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Critical Methods Conferences
Hidden Genders Conference

University of Natal, Durban
14-15 September 2001

Below are the programme and call for papers for the 7th annual qualitative/critical methods conference - "hidden genders". See the conferences page for details about conferences before and after this one.


Women and Gender in SA: round table discussion
Burns, Catherine & Reddy, Vasu

Gender Studies at UND since 1991: a reflection and assessment
Burns, Catherine & Reddy, Vasu

Postmodern genders

  • Facade - an entertainment
    Terre Blanche, Martin
  • Imaging femininity
    Hook, Derek
  • Celebrity Death Match: Ally McBeal vs Feminism
    Collins, Anthony
  • (Re) Configuring Notions, Paradigms and Imaginative Landscapes: Enabling ´┐ŻNormative Otherness'
    Small, Zaidee

South African women

  • Somewhere in the double rainbow
    Stobie, Cheryl
  • "Dilemmas of silence and voice": women's experience of participation in the TRC
    Clark, Judy
  • Different faces of motherhood: The Voice of Domestic Workers, Living Apart from their Children
    Karpelowsky, Belinda

Gay and transsexual identities

  • Both/And or Either/Or: The hidden a-genders, politics and contradictions of transsexualism
    McLuckie, Kerry
  • Gays in the media: a sociolinguistic overview
    Henderson Lois C
  • "Something New in Gay Morocco: Rachid O. a Body with a Voice"
    Menager, Serge D.

Constructions of femininity and the body

  • "Another beautiful day in Africa": Constructing the body in South Africa
    Boskovic, Aleksandar
  • Voices heard before: body positioning and the construction of feminine identity
    Vrdoljak, Michele
  • Configurations of gender
    Ebrahim, Sumayya


  • Men watching women having sex: Heterosexual male fantasies of observing female-to-female sexual contact
    Wilson, Kenneth & Cloete, Kevin
  • Legitimating the state: the construction of masculinities and the TRC
    Conway, Daniel
  • Sport and the representation of masculinities
    Crowe, Darryn
  • Dark and Lovely, Soft and Free: a video (52 mins)
    Reid, Graeme

The body

  • The role of infertility in gender identity
    Mabasa, Francinah
  • Within Without: An Interpretative Account of Women who have Body Piercings
    Singh, Ashmin
  • Construction of feminine subjectivities in talk about menstruation
    van Zyl, Henriette


  • Muslim Women's rights to mosque space
    Shaikh, Faaiza
  • Interrogating the stone: hate speech and scripture
    Berman, Laurence


Delicately balanced between past and future, between Africa and the West, between the homophobic rantings of uber-patriarch Bob Mugabe and the post-feminist professional ditz of Ally McBeal, something seems to have gone awry.

While the new constitution proclaims gender equality, unrepentant religious fundamentalists defend the subordination of women and denounce the lives of gays. A history of political struggle is invoked to alternately defend the rights of sexual minorities or to assert the authority of an authentic African culture of heterosexual male power. White men feel emasculated by affirmative action, rape has become a media event, ETV is looking for a new super-bitch, and every day another 1000 South African women are infected with HIV.

While gender equity has emerged as a powerful political force, it often takes the idea of gender for granted, presupposing that there are two clearly identifiable genders, each with its own distinctive features, roles, social positions and problems. But if gender is socially constructed, then changing times can produce can also produce changing genders. Instead of assuming men and women, it is possible to ask what genders are coming into existence, how they are internalised as identities, how they work as social categories. We can thus ask: what are the hidden and emerging genders of contemporary South Africa, what are the forces constructing them, the victories they embody, and crises the produce?

What is QM?

The Qualitative Methods conference series was started as a dissident movement within psychology concerned about some of the limitations of the discipline. Qualitative Methods was asserted against the dominance of scientific methods in Psychology which were creating less interesting lines of investigation that the critical theoretical work emerging in the broader humanities.

The conference deliberately seeks to undermine the division between Psychology and other social studies, between the academy and other forms of inquiry such as the performing arts, and to oppose the tendency of psychology to understand the individual by investigating their internal processes rather than their place in the social world. The conferences are thus defined by their themes rather than a discipline, and aims to be incluse rather than exclusive, providing intellectual space for critical work which might not otherwise be at home within traditional academic boundaries.

We thus call for contributions of all kinds related to the conference theme.

Proposals to be submitted by June 16, to: genders at Gender Studies, University of Natal, Durban, 4001, South Africa phone +(27) (31) 260-2915 (mornings) fax +(27) (31) 260-1519


Hidden Genders Collective

Sylvester Rankhotha UND Gender Studies
Mandy Lamprecht UND Gender Studies
Anthony Collins UND Psychology
Catherine Burns UND Historical Studies
Vasu Reddy UND Languages
Lliane Loots UND Drama
Claire Wyllie UND Gender Studies
Ruth Teer-Tomaselli UND Cultural Studies
Rob Morrell UND Education

Derek Hook Wits Psychology
Tammy Shaeffer UWC Gender Studies
Martin Terre Blanche Unisa Psychology
Joanne Hardman UCT Education

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