front cover of Environmental Justice in South Africa
Environmental Justice in South Africa
David A. McDonald
Ohio University Press, 2002
Environmental Justice in South Africa provides a systematic overview of the first ten years of postapartheid environmental politics. Written by leading activists and academics in the field, this edited collection offers the first critical perspective of environmental justice theory and practice in South Africa. Accessible and wide-ranging in its coverage, the book offers a benchmark analysis of the environmental justice movement today as well as an assessment of where it may be headed in the future.

Beginning with a history of the environmental justice movement in the country, the book explores a range of conceptual and practical questions: How does environmental justice relate to issues of marginalization and poverty in South Africa? What are the links between environmental justice and other schools of environmental thought? Is the legal system an appropriate tool for addressing environmental equity? How do race, class, and gender intersect in the South African environmental context?

The second half of the book is a more concrete exploration of environmental (in)justice in the country. These chapters are interspersed with real-life stories of struggles by workers and communities for environmental change. The book is an invaluable resource for South African and international audiences interested in the growing, and increasingly global, environmental justice movement.

front cover of Envisioning African Intersex
Envisioning African Intersex
Challenging Colonial and Racist Legacies in South African Medicine
Amanda Lock Swarr
Duke University Press, 2023
Since the 1600s, travelers, scientists, and doctors have claimed that “hermaphroditism” and intersex are disproportionately common among black South Africans. In Envisioning African Intersex Amanda Lock Swarr debunks this claim by interrogating contemporary intersex medicine and demonstrating its indivisibility from colonial ideologies and scientific racism. Tracing the history of racialized research that underpins medical and scientific premises of gendered bodies, Swarr analyzes decolonial actions by intersex South Africans from the 1990s to the present, centering the work of organizers such as Sally Gross, the first openly intersex activist in Africa and a global pioneer of intersex legislation. Swarr also explores African social media activism that advocates for intersex justice and challenges the mistreatment of South African Olympian Caster Semenya. Throughout, Swarr shows how activists displace doctors’ impositions to fashion self-representation. By unseating colonial visions of gender, intersex South Africans are actively disrupting medical violence, decolonizing gender binaries, and inciting policy changes.

All author royalties from Envisioning African Intersex will be donated to Intersex South Africa.

front cover of Epidemics
The Story of South Africa’s Five Most Lethal Human Diseases
Howard Phillips
Ohio University Press, 2012

This is the first history of epidemics in South Africa, lethal episodes that significantly shaped this society over three centuries. Focusing on five devastating diseases between 1713 and today—smallpox, bubonic plague, “Spanish influenza,” polio, and HIV/AIDS—the book probes their origins, their catastrophic courses, and their consequences in both the short and long terms. The impacts of these epidemics ranged from the demographic—the “Spanish flu,” for instance, claimed the lives of six percent of the country’s population in six weeks—to the political, the social, the economic, the spiritual, the psychological, and the cultural. Moreover, as each of these epidemics occurred at crucial moments in the country’s history—such as during the South African War and World War I—the book also examines how these processes affected and were affected by the five epidemics. To those who read this book, history will not look the same again.


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