Conference Papers

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Globalisation and the African City: Touba, Abidjan and Durban

This paper is in essence the final chapter of a forthcoming book. It is preceded by a chapter more generally covering the post-colonial city in Africa. I take the view that the real historic break in urban development in Africa took place with the breakdown of modernist planning from the 1970s.

‘But We Were Thousands’: Dispossession, Resistance, Repossession and Repression in Mandela Park

This article seeks to give an outline of the key events in the unfolding struggle in Mandela Park, Cape Town, South Africa, against evictions and disconnections from water and electricity.


Despite an increasing interest in the 'Coloured' community of Durban, especially in the area of social problems experienced, little has yet appeared relating to the aspirations of the community.


The Cato Manor area has a long history as a point of contention. The vibrant Indian and African community that had settled in the area was forcibly removed in 1955, and the land lay vacant for many years.


This paper focuses on the question of resistance to indentured labour.

Caste, Class and Identities among Surtee Muslims in KwaZulu Natal (South Africa), c. 1880-2009

This essay explores the variety of subject positions of Gujarati-speaking Muslim migrants from Surat, India, from the time of their arrival in South Africa in the late 1870s to the contemporary period.

Attitudes of South African Indians towards Disciplining in the Child-Rearing Process

Proceedings of a Conference arranged by the
Department of Social Work at the
25-26 MARCH 1985

Family Functioning in the South African lndian Community

Mental Health professionals working in the field of family therapy usually hold an implicit if not explicit view of the characteristics of the normal family, which underlies their assessment of the families which enter therapy.

Aspects of family life in the South African Indian Community.

In different parts of the world there are social workers and other professionals who see their main task in tending those who, in the midst of plenty, have fallen by the wayside. Committed professionals can carry out this work only if they are equipped for it.

Making the Personal Civil: The Protector’s Office and the Administration of Indian Personal Law in Colonial Natal, 1872 – 1907

The arguments presented in this paper analyze the administrative contestations around Indian ‘personal law ’in the Colony of Natal from the establishment of the Coolie Commission of Inquiry in 1872 to the promulgation of the Indian Marriages Act in 1907.2 To date, very little attention has focuse

Labouring under the Law: Exploring the Agency of Indian Women under Indenture in Colonial Natal, 1860 – 1911

This paper is intended as the beginnings of an introduction to a Master’s thesis that will look at discourses around Indian women and gender under indenture in Colonial Natal from 1860 to 1911.

Witchcraft or Madness? The Amandiki of Zululand, 1894-19141

In late May 1999 Anglican Archdeacon, Ebenezer Ntlali, performed an exorcism to drive out evil
spirits from a hundred or so schoolgirls at St John's College, a church school with over a
thousand students in Umtata, of former Transkei region of South Africa. According to

The Voice of History? Archives, Ethics and Historians [Lunacy]

These documents and letters - which I have placed in chronological order, and taken excerpts from, but have not otherwise edited or changed in any way - can be found at the Pietermaritzburg Archives Repository.2 They comprise, in the main, correspondence between various officials from the offices

The Mad in their Midst: Accommodating Insanity in Natal, 1868-1920

In December 1916, James Mkize, a kholwa (Christian) peasant farmer and preacher submitted a deposition to the Resident Magistrate of Umzimkulu, southern Natal, South Africa, detailing at some length the reasons why he believed that his brother, Bennie, was insane and should be legally detained in

The fools on the hill : the Natal government asylum and the institutionalisation of insanity in colonial Natal

Representing one aspect of my wider research into changing perceptions and practices of mental illness and mental health in the period c.1850-1950 in the region that today is KwaZulu-Natal, this paper focuses on the colonial identification and institutionalisation of those deemed insane between t

Researching and working with boys in Southern Africa in the context of HIV/AIDS – a radical approach

In many western countries, in recent years, boys have been much criticised for being antiintellectual, emotionally illiterate, uncommunicative, antisocial and delinquent – characteristics that have been identified as marking them out as different from girls. (see eg.

‘Without the luxury of time’: AIDS, Representation and the Birth of Rights-based AIDS Activism in the 1980s

On the August 4th 2003 Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) activists marched on the

first South African AIDS Conference. The singing and toyi-toying demonstrators

reached the court-yard next to the entrance to the conference’s venue, Durban’s

From migrating men to moving women : Forgotten Lessons from the Karks on methodology, migration and disease

This paper is based on a rough draft of a chapter for my PhD dissertation. I have kept in place references to other chapters to give a sense of how it fits into my broader thesis. The dissertation is provisionally

Aids and the Changing Political Economy of Sex in South Africa: From Apartheid to Neo-liberalism

Between 1990 and 2005, HIV prevalence rates in South Africa jumped from less than 1% to around 29%. Combining ethnographic, demographic and historical insights, this article addresses the important question posed recently by prominent South Africanist scholars:

Masculinities and multiple-sexual-partners in KwaZulu-Natal: The Making and Unmaking of Isoka

This paper examines one dominant element of masculinities worldwide – the high value placed on men’s “success” with women.


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