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Research Interests

My research interest is in the study of Love and relationships in African literature, photography and film. I will be analysing this by focusing on the following two themes:

1. Space, Place and Economic Class: Whilst I am certainly looking out to the wider continent, my interest in the spaces and places of intimacy are directly connected to the way that apartheid artificially created racialised spaces in South Africa. The place where any given family or couple lives was determined by their race which then had class implications. This list will be dedicated to analyzing the spaces in which intimacy takes place. From looking at the geographical location, size and design of the home (or lack of a home), all the way to the amount of light that filters into a space—I want to think about how the spaces that families and couples find themselves in affect how they are able to love and relate to their intimate partners.

2. Looking at Men: I am interested in looking at masculine presenting or male characters and how the traditional ideas of masculinity not only affect the male characters but shape how they relate and love to their intimate partners. One emerging theme that I have noticed is the connection between masculinity and criminality: from the figure of the skolie figure in the coloured community, the tsotsi figure for black south Africans, to engaging in substance abuse and petty theft. This list will be completely dedicated to understanding African manhood and masculinity through his literary and visual representations. 

Fellowships, Gifts, and Supported Research

Archival Epidition · 2021 Dr. Karin Shapiro · $1,500.00 Archival and Digital Expeditions introduces Duke graduate students to teaching with digital and physical primary sources. Each student partners with a Duke faculty sponsor to design an undergraduate course module that incorporates primary source material tailored to a specific class taught by that faculty member. Students have the option of drawing on the physical special collections of the Rubenstein Library or primary source databases and digital collections available at Duke or elsewhere.