Pumla Dineo Gqola


Dineo Gqola

SARChI Chair in African Feminist Imagination, Nelson Mandela University


Pumla is a feminist author and Professor of Literary and Cultural Studies at Nelson Mandela University, where she holds the South African Research Chair in African Feminist Imagination. She has authored five books, including the landmark 'What is Slavery to me? Postcolonial/Slave memory in post-apartheid South Africa' (2010), and the 2016 Alan Paton Award winning 'Rape: A South African Nightmare and Female Fear Factory'. Pumla's coinage "the female fear factory" earned the 2023 Breakthrough Award in Humanities and Social Sciences by the Falling Walls Foundation in Berlin.
Outside the academy, Pumla sits on the Board of Trustees of the African feminist strategic litigation firm, Women's Legal Centre, and previously chaired the Board of the 1in9 Campaign, a feminist non-profit. She has also served on the boards of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) Press and the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR).

At THE NEW INSTITUTE, Pumla is involved in the program Black Feminism and the Polycrisis. She will be joining us in January 2024.

  • What gives you hope?
    Children, artists, and love.

  • How does change happen?
    Change happens through the deliberate, relentless action to create a shift in collective consciousness.

  • Describe yourself in 3 Words?
    Kind, deliberate, curious.


Religious Mapping, Epistemic Risk and Archival Adventure in Athambile Masola's Ilifa, in African Journal of Gender and Religion, 2023

Travel Disruption, Irritability and Canonisation, in Reading from the South: African Print Cultures and Oceanic Turns in Isabel Hofmeyr's Work, 2023

A Playful but also Very Serious Love Letter to Gabrielle Goliath, in Surfacing: On Being Black and Feminist in South Africa, 2022

Intimate Foreigners or Violent Neighbours? Thinking Masculinity and Post-apartheid Xenophobic Violence Through Film, Agenda, 2016

| stay informed | stay connected


We are in this together – and our newsletter is the best way to connect and be inspired. Competent, constructive, creative. A wealth of insight and guidance in a world in turmoil.


We use cookies to measure how often our site is visited and how it is used. You can withdraw your consent at any time with effect for the future. For further information, please refer to our privacy policy.