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Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Professor Pumla Dineo Gqola from the Centre for Women and Gender Studies and our SARChI Chair on African Feminist Imaginations, has won the coveted 2022 Humanities and Social Sciences Book Award: Best Monograph in Non-fiction for her 2021 book, Female Fear Factory.

Both the Centre and the SARChI Chair are hosted in the Faculty of Humanities at the University.

Female Fear Factory builds on the concept of how patriarchal fear is produced publicly in order to maintain compliance for gender-based violence (GBV). The book interrogates what it means to think about the “female fear factory” which is theorised much more expansively now, as a planet-wide system of control and regulation.

Combining interdisciplinary tools to understand and re-theorise patriarchal fear, the book urges the reader to think about the ways in which the “factory” produces both a social category of the “female” (as distinct and overlapping with a “biological” one) and “fear”, and to reveal new insights that have relevance for feminist scholarship across disciplines, but specifically politics, history, institutional cultures, historical, literary and media studies.

In addition, she was also a contributor to Surfacing, on Being Black and Feminist in South Africa written by Desiree Lewis and Gabeba Baderoon, which jointly won Best Edited Volume in Non-fiction.

The awards, now in their seventh year, are run by the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences and are open to South African publishers, scholars based in South African universities and independent artists linked to universities.

A key aim of the annual Awards is to give special recognition and celebrate outstanding, innovative and socially responsive works by those members of the HSS community who are undertaking the necessary labour of creating post-apartheid and post-colonial forms of scholarship, creative and digital humanities productions. They provide an opportunity to recognise those intellectual-creative workers whose contributions often go unnoticed both in the academy and society at large. These include the authors, playwrights, poets, artists, curators and publishers who ensure that we can enjoy these final products.

Prof Gqola’s work focusses on literature, with specific focus on African Feminism, African literature, race, class and gender, and histories of slavery.  She is a feminist scholar of great repute and standing in South Africa, Africa and the world, and has published extensively in this area. She has published seven books, in an addition to numerous articles and book chapters.

Contact information
Prof Pumla Gqola
Research Professor in the Centre for Women and Gender Studies and Chair for African Feminist Imaginations