Prof Vasu Reddy
Vice-Chancellor: Research and Internationalisation

Prof Vasu Reddy

Prof Vasu Reddy is the Vice-Chancellor: Research and Internationalisation of the University of the Free State (UFS). 

He completed a BA, BA (Hons) and a Higher Diploma in Education at the University of Natal (Durban), a master’s degree in comparative literature at Wits University, and a PhD in gender studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He began his career in languages, comparative literature, and gender studies as a lecturer at the same institution in 1993, before moving through the ranks as senior lecturer, associate professor, honorary professor, and research fellow. He was also Executive Director of the Human and Social Development Research Programme at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) before joining the University of Pretoria as a Professor of Sociology and Dean of the Faculty of the Humanities for two terms from 2015.

He is a member of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa (ASSAf) and a B1 NRF-rated scientist. His research areas are African sexualities, genders, and inequalities which expose the persistent silences around sexualities (also aligned to HIV/AIDS). His research focuses on the importance of sexual cultures to interpret and understand sexual diversity in promoting people’s rights, well-being, and dignity with local and international research partners. He has supported an extensive number of postgraduate students and contributed to numerous peer-reviewed publications as both author and editor. He also boasts an extensive list of local and international conferences, and is a respected workshop and short course facilitator. 

Between 2007 and 2022 Prof Reddy was involved in obtaining substantive research funds which contributed to numerous projects, including topics such as gender-based violence, affirmative action, poverty, food security, sexuality, education, public intellectuals, and equality, to name a few. 

Beyond articles in these areas, his more recent book-length publications are Queer in Africa: LGBTQI Identities, Citizenship and Activism (with Zethu Matebeni and Surya Monro, 2018); Queer Kinship: South African perspectives on the sexual politics of family-making and belonging (with Tracy Morison and Ingrid Lynch, 2018); State of the Nation: Poverty and Inequalities – Diagnosis, Prognosis, Responses (with Crain Soudien and Ingrid Woolard, 2019); The Fabric of Dissent: Public Intellectuals in South Africa (lead editor with Narnia Bohler-Muller, Greg Houston, Maxi Schoeman, and Heather Thuynsma, 2020); State of the Nation: Ethics, Politics, Inequalities: New Directions (with Narnia Bohler-Muller and Crain Soudien, 2021), University on the Border: Crisis of Authority and Precarity (with Liz Lange and Siseko Kumalo, 2021), and Texture of Dissent: Defiant Public Intellectuals in South Africa (with Narnia Bohler-Muller, Greg Houston, Maxi Schoeman, and Heather Thuynsma, 2022).

Prof Reddy is a regular guest for local and international media, providing expert opinions and insight into his field of interest. He was part of a Ford-funded international project on sexualities and pedagogies, and had several successful linkages with institutions in the USA and UK. He has also been involved in successful partnerships with civil society organisations and some multilateral agencies that have resulted in successful research collaborations with scholars and activists in South Africa, other parts of Africa, India, Europe, the United Kingdom, Latin America, and North America.  

Beyond academic work, Prof Reddy enjoys the company of friends and colleagues, enjoying time with his cat Tau, his partner, and his family, as well as good red wine and cooking.

Office Manager: Elma Viljoen
+ 27 51 401 2116

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