British Academy Global Professor Award for Dr Tendai Mangena

The University of Leeds is delighted to welcome Dr Tendai Mangena, who has been awarded a prestigious Global Professorship by the British Academy. With this award, Dr Mangena will take up a four-year position associated with the Leeds University Centre for African Studies and the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science. She will undertake a research programme titled “Uncoupling Heteropatriarchy in African Feminism”.

Using the experiences of unmarried Shona women of Zimbabwe as represented in indigenous knowledges and in their biographies, the project will explore the decolonial implications of such representations for African feminism. It constitutes a critical response to calls for African feminism to decolonize, particularly problematizing the concern with heterosexual marriage which, although deeply embedded in indigenous cultures, can arguably be seen as a legacy of the colonial, Euro-Christian influence in African societies. The project includes the writing of a monograph as well as the organisation of a seminar series and an international conference.

Dr Tendai Mangena is currently Associate Professor of African Literary and Cultural Studies at Great Zimbabwe University in Masvingo, Zimbabwe and Research Fellow at the University of the Free State, South Africa. She received her PhD in 2015 from Leiden University. Since then she held an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Bremen University and a Fulbright Visiting Scholarship at the University of California, Riverside.

Every year, the British Academy makes a small number of awards to mid-career and senior scholars under its Global Professorship programme. The programme aims to support academics to undertake ambitious, beyond the state-of-the-art research, with a view to developing novel and innovative collaborations with the host institution.

According to Professor Andrew Thorpe, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures at the University of Leeds,

It is a great honour and privilege to host Dr Mangena’s Global Professorship. It reflects our vision of internationalisation where we work with scholars and partner institutions from across the world delivering innovative and transformational research that advances knowledge and addresses major societal issues. The Global South is central to this vision, and Dr Mangena’s input to research, student education, and strategy development here at Leeds will help us implement it.