'That's not who I am': Knowledge production and female same-sexuality in KwaZulu-Natal


Dr. Taylor Riley

Research Area:


My research aims to examine the production of knowledge about female homosexuality in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. I aim to show where female non-heteronormative behavior is constructed as permissible, or even reverent, and where it is constructed as the opposite, or even punishable, and why in the contemporary.  If we are to understand the cultural within the context of exchanges of meaning, it stands that knowledge is not only inseparable from power but also mediated by image and language.  My project is therefore broadly focused on the analytical categories of sexuality and knowledge, and more specifically focused on representations of both sexual subjectivities and the complexities and ambiguities of the sexual life-world.  These themes are seldom discussed even though they are at the heart of current debates on homosexuality in South African and international media.  I ultimately hope to address how local knowledges are produced, by whom, and to what end through analysis of in-depth interviews that focus on the participants’ visual narratives, alongside an analysis of representations of homosexuality in local and international media practices.