Gender Studies explore the power of gender dynamics within multiple fields of social relevance. Research and scholarship about gender in Africa are often embedded within ideas about status, class, race and history, so working with a gender lens can produce knowledge in a new and multi-faceted way. If, for example, most economists evaluate a country's wealth through measuring the value of its production, economists who take gender seriously will also explore the role of reproductive labour, care work and production in the domestic sphere, all predominantly performed by women. Gender Studies are internationally recognized as a field which makes connections, enables new understanding of social realities, and challenges familiar ideas on naturalized cultural categories. In African contexts, interest in gender issues is booming as a result of wide continental recognition that issues of masculinity, femininity, manhood, womanhood and sexuality are relevant in relation to concerns about independence, peacebuilding and the development of deep democracy, human and social rights.
The TOAfrica Summer School will offer the opportunity to explore the kaleidoscope of issues concerning gender, culture, and sexuality within an academic and professional framework. What does gender mean in Africa today? What is the impact of economic and political development and social transformations on men and women? What is the role of feminist theories, LGBTQ and women’s movements in the public sphere of contemporary African contexts? What does it mean to do political, anthropological, geographical, historical, literature research in the field of African gendered knowledges? As such, this edition of the Summer School will welcome inquiry and expertise from multiple and overlapping perspectives including (but not limited to) gender studies, feminist critical approaches, lesbian and gay studies, queer perspectives, transgender theory, critical sexuality studies, transformative and inclusive development projects and participatory action-research projects.