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Consciousness and intersectionality

An HSRC Global South Youth Studies Community of Practice Seminar
17 August 2022

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Consciousness and intersectionality are two critical concepts when considering the lives of youth in the Global South. While intersectionality, considers the intertwining of race, class, gender and age, consciousness invites a critical gaze on these social classifications and their relationship with histories of exclusion. Not only have colonial histories created complex racialized relations, hierarchies and matrices of domination, but extremely high Gini coefficients in Africa, Asia, and Latin America further underline the prevalence of class distinctions that intersect with understandings of race. The papers in this seminar show these complexities: Gu offers a perspective on class from China; Hill Collins adds to her original theorizing on intersectionality by adding the category of age and considers it across histories of youth activism; Mangcu re-engages with Biko’s vision of Black Consciousness to offer a new vision of race in the post colony; and Bashonga’s essay on the film Black Panther invites new racial imaginaries of home and belonging.

CHAIR: Prof Sharlene Swartz, Human Sciences Research Council; University of Fort Hare, South Africa; President Research Committee on Sociology of Youth, International Sociological Association.

DISCUSSANTS: Prof Jean Comaroff, Professor of African and African American Studies and of Anthropology; Oppenheimer Fellow in African Studies at Harvard University; Prof Crain Soudien, Emeritus Professor of Education, University of Cape Town, South Africa.


An intersectional approach to the mobility trap that plagues migrant youth in China, Dr Xiaorong Gu (China), Research Fellow, National University of Singapore

Home, belonging and Africanity in the film Black Panther, Ragi Bashonga (DRC), Lecturer, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

From Black Consciousness to Consciousness Of Blackness, Prof Xolela Mangcu (South Africa), Professor of Sociology, George Washington University, USA

Intersectionality,  Black  youth  and  political  activism,  Prof  Patricia  Hill  Collins  (USA), Distinguished University Professor Emerita at the University of Maryland, College Park, USA.

This is the third in a series of five webinars convened to broaden and deepen Southern scholarship about, with and for young people, and to grow a community of practice begun through the publication of The Oxford Handbook of Global South Youth Studies, edited by Sharlene Swartz, Adam Cooper, Clarence Batan and Laura Kropff Causa.

While the South African Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) funds this seminar series, the views presented do not necessarily represent the views of the DSI. Please note that this seminar will be recorded and published on the HSRC podcast channel. In compliance with South African Privacy of Personal Information Act (PoPIA), to unsubscribe from this mailing list, please email us at msiwendu.