B Camminga

I completed my undergraduate and honours degrees at Rhodes University, South Africa in 2008 majoring in History and Politics. Following this I received a Chevening Scholarship to undertake a Masters at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies (CIGS), University of Leeds, UK. In 2012 I was awarded a position as one of four Doctoral Fellows at the Institute for Humanities in Africa (HUMA) at the University of Cape Town, SA. My research interests include: gender, sexuality, notions of ‘queer’, asylum and migration, human rights and the history of gender-related social movements both within South Africa and Africa more broadly. I am also fascinated by African based queer popular culture. I am currently completing a PhD in Sociology at UCT entitled Bodies over Borders and Borders over Bodies: the Gender Refugee and the Imagined South Africa, supervised by Deborah Posel, Zethu Matebeni and Susan Levine.

My research focuses on knowledge production and concepts of the everyday in relation to the needs of transgender and gender-transgressive asylum seekers from Africa. In particular I am interested in how transgender and gender-transgressive identity functions in South Africa and how asylum seekers come to access the country in order to find a perceived/hoped for notion of freedom and safety within the country’s borders. I am most interested in what it means to be gendered and sexed within this context more broadly particularly in relation to the available rights and protections and the global flows of information and human rights norms. My work focuses on the shifting relations between identities, states, citizenship and documents that take place in crossing borders both physical and metaphorical. I am also particularly interested in de-colonial approaches to knowledge production in relation to both the body and its geographical situatedness. I situate my work at the intersection between transgender studies, queer studies and refugee and migration studies within Africa.

Research interests: queer theory, popular culture, gender studies, transgender studies, refugee and asylum

Associate member
University of Cape Town
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