‘White woman listen!’: Notes toward an emergent South African feminism

Seminar by Dorothy Driver

Emeritus Professor, University of Cape Town; Visiting Research Fellow, University of Adelaide

Date: Wednesday, June 13

Time: 11.00 am – 1.00 pm
Location: Building 202, Room 122 Curtin University. Kent Street, Bentley

Please RSVP your attendance by June 6 via the contact form at the bottom of this page.


Dear colleagues,

You are invited to a research seminar by Emeritus Professor, University of Cape Town; Visiting Research Fellow, University of Adelaide Dorothy Driver.

In this paper, Dorothy Driver will look at a range of writing from black South African women, in the context of — variously — what has been defined as a Eurocentric feminism; a local interest in feminist intersectionality; an apparently heterosexist populism; a call for decolonisation in academic institutions still felt to be white supremacist; and the outright rejection among many black writers of a  “colour-blind” stance.

In the process of defining the current movement as an “emergent” feminism, and using that term to recall the state of emergency that many of us currently feel we inhabit, she will consider what it has meant, in the process of preparing her paper, to “listen” to this writing as a “white” woman.

Besides teaching for many years at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, Dorothy Driver has also had visiting teaching positions at University of Chicago and Stanford University. Until recently she held a professorship in the Discipline of English, Adelaide University, Australia. Her publications (primarily in the field of South African literature written in English, with a special focus on gender and race) include studies of Olive Schreiner, Pauline Smith, Bessie Head, Nadine Gordimer, Njabulo Ndebele, Zoë Wicomb and others; she has also published more general essays in the field, including on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Drummagazine and South African short fiction, and co-edited Women Writing Africa: The Southern Region (2003). She recently brought out a new edition of Olive Schreiner’s unfinished novel, From Man to Man or Perhaps Only — (University of Cape Town Press, 2016; forthcoming Edinburgh University Press 2019).

Sponsored by MCASI; Office of the Dean, Research and Graduate Studies, Humanities, and Thesis Eleven.



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