Academics study the concept of community as a dynamic force and, increasingly, universities have become researchers, partners, and participants in community engagement. What is surprising is the lack of a definitional framework for the word “community”, and perhaps due to the use (one might say overuse) of the term in common parlance, no one questions what we mean by community.

To engage a discussion without questioning what community means would be insufficient, if not presumptuous. Our goal is to explore. Equally presumptuous would be to define the dynamic, fluid, transforming concept of community. We aim to plumb the wisdom of our colleagues, community partners, students and mentors to bring meaning to the word community in all its richness and resilience.

In: Comparative Sociology
Gender and Colonialism in Southern Africa
Deep hiStories represents the first substantial publication on gender and colonialism in Southern Africa in recent years, and suggests methodological ways forward for a post-apartheid and postcolonial generation of scholars. The volume’s theorizing, which is based on Southern African regional material, is certain to impact on international debates on gender – debates which have shifted from earlier feminisms towards theorizations which include sexual difference, subjectivities, colonial (and postcolonial) discourses and the politics of representation. Deep hiStories goes beyond the dichotomies which have largely characterized the discussion of women and gender in Africa, and explores alternative models of interpretation such as ‘genealogies of voice’. These ‘genealogies’ transcend the conventional binaries of visibility and invisibility, speaking and silence. Works covering South Africa from the eighteenth to the twentieth century and Zimbabwe, Namibia and Cameroon in the twentieth include:
• Colonial readings of Foucault
• Ideologies of domesticity
• Torture and testimony of slave women
• Women as missionary targets
• Gender and the public sphere
• Race, science and spectacle
• Male nursing on mines
• Infanticide, insanity and social control
• Fertility and the postcolonial state
• Literary reconstructions of the past
• Gender-blending and code-switching
• De/colonizing the queer
The collection includes diverse research on the body in Southern Africa for the first time. It brings new subtleties to the ongoing debates on culture, civility and sexuality, dealing centrally with constructions of race and whiteness in history and literature. It is an important resource for teachers and students of gender and colonial studies.