciences Research Council. A graduate of the Universities of Cape Town and Warwick, UK, she also holds a DPhil in Postcolonial Studies from the University of Munich (LMU) in Germany.

Prof Gqola was appointed to the DHET Ministerial Task Team on sexual harassment and gender based violence in South African public universities and sits on the Board of Trustees of the African Feminist strategic litigation firm, Women’s Legal Centre. She was inaugural Chair of Judges of the Etisalat Literature Prize, the first fully funded and run Pan African literary award, and inaugural Chair of Judges for the National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) Fiction panel.

Gqola is the author of the ground-breaking study on slave memory in South Africa, What is slavery to me? Postcolonial/Slave memory in post-apartheid South Africa (Wits University Press, 2010) and the landmark Rape: A South African Nightmare (MF Books/Jacana, 2015) which won the 2016 Sunday Times Alan Paton Award for Non Fiction. Her other books are A Renegade Called Simphiwe (MF Books/Jacana, 2013) and Reflecting Rogue: Inside the Mind of a Feminist (MF Books/Jacana, 2017). Most recently, she released Miriam Tlali: Writing Freedom with HSRC Press, an introductory text on the pioneering Black South African feminist novelist, short story writer and essayist Miriam Masoli Tlali, and Female Fear Factory with MF Books (in Southern Africa).

She has guest edited journal special issues of Agenda and Feminist Africa and Scrutiny2 on sexuality and body image, South African women’s poetry, and subaltern sexualities, as well as a special issue of SABLE LitMag on South African Literature. Her academic journals and peer-reviewed book chapters have been on slave memory, Black Consciousness literature, African and postcolonial feminisms, African and Caribbean writers, South African visual and musical artists, and post-apartheid public culture.