Prof Elaine Salo
Prof Elaine Rosa Salo is the Director of the Institute for Women’s and Gender Studies. Prior to this appointment, she was a Senior Lecturer at the African Gender Institute, University of Cape Town.
Elaine received her PhD in Anthropology in 2004 from Emory University. Her dissertation was titled: Respectable Mothers, Tough Men and Good Daughters: making persons in Manenberg township, South Africa.
Elaine’s research interests focus on women in higher education and the contemporary meanings of gender amongst youth living in the peri-urban and rural areas of South Africa. Her most recent publications include: a chapter entitled "Glamour, Glitz and Girls: the meanings of femininity in high school matric ball culture" (co-authored with Bianca Davids) in the book The Prize and the Price. Shaping sexualities in South Africa (edited by Melissa Steyn and Miki van Zyl, HSRC Press 2009); as well as a chapter entitled "Women in the academy" published in the collection entitled Gender Activism. Perspective on the South African transition, institutional culture and everyday life (edited by Greg Ruiters Rhodes University Institute of Social and Economic Research 2008). She is currently co-editing a special issue for Feminist Africa, with Prof Sophie Oldfield (UCT), that examines the constructions of gender and the body within urban space.
Elaine envisions that through the promotion of gender justice and women’s human rights, the Institute will assist in alleviating poverty amongst women in Southern Africa, and in building a culture of tolerance, diversity and democracy. To this end, the Institute is embarking upon a programme to promote training, research and publications on gender and transformation, in collaboration with cognate departments, as well as with colleagues at UP Mamelodi Campus.
Elaine Salo has been appointed the lead anthropologist in a collaborative research project with the Gender Unit of the HSRC and the School of Public Health, University of Columbia, in which they seek to examine the sexual risk behaviour of men who have sex with men. The ethnographic research, which will be conducted over the next three years, will be carried out in the Tshwane metropolitan area.
Conferences and Publications
Elaine Salo coordinated an international conference, "Body Politics & Gender Justice" with Sophie Oldfield held at the University of Cape Town. Her keynote address entitled "South African Feminisms – a coming of age?" will be published in an edited volume on Feminism & Women’s Social Movements by Amrita Basu, Professor of Political Science & Women’s & Gender Studies, Amherst College, USA.
Read Elaine’s letter to the editor (The Weekender, 16 May 2009) regarding Julius Malema’s misogynist comments to Helen Zille. In this article, Elaine critiques the assumption that monogamy is better than polygamy – for her, the central problem is the institution of marriage and the inequalities that women experience in it.
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