Fellowship: Rosberg/Geist Undergraduate Research
Fellowship Year(s): 2016
Project/Theme Title: Shadow of Myself: Defining Black Lesbian Genocide in a PostApartheid South Africa
Abstracts: This project involves discovering how Black Lesbian Genocide is conceptualized in a post-apartheid South Africa. The goal is to show that “queer settler colonialism” is the cause for Black lesbian erasure in contemporary queer politics. This will be done by examining the photography of Zanele Muholi and the writings of Nkunzi Nkabinde as a testament to the physical and symbolic violence Black lesbian women face in South Africa. Upon examination of the sources, it becomes clear that the concept of indigenous decolonization must be integrated into discourses of queer liberation in post-colonial Africa. By exploring the Gay and Lesbian Archives of South Africa, this will allow for more understanding of indigenous sexual cultures in Southern Africa. Through explaining indigeneity as a resistance to modernity, this research highlights the importance of developing a Black Queer Visibility politic. This research will provide valuable information regarding anti-homosexuality legal structures in Africa by interrogating of the lack of state protection to combat gender-based violence and addressing the role of state marginalization in the genocide of black lesbian women in South Africa.