Yale Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Volume 7, Issue 2
spring 2017
Editor, Geetanjali Singh Chanda
Managing Editors, Linda Hase & Moe Gardner
Layout Design, Nick Appleby

Gender, Sexuality, and Decolonizing South African Universities (WGSS 294)

by Glodie Mujinga Mulunda '19

I randomly shopped Gender, Sexuality, and Decolonizing South African Universities because I was very intrigued by the title and wanted to take a class that was very much different from my Economics courses.  I went in with an open mind and the course has not disappointed me.   It provides an extensive analysis of the impacts of colonization on South African Universities, and a thorough study on student activism, academic freedom, alienation in the academy, and oppression of marginalized groups of people demanding decolonization of African institutions. 

I have loved every second of the course; I am always fascinated by the readings, looking forward to seminar, and discussing some of the materials with friends who aren’t even taking the class.  It is a wonderful and challenging class for me because it is very much out of my area of expertise, but I appreciate it nonetheless. It challenges me to evaluate the ways in which the colonized education I received in the Congo (I attend a Belgium private school) has affected me; it has also pushed me to scrutinize, like I have never before, the ways in which I allow the Yale institution to shape me. 

I have learned a lot about the demands and needs for a different kind of society and education in institutions in some African countries, especially South Africa; and it has been great to draw parallels to Yale in order to assess the hardships of marginalized individuals on this campus, and the kinds of environments that we find ourselves in and how they affect our education.  I have also learned a lot about the ways that different African cultures and colonization have affected education and scholarship in the continent and how difficult it is to decolonized universities in Africa when powerful western institutions are idolized.  

I love how engaged my peers are with the course, they have tremendously contributed to my wonderful experience with the class.  I have very much appreciated learning so much from everyone; the interactive environment has made it easy for everyone to share their experiences, evaluate the Yale education, and engage with and critique the readings extensively.

Professor Zethu is absolutely amazing, and it has been wonderful learning from her this semester.  She allowed us to create an open space for eye opening, challenging, and educational discussions, while also allowing us to concentrate on individual enquiry into specific issues such as education restructuring.

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