Producing Citizens: Motherhood, Race, and Political Belonging in South Africa

Wednesday, March 6, 2019 - 11:30am
Event Location: 
Obermann Center library
111 Church Street
Iowa City, IA 52242

This POROI seminar engages participants in reading and workshopping the introductory chapter to Brady G’Sell’s book manuscript Producing Citizens. The book draws on ethnography and archival research to chronicle the livelihood strategies of poor mothers across five decades of political economic shifts in South Africa. G’Sell aims to demonstrate that citizenship is not only a matter of legal status, but also a category created and negotiated at the micro-political scale of interpersonal relationships.

Come and learn how and why women’s efforts to secure child support offer a powerful lens for analyzing political belonging in the recent history of South Africa – and support a colleague in working on her monograph!

We will have a lunch by NoDo. Please email Naomi Greyser to RSVP, mentioning any food sensitivities:

About Brady G'Sell

Brady G'Sell is an Assistant Professor in Anthropology and Gender Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Her research in South Africa draws upon anthropology and history to examine kinship, citizenship, gender, race, and political belonging. Drawing on approaches from feminist anthropology, women’s history, and gendered theories of capital, her work considers how intimate relationships—such as those between couples or kin—reproduce or transform both economic inequalities and political belonging. 

What is a POROI Seminar?

Every semester, POROI hosts rhetoric seminars featuring the work of UI and visiting scholars, artists, researchers and activists. Each presentation takes place with an audience from diverse disciplines who have read the work and are prepared to engage with the text. The virtue of the format becomes especially apparent as disciplines and intellectual traditions cross paths with personal proclivities, reading habits, patterns of knowledge and modes of expressions. The group provides rigorous and supportive criticism concerning what it sees as the work's strengths and weaknesses, providing the speaker with ideas for revision and eventual publication. Many presenters eventually publish revised versions of their projects in scholarly publications, film festivals, research outlets, or other venues.

If you are interested in sharing your own project at a POROI rhetoric seminar, email and to talk about it!