Home Institution

Georgetown University

Publication Date

Fall 2019

Program Name

South Africa: Multiculturalism and Human Rights


This research responds to the following question: how do LGBTQ South Africans in Cape Town come to understand and embody their queerness? Drawing on ideas of the body as a sense making agent (Meyburgh 2006) and site of socio-political contestation (Foucault 1975) this research adapts body-mapping methodologies (de Jager, Tewson, Ludlow, Boydell 2016) to excavate the ways in which LGBT South Africans negotiate their queerness. Through centering the experiences of three LGBTQ identified South African’s in conversation with the experiences of the researcher, this paper delves into how queer people make sense of and understand themselves in relation to their material reality. Foregrounded by an overview of the methodological and ethical considerations operationalized throughout, this paper will present the narratives of each participant culminating in a discussion on observations surrounding ideas troubling queerness as ‘un-African’, of language, and of community gleaned during these conversations closed by a final reflection from the researcher.


African Languages and Societies | African Studies | Gender and Sexuality | History of Gender | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Social and Cultural Anthropology


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