Professor Shireen Hassim joins WiSER for three years

WiSER is delighted to announce that Professor Shireen Hassim will join the Institute for period of three years, on secondment from the Department of Political Studies at Wits. Shireen has a distinguished career as a Professor of Politics with a rich and widely recognised body of work on feminist theory and politics, social movements and collective action, the politics of representation and affirmative action, and social policy. She is co-editor of many books and author of Women’s Organizations and Democracy in South Africa: Contesting Authority (2006), which won the 2007 American Political Science Association’s Victoria Shuck Award for best book on women and politics.

Shireen’s new book project is entitled Contingency and Uncertainty: Working with and Against the State in South Africa. It is an attempt to theorise why and how it is that various feminist claims on the state are so easily incorporated without significant impact on the underlying power relations in the state, and between state and society. Other new work considers ways in which categories of citizenship rest on a binary conception of gender, and the ways in which addressing embodied claims (such as the recognition claims of intersex and transgender people) has shifted law and state into territories not conceived of by feminist activists or the state.  

We deeply value Shireen’s many contributions to the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, to institutional struggles at Wits, and to University leadership both here and nationally. We look forward with much energy and joy to working with Shireen in our Medical Humanities program, on our Public Positions series, and numerous intellectual projects feminism, gender, and the politics of the University.