Prof Sarojini Nadar
Position Full Professor
Discipline Gender and Religion
Phone +27 332605540/+27 31 2607303
Email nadars@ukzn.ac.za
Campus PMB/Howard College Campus
Office Address Room 203A, New Arts Building

Degrees Held

  • BA, BA(Hons), MSoc Sci (UCT), PhD (Natal)

Profile

Career Profile

  • Sarojini Nadar graduated with a BA degree from the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 1996. Her majors were in English Literature and Religious Studies. She obtained a Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) in 1997 and her Masters of Arts in 2000 in the area of Biblical Literature, also at UCT. She obtained her PhD in 2003 at the age of 27 from the erstwhile University of Natal (now UKZN). While she was still undertaking her PhD, she was the coordinator of the International Network in Advanced Theological Education (INATE) from 2002-2005. The network was based in 8 countries and spanned five continents. In 2008, she was appointed to a permanent position as the Director of the Gender and Religion programme which she co-founded. She returned to this position in 2014 after a two-year tenure as the Dean of Research in the College of Humanities in 2012 and 2013. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 2011 and Full Professor in 2014.

Research

  • Her more than a decade-long journey researching on feminism and faith, and the intersections between them in a post-apartheid public higher education context has taken her down many research paths. Her primary research interest is in gender-based violence in its broadest sense, from physical and sexual violence to epistemic violence. More especially her research (and teaching) focuses on understanding and critiquing the relationship between religious and cultural systems and gender-based violence. She has researched and published widely in this field, focusing on feminist biblical hermeneutics, HIV&AIDS; masculinity and sexuality. She also has a special interest in studying and developing theories of feminism in Africa, and more recently she has developed an interest in gender and higher education research. This has been inspired by a funded Masters programme called Gender, Religion and Health at four institutions in Africa. The programme is in its second year of existence having successfully graduated its first cohort of students. Nadar has been the keynote speaker at several international and local conferences and has been a visiting scholar at the Universities of Oslo, Uppsala, Princeton as well as Gurukul Lutheran Theological Institute in Chennai, India. Nadar has co-edited a total of five books; guest edited two accredited journals, and has had 16 chapters published in books nationally and internationally as well as 40 journal articles in national and international journals. She co-edits the DOHET accredited journal, Journal of Gender and Religion in Africa, the only academic journal in Africa which focuses on the interface between gender and religion and she is a member of several accredited international journal editorial boards including Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, based at Harvard University in the Unites States and Women's Studies International Forum, based at University of Southampton, UK.

Teaching

  • The South African Higher Education landscape has been alive with calls for recontextualisation and Africanisation of the curriculum as democracy loomed in the early 90’s. These calls were made within the context of the Education Development Programme (EDP) by the erstwhile University of Natal. Gerald West notes that “The EDP was designed to enable academic departments across the University to reconstruct their pedagogy in ways that would address and redress the disadvantages encoded into apartheid’s Bantu Education system” (2009:74). 
  • The erstwhile School of Theology at the University of Natal had embraced this call and had deliberately mainstreamed contextual and liberation theologies into the curriculum through an endeavour called “The Contextualisation of Theological Education Project” in 1991.  A decade later, Professor Nadar and Professor Isabel Phiri began to make calls for the “engendering” of this Africanised and contextualised curriculum. The idea was to have a specialised programme in gender but to also mainstream gender into the curriculum in general. They developed courses and templates for a specialised postgraduate programme from Honours to PhD, and they mainstreamed gender into the undergraduate programme. In 2008, Nadar  was appointed to a permanent teaching position as the director of this programme called Gender and Religion. Nadar’s teaching has taken place within this predominantly postgraduate context and since her appointment she has successfully graduated 8 PhD students and 13 Masters Students. In 2012, as the Dean of Research, Nadar piloted the Cohort Supervision Workshops (pioneered by Professors Renuka Vithal and Michael Samuel in the erstwhile Faculty of Education) for PhD students in the College of Humanities. Aimed at improving degree completion rates and offering academic support and interdisciplinary richness, the initiative was the first initiative of its kind operating across the College in a trans-disciplinary context. The feedback from the students concurs with what studies on the model have shown and that is that the model produces graduates who become critical thinkers and responsible knowledge producers and researchers. Her teaching and research is grounded within a “knowledge and education for advocacy paradigm,” and she is passionate about contributing to the social development of communities.

Teaching Experience

  • School of Religion and Theology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, 2011  1. Theory and Method (Honours Core Module); 2. Biblical Hermeneutics: Women and Gender (Honours/Masters Elective); African Women's Theologies (Honours/Masters Elective).
  • School of Religion and Theology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, 2010  1. Theory and Method (Honours Core Module); 2. Proposal Writing Module (Masters Core Module); 3. Issues of Masculinity and Gender(Honours/Masters Elective); 4. Critical Tools for Biblical Study (2nd year Literary and Gender Component of Module); 5. History of Christianity (3rd year Gender Component of Module).
  • Guest LectureSchool of Education, Discipline of Social Justice Education, UKZN, 2010. Module: “Social Identity and Oppression” Lecture: “Same-sex sexuality and the bible”. Co presented with Prof. Gerald West.
  • School of Religion and Theology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, 2009 - 1. African Women's Theologies (Honours/Masters Elective); 2. Systematic Theology: Political and Economic Ethics: Theological Perspectives (3rd year Teaching Component: Feminist Theologies); 3. Biblical Theology (3rd year Teaching Component: Gender, Bible and HIV&AIDS); 4. Critical Tools for Biblical Study (2nd year Literary and Gender Component of Module); 5. Biblical Hermeneutics: Women and Gender (Honours/Masters Elective); 6. History of Christianity (3rd year Gender Component)
  • School of Religion and Theology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, 2008 - 1. Theory and Method (Honours Core Module); 2. Systematic Theology: Political and Economic Ethics: Theological Perspectives (3rd year Teaching Component: Feminist Theologies); 3. Theology in the African Context/Advanced Theology in the African Context (Honours/Masters Core Module); 4. Issues of Masculinity and Gender (Honours/Masters Elective); 5. Gender, Religion and Ethics (3rd year)
  • Guest Lecture, School of Social Work and Community Development, UKZN, 2008: Module "Anti-Oppression and Critical Theory." Lecture: “The Jacob Zuma Rape Trial and the place of religion and culture in gender discourse”
  • School of Religion and Theology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, 2007 - 1. Theory and Method (Honours Core Module); 2. Gender, Tradition and the Church in Africa (Honours/Masters Core Module); 3. African Women's Theologies (Honours/Masters Elective); 4. Systematic Theology: Political and Economic Ethics: Theological Perspectives (3rd year Teaching Component: Feminist Theologies); 5. Biblical Hermeneutics: Women and Gender (Honours/Masters Elective Gender, Religion and Ethics (3rd year)
  • School of Philosophy and Ethics 2007 -  1. Applied Global Ethics (1st year Hinduism; Gender, Religion and Ethics); 2.  The Ethics of Power (2nd year Contemporary Issues in Gender and Ethics); 3.  Gender Issues in Religion and Ethics (3rd year)
  • Guest lecture: St Joseph's Theological Institute, Cedara, 2007, Module: “Feminist Theology” Lecture: Feminist Hermeneutics in Africa”
  • School of Religion and Theology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, 2006 - 1. Theory and Method (Honours Core Module); 2. Gender, Tradition and the Church in Africa (Honours/Masters Core Module); 3. African Women's Theologies (Honours/Masters Elective); 4. Issues of Masculinity and Gender (Honours/Masters Elective);
  • School of Philosophy and Ethics 2006 -  1. Applied Global Ethics (1st year Hinduism; Gender, Religion and Ethics); 2.  The Ethics of Power (2nd year Contemporary Issues in Gender and Ethics); 3.  Gender Issues in Religion and Ethics (3rd year).
  • School of Religion and Theology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, 2002 to 2005 - 1. Biblical Studies (1st year An Introduction to The Old Testament); 2. Biblical Studies (2nd year Literary Biblical Analysis: Ruth and Esther); 3. Biblical Studies (3rd year Gender, Bible and HIV&AIDS); 4. Biblical Studies (Honours and Masters Feminist and Womanist Hermeneutics)
  • Guest lecture: St Joseph's Theological Institute, Cedara, 2002, 2003, 2005, Module: “Feminist Theology” Lecture: Feminist Hermeneutics in Africa”

Publications / Selected Publications

Books

Edited Books

Chapters in Books

Journal Articles

[Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals]

[Review Articles in Peer-Review Journals]

  • Sarojini Nadar. 2008. "Review Article - Engaging Biblical Authority." Journal of Biblical Interpretation 1. 2008, 375-393
  • Sarojini Nadar.2007. "Review Article: What about the Margins? Biblical Scholarship Fifteen Years after Voices From the Margin." Scriptura 95. 2007, 293-297.
  • Sarojini Nadar. 2002."Review Article - The Bible in Africa: Transactions, Trajectories and Trends." Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 112. March 2002, 99-104.

PhD and Masters Student Supervision Completed

[PhD]

  • Kennedy Owino, “Godly Manhood”: Evangelical Constructions Of Masculinities In A South African Context – A Case Study Of The Mighty Men’s Conference (MMC), - Co-Supervisor with Isabel Phiri, 2014
  • Rosinah Gabaitse: “Towards an African Pentecostal feminist biblical hermeneutic of liberation: Interpreting Acts 2:1-47 in the context of Botswana” – Co-supervisor with Jonathan Draper, 2013
  • Jenette Louisa Sprong, “For Healing and Transformation” A feminist ecclesiological study on the gap between gender policy and practice in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa (MCSA) - Sole Supervisor, 2012
  • Rubeena Partab, "Challenging Masculinities: Critical Feminist Reflections on the relationship between Domestic Violence and Religion." - Sole Supervisor, 2012
  • Cheryl Dibeela, "A Quest for a Liberatory Learning Ethos: (A Case Study of the Women's Associations in the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa)." - Co-Supervisor with Steve De Gruchy, 2011
  • Rose Materu, "Towards Gender-Sensitive Theological Responses To HIV and AIDS: A Critical Study of the HIV And AIDS Policy and Programmes of The Northern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania." - Co-Supervisor with Isabel Apawo Phiri, 2011
  • Lydia Mwaniki, "God's Image or Man's Glory?: A Kenyan Postcolonial Feminist Reading of 1 Corinthians 11:1-16." - Co-Supervisor with Jonathan A. Draper, 2011
  • Beatrice Dedaa Okyere-Manu, "'Shattering the Glass Ceiling': A Critical Feminist Investigation of the Ethical Challenges faced by African Women in Black Economic Empowerment (BEE)." - Co-Supervisor with Felix Munyaradzi Murove, 2011

[Masters]

  • Lindiwe Mkasi, “A threat to Zulu patriarchy and the continuation of community: A queer analysis of same sex relationships amongst female traditional healers at Inanda and KwaNgcolosi, KwaZulu-Natal” Co-supervisor with Isabel Phiri, 2014
  • Alice Fabian (Cum Laude), “For the Bible tells me so? An explorative study of children's critical and theological ability to engage with the Bible, using a contextual Bible Study, on the Widow's Offering in Mark 12 as a case study, Sole Supervisor, 2013
  • Mutale Kaunda, “A search for a life-giving marriage: The Imbusa Initiation Rite as a space for constructing wellbeing among married Bemba women of Zambia” Sole Supervisor, 2013
  • Salvador Macule “Transforming masculinities into an asset for HIV prevention: A case study of how Mabutho's (The UCCSA men's organization) teachings on masculinities can mediate HIV prevention in the UCCSA-Mozambique”, Sole Supervisor, 2013
  • Albert Bangirana, "In God's Image?" Single Women and Vulnerability to HIV." - Sole Supervisor, 2012
  • Jonathan Kangwa, "Gender, HIV and Female Initiation Rites in Zambia." - Sole Supervisor, 2012
  • Ayalkibet Berhanu, “A Gendered Analysis of the HIV&AIDS Policy of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church” – Sole Supervisor, 2012
  • Jessica Richard, "'Resisting Bodies' as a Hermeneutical Tool for a Critical Feminist Christology of Liberation and Transformation." - Sole Supervisor, 2011
  • Bodson Lupyani, "The (Sub)Ordination of Women in the Evangelical Church in Zambia: A Critical Analysis of the Ecclesiological and Hermeneutical Principles Underlying the Refusal of Ordination to Women." - Sole Supervisor,2010
  • Jennifer Sistig, "Who's in Charge in a Genderless Marriage? A Queer Analysis of the Opposition to Same-Sex Marriage as Articulated by the Marriage Alliance of South Africa." - Sole Supervisor, 2010.
  • Nokokure Gaomas, "The Effects of Biblical and Cultural Patriarchy on the Lives of Married Damara Women in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELCRN)." - Sole Supervisor, 2008
  • Virginia Francis, "Prosperity for Whom? Pentecostalism and Social Responsibility." - Co-Supervisor with Mark Swillig, School of Public Management & Planning, University of Stellenbosch, 2008

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