The University of Cape Town holds an annual Celebrating Africa Month, a programme designed to honour the university’s connectedness and engagement in and around Africa. The various activities that take place during the month culminate in The Big Debate, a panel discussion on a topic of African relevance. The panel is made up of intellectuals from UCT and around the continent. Panelists who have taken part in The Big Debate over the years have all contributed written pieces to a series of books called the Celebrating Africa Series in the hands of the managing editor, Emma Arogundade, and series editors Prof. Harry Garuba and Prof. Evance Kalula.
Contested Intimacies: Sexuality, Gender and Law in Africa is the latest title in this series, following on from 2014’s Big Debate, the topic of which was Sexuality and the Law.
A timely collection of essays, Contested Intimacies offers five unique analyses of the ways that sexuality, gender, and the law interact in eastern and southern African countries, primarily Uganda and South Africa. The authors argue strenuously for social critiques of the law that attend to the intricate intersections between different aspects of identity, whether class, race, national identity, within national, continental, and global debates about the status of gender and sexual minorities. In one way or another, all of the essays in this book also name patriarchy and its interest in validating heteronormative bonds as the chief motivation for anti-homosexuality and ‘decency’ laws in Africa. With such incisive research, Contested Intimacies creates a critical space in which feminists and LGBTI communities, along with their allies, can forge new strategies in the effort to create a more just world, whether at the level of immediate locality, nation, or the continent.
Siber Ink Publishers are proud to have collaborated with The International Academic Programmes Office (IAPO) and The Centre for African Studies (CAS), both at UCT, to make this publication possible.