Staff Members

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Associate Professor
Name: Nthabiseng Motsemme
Department of Sociology  Staff Members

Contact Details:
Tel: 0115599000


About Prof Nthabiseng Motsemme


Prof Nthabiseng Motsemme is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Johannesburg, Sociology Department. She previously served as Academic Director at the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS), and Postgraduate Director at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, while also holding research associate positions at the University of South Africa and Nelson Mandela University. Nthabiseng’s work was celebrated at the African Feminist international conference held in 2018, entitled after her paper: ‘The Mute Always Speak’: (Re) imagining and re-imaging feminist futures; hosted by the Rhodes University Department of Literary Studies in English and Department of Fine Arts, which brought together scholars from across the humanities and social science disciplines. Nthabiseng completed her doctoral studies in 2011 and her scholarship focuses mainly on African working-class women’s experiences, voices, struggles and agencies, and is interdisciplinarity and methodologically reflexive. She is also an editorial board member of the African Identities journal.


  • DLitt et Phil, Sociology, UNISA
  • MA, Culture, Race and Difference, Sussex University
  • BSocSci. Hons Organisational Psychology, University of Cape Town
  • BSocSci. (Organisational Psychology and Economics), University of Cape Town

Research Interests

  • African feminist and womanist theories
  • Township women’s subjectivities, identities and cultures of survival
  • Death and Healing in Black Communities
  • African Truth and Reconciliation Commissions and gendering memories under violent regimes

Selected Publications

Magadla, S., Magoqwana, B and Motsemme, N. (2021): Thirty years of Male Daughters, Female Husbands: Revisiting Ifi Amadiume’s questions on gender, sex and political economy, Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 1-17.

Motsemme, N. (2007) “Loving in a time of hopelessness”: On township women’s subjectivities in a time of HIV/AIDS, in African Identities, 5(1): 61-87. Motsemme, N. (2004) The meanings of silence’ in Rhodes Journalism Review, 24

Motsemme, N. (2004) ‘The mute always Speak’: On women’s silences at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Current Sociology, 52(3): 909-932. Motsemme N. (2003) ‘Distinguishing Beauty, creating distinctions: the politics and poetics of dress among Black women,’ in Agenda, 57:12-18.

Motsemme N. (2003) ‘Black Women’s Identities’, in K. Ratele and N. Duncan (eds) Social Psychology: Identities and Relationships. Cape Town: UCT Press. Motsemme N. (2002) ‘Gendered Experiences of Blackness in Post-apartheid South Africa’, in Social Identities, 8(4):647-673.

Motsemme, N. (2002) Y-Freedom. WISER Brief, Newsletter of the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research Motsemme N. and Ratele K. (2002) Losing life and Remaking Nation at the Reconciliation Commissions in N.

Duncan, P.D. Gqola. M. Hofmeyer, T. Shefer, F. Malungu and M. Mashige (eds) Discourses of Difference and Discourses of Oppression. Cape Town: The Centre for Advanced Study of African Society.