Anthropology Professor Contributes to International Book on GenderGeneral

Professor Maheshvari Naidu.Professor Maheshvari Naidu.

Professor Maheshvari Naidu, Associate Professor in Anthropology and Academic Leader Research in the School of Social Sciences, has contributed a chapter in an international publication on Gender Studies.

Entitled Introduction to Gender Studies in Eastern and Southern Africa: A Reader the book is edited by James Etim of Salem State University. The book is published by Sense Publishers (Boston and Rotterdam) and consists of 298 pages.

Comprising of five themed sections, the focus is on Theory and Research; Gender and Education; Gender, Culture and Power; Gender, Law and Politics; and Gender, Health and Violence.

Naidu’s chapter forms part of the Theory and Research Section and is entitled “Local Contexts, Local Theory: Revisiting Standpoint Theory through Situated Ethnographic Vignettes”. The chapter draws from a number of Naidu’s ethnographic studies that focus on women and power inscriptions.

According to Naidu, the book forms an important contribution to an already rich landscape of work on Gender Studies and focuses on issues of power, reproductive rights and body politics; violence against women in all its multiple forms and contexts, including sexual harassment and rape; sex trafficking and sex slavery; female genital mutilation; health care access and health care politics; women and education, etc.

‘Given our own geo-political location, the fact that the empirical and theoretical emphasis is on southern and eastern Africa is an added bonus, and the book acts as a Reader to both researchers and students working in the different areas of Gender Studies,’ said Naidu.

She added that the editor’s invitation to contribute to the book in early 2015 was a pleasant surprise and the project has been two years in the making.  ‘I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to have contributed,’ she said.

Approximately 21 academics from universities from the USA, southern and eastern Africa contributed chapters, with the American authors having done extensive work in southern and eastern Africa. The contributors are also drawn from the multiple fields of gender studies, political science, anthropology, law and education, and comprise both academics as well as researchers and activists.

Melissa Mungroo