Doctor Danai Mupotsa (University of the Witwatersrand) gave a guest lecture on Tuesday, 28 May, 2019 at the Swedish School of Social Science.
Abstract: The wedding is often observed as performing a narrative closure, for instance as a ritual that acts as a rite of passage to proper sex, or proper gendered and sexuated statuses framed in the terms of heteronormativity and homonormativity. The aims of this talk are to sit beside recent scholarship that examines marriage, as well as the law/ legal infrastructure and language that offer conjugal rights, offering social, economic and legal rights and conferring statuses of personhood to those who have access to them. The bride, regardless of the specific gendered status and personhood they occupy within legal, social and economic terms here, does not (only) refer to the constituted individual who lives or experiences a gendered and sexed position and location, but rather refers to the ritual process itself that comes to produce a range of positions, scenes, desires, practices intensities and finally, confusions around which the expression of liberal subjecthood, or ethnic and national identity might emerge.
Dr. Danai S. Mupotsa is Senior Lecturer and head of the Department of African Literature at Wits. She specializes in a range of subjects that include gender and sexualities, black intellectual traditions and histories, intimacy and affect, and feminist pedagogies. Her book, White Weddings examines the wedding ritual in South and Southern Africa. She is also co-writing a book with Dr. Xin Liu titled Exhaustive Lack, Passionate Delinking. In 2018, Danai published a collection of poetry titled Feeling and Ugly (impepho press). Dr. Mupotsa has edited special issues, “Visual Interruptions” (with Elina Oinas) and "Xenophobia and the Techniques of Difference” (with Dorothee Kreutzfeldt). She is currently editing a special issue of GLQ on the queer and the customary. She is a member of the editorial collective of Agenda, and on the executive board of the International Girlhood Studies Association. She is also on the editorial board of the new Brill series in youth culture.