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Gender, Sexuality, and Violence in Educational Spaces: A Three-Ply Yarn Approach

Global Education Colloquium

November 18, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Dr. Deevia Bhana
University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

In this talk, Dr. Deevia Bhana will focus on the utility of a three-ply yarn approach in the study of violence in educational settings in South Africa. Her starting point is that questions about violence in educational spaces are inextricably bound to gender and sexuality, and no engagement with violence can exclude it. Despite this, an understanding of violence as an individual pathologisation of behavior often remains in educational research and interventions. The residues of this individualized approach continue to shape and mark the experiences of children and young people in education- with punitive consequences. In South Africa, the effect of this approach has served to reproduce racialized/classed and gendered binaries in relation to an active predatory masculinity and an unprotesting black femininity. Instead, she argues that a three-ply yarn approach permits attention to the complexity of the cultural production of violence by addressing masculinities, heterosexuality, gender, race, culture, class, and structural inequalities as it is experienced in educational spaces and in South Africa, this will include the historical legacies of apartheid. The talk ends with the importance of framing violence as coextensively produced in localized settings which is necessary to avoid individualistic approaches in interventions that often fail to address the significance of gender and sexuality and the broader structures of power that are embedded within it.

Dr. Deevia Bhana is Professor and the DSI/NRF South African Research Chair and Professor in Gender and Childhood Sexuality at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. She is known for her interdisciplinary approach, her critical stance and international outlook in researching the social aspects of childhood and young people, gender, sexuality and schooling. Among her recent book publications are Love, Sex and Teenage Sexual Cultures in South Africa; 16 turning 17 (Routledge, 2018) and Childhood Sexuality and AIDS Education: The Price of Innocence (Routledge, 2016). Her talk is based on a new co-edited book entitled, ‘Gender, Sexuality and Violence in South African Educational Spaces’ to be published by Palgrave MacMillan in 2020.