UFS Centre for Gender and Africa Studies
Welcome to the Centre for Gender and Africa Studies (CGAS) at the University of the Free State (UFS). We are an interdisciplinary research and postgraduate centre, first launched in November 2007 as the Centre for Africa Studies. Africa Studies is conceptualised as a branch of African Studies, along with Africana Studies (African Diaspora). ‘Africa Studies’ serves to emphasise the role of Africa’s agency in Africa(n) Studies. We study Africa, its people, politics, culture and relations with the rest of the world by taking a long and critical view of past and present. ‘Africa Studies’ was a deliberate choice to reflect the fact that, while we engage with the many contested meanings of who is an African, we study Africa and its complex manifestation of intersectionality.
In 2010, Gender Studies became associated with the Centre and by 2017 was fully embedded in its operations prompting an official name change in 2018 to the Centre for Gender and Africa Studies (CGAS) to properly reflect the role that both Africa and Gender Studies plays in its intellectual and pedagogic activities and research agenda. Africa Studies and Gender Studies are cognate intersectional fields that share a commitment towards intersectionality, postcolonial critical scholarship and interdisciplinarity. We firmly believe that it is impossible to do Africanist research without gender and equally impossible to understand gender in our context without accounting for Africa. The name of the Centre thus reflects our understanding and interpretation of what constitutes intersectional African and gender identities and subjectivities where identity is never a singular notion, but multifaceted and overlapping.
- We are committed to the study of the realities and challenges of Africa as part of our teaching and research activities;
- We are committed to the study of feminism, masculinities and gendered identity dynamics in society and how these fields intersect in Africa;
- We actively promote the incorporation of an Africa and gender focus in academic activities as part of the strategic priorities of the UFS.
- Postgraduate Teaching
- Short learning programmes
- To promote the UFS focus on Africa, the centre initiates, facilitates, or coordinates and participates in projects with a focus on Africa. As it has limited academic staff, it operates through the assistance of colleagues in other departments and faculties at the university and beyond.
Research areas include
- Indigenous knowledge systems and heritage
- Dynamics of memory, space and power in post-liberation Africa
- Corrective rape and black lesbian sexualities in contemporary South African cultural texts
- The state of gender and women empowerment within the Indian Ocean Rim Association
- Gender Mainstreaming and the development of competencies in higher education for gender equality, peacebuilding and gender-sensitive research co-ordinators
- Sexual violence and peacekeeping
- Peacebuilding, governance, international justice and security in Africa
- Political science and development studies
- Discourses of predator persecution under livestock and game farming in the Southern Free State, South Africa
- African urban social movements, from a comparative perspective of two colonial cities, Bloemfontein (South Africa) and Harare
- A gendered social history of Zimbabwean illegal gold miners (zama-zamas) in post-apartheid South Africa
The CGAS offers postgraduate programmes in Africa and Gender Studies.
The centre hosts the annual Africa Day Memorial Lecture; as well as the Biennial Gendered Worlds and the Humanities Lecture, where guest scholars are invited to speak on crucial issues related to Africa and Gender.
Seminars and lectures
The CGAS seminar series offers a platform for scholars to share their research related to Africa and Gender.
Centre for Gender and Africa Studies (CGAS) (IB 110)
University of the Free State
205 Nelson Mandela Ave
Senate Street North
President Steyn Annex
Tel: +27 51 401 3121
Fax: +27 51 401 9676
Ms Sihle Salman
Senior Assistant Officer
Tel: + 27 51 401 3121
Academic Programme Enquiries:
Ms Ankia Bradfield
Senior Assistant Officer
Tel: + 27 51 401 9609