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Change the world


The Centre for Women and Gender Studies is pleased to have been awarded a fellowship by the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program (CADFP) to host Professor Sybille Ngo Nyeck, to work on a collaborative project on developing postgraduate gender studies for studying postcolonial Africa.

The Centre for Women and Gender Studies’ Professor Babalwa Magoqwana will lead the project with Prof Nyeck, who is from the University of Colorado Boulder in the United States. This collaborative project is part of the ongoing partnership between Nelson Mandela University and the University of Fort Hare via the NRF-DSI SARCHI Chair in Genders, Sexualities and Queer Studies, headed by Professor Zethu Matebeni.

Titled “Building Postgraduate Gender Studies from African Queer Vocabularies and Womanist Approaches in Studying Postcolonial Africa”, the project seeks to address questions of gender, citizenship, and (non)belonging for women and queer communities in postcolonial Africa.  In doing so, it aims for a consolidated approach to revisiting African women’s intellectual contributions, stimulating intergenerational conversations on the foundations of violence and fractured societies, while contributing to the decolonization of knowledge production between the Global North and African universities.

Importantly for Mandela University’s ongoing work on curriculum transformation, this project employs an intersectional approach in conceptualising the new Master of Arts: Gender Studies (Research and Coursework) program under consideration at Nelson Mandela University.

Through this collaborative project, the Carnegie fellowship will strengthen the relations between three universities and assist in closing the gap between unequal global North and Global South relations, while mobilizing resources to illuminate new methodologies and ethics in dealing with entrenched violence and marginalization of queer communities in African societies.

This project at the Centre for Women and Gender Studies at Nelson Mandela University is one of 60 projects supported by Carnegie that will pair African Diaspora scholars with higher education institutions and collaborators in Africa to work together on curriculum co-development, collaborative research, graduate training, and mentoring activities in the coming months.

We are excited to welcome Prof Nyeck as our first CADFP fellow. Prof Nyeck is currently a research associate with the Mandela University Chair for Critical Studies in Higher Education Transformation (CriSHET) with extensive experience teaching the Philosophy of Ethics, Womanism and Queer Studies. Her recent publications include Sexual Diversity in Africa: Politics, Theory and Citizenship (McGill-Queens’ University Press, 2013); Public Procurement and Governance Reform in Africa (Palgrave MacMillan, 2016); Routledge Handbook of Queer Africa Studies (Palgrave McMillan, 2020) and African Queer Dialectics and Politics: Simulation and Simulacra (Palgrave MacMillan, 2021).

“We are excited to have Prof Nyeck joining us for three months in early 2025. Her visit is designed to further strengthen her relationship with Mandela University and the Centre’s regional collaborations with Eastern Cape Universities, facilitating curriculum development and new methodologies in gender studies,” said Prof Magoqwana.

Dr Jenny Du Preez also welcomed the news and noted that “the Chair for Critical Studies in Higher Education (CriSHET) welcomes the news of the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Programme award for the Centre for Women and Gender Studies and Prof Nyeck, who has had a productive ongoing relationship with the University through her Research Associateship. This fellowship shows global recognition of the value of the work being undertaken by the Centre and Prof Nyeck and the collaborative project it will support promises to make a substantive contribution towards Nelson Mandela University's ongoing pursuit of transformation in service of society”. 

The CADFP, now in its tenth year, develops long-term, mutually beneficial collaborations between universities in Africa, the United States, and Canada. It is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in collaboration with the Association of African Universities (AAU). Fellowships match host universities with African-born scholars and cover the expenses for project visits between 14 and 90 days, including transportation, a daily stipend, and obtaining visas and health insurance. Since the program’s inception in 2013, nearly 650 African Diaspora Fellowships have now been awarded to scholars to travel to Africa.

Contact information
Ms Zandile Mbabela
Media Manager
Tel: 0415042777