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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Pregnancy and bodies of knowledge in a South African university
Author:Barnes, TeresaISNI
Periodical:African Studies Review (ISSN 1555-2462)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:women students
pregnant women
External link:https://doi.org/10.1017/asr.2013.3
Abstract:Based on a classroom encounter of the author, this article explores the gendered nature of African university space. It discusses a 2007-2008 policy that banned pregnant adult students from living in the student residence halls at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. The policy was implemented despite protests from the university's students and staff. The article argues that the more visibly reproductive a student's body became, the more alien it was considered to be in spaces of knowledge production. This alienation was incongruous at a university widely considered as the most politically progressive in South Africa. It was rooted, however, in Western-oriented traditions of masculinist knowledge production in which there is no space for the female, let alone the pregnant, body in intellectual spaces; and in South African traditions of marginalization, exclusion, and 'passing' in public space. Exploring ideas of 'body language' and 'bodies of knowledge', the article concludes that there is a need for an interdisciplinary politics and epistemology of 'seepage' in higher educational institutions that recognizes women's minds and their bodies. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]