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Ukuhamba kukubona (to travel is to see): a feminist exploration of the intellectual legacies of black women’s mobilities

This project investigates the mobilities of black women in Southern Africa. Much of the historiography about migration has centered the experiences of men as migrant workers leaving their homes to work in far flung cities. When the gaze shifts from working class men, it turns to the educated elite who travelled to for education, conferences and cultural connections. The stories of John Tengo Jabavu, Sol Plaatje, Pixley ka Seme, Tiyo Soga, John Knox Bokwe and John Dube emerge as some of the key figures who travelled in the 19th and 20th century. However, feminist research has begun to point out the limitation of this narrow focus as it relegates women to the margins. However, black women’s experiences with mobility have emerged through uncaptioned photographs, school records, footnotes and the colonial archive. It seems that sometimes what remains are archival fragments which require innovative methodologies to respond to the fragmented and precarious archive which pertains to black women’s mobilities. This project aims to: explore the methodological innovations which are possible when reading history through a scattered archive, respond to the gaps in women’s historiography, further developing a feminist approach in research which centers the experiences and voices of black women mobilities.


Fellows involved in this project

Iso Lomso Fellow
South Africa

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Is any information on this page incorrect or outdated? Please notify Ms. Nel-Mari Loock at [email protected].