“Writing for yourself and writing for others” was the topic of a thought-provoking talk given by NRF-rated scientist and Senior Lecturer in Anthropology in the School of Science, Professor Maheshvari Naidu, to the Women in Leadership and Leverage (WILL) from the College of Health Sciences.
‘I have always liked writing, words and the craft generally,’ said Naidu.
Her recent research focuses on women’s health issues which she considers to be her core emerging research focus within and against her landscape of work in feminist anthropologies and female body construction.
Naidu has been in UKZN’s Top 30 Researcher rankings on three occasions in the past four years, while in 2015 she received the College of Humanities Excellence Award for being the Top Emerging Researcher.
In her address, Naidu told the women that when they were writing for themselves or for academic purposes (PUs) they needed to constantly be thinking about whether people would read their work. ‘Writing is creative and constructive. You collect your data, you analyse it and then create meaning by putting different pieces of the puzzle together.
‘Good writing aims to answer questions. Writers need to use their research to communicate with their audience by writing things that people will want to read.’
She gave an example of how losing her mother to cancer had influenced her to conduct research on issues pertaining to cancer patients and also how women dealt with losing body parts that were part of their identities.
Naidu advised the women to use their past experiences when conducting research so that they got an opportunity to write about something they were passionate about while at the same time getting answers to queries they may have.