Staff Directory

Dr Stephanie Cawood
Senior Lecturer
Centre for Gender & Africa Studies
112A 140
Centre for Africa Studies
IB 110
051 4012614
President Steyn Annex 140

Short CV

Dr Stephanie Cawood explores the dynamics between orality and the embodied mind and consciousness. Trained in communication science and media studies, her major field of specialization is oral communication, in particular rhetoric and the oral tradition. She obtained her PhD in 2011 with her thesis titled, The Rhetorical Imprint of Nelson Mandela as Reflected in Public Speeches, 1950-2004. In her work, she argues that the structure of human thought and consciousness is derived from the nature of embodied experience and that all forms of expression are the products of this dynamic interaction. Dr Cawood is experienced in interdisciplinary scholarship and from 2008 to 2010 successfully led a National Heritage Council-funded project on the oral histories and the cultural uses of clay at sacred sites in the eastern Free State. In 2007, Dr Cawood was appointed as lecturer in the Centre for Africa Studies and in 2012 became the programme director of the postgraduate Africa Studies programmes in the centre. She teaches in the Africa and Gender Studies programmes and is involved in the supervision of postgraduate students at honour’s, master’s and doctoral level. In 2013, Dr Cawood spent a month at the University of Bologna in Italy as part of the Erasmus Mundus Action 2 mobility programme of the EUROSA (Europe and South Africa Partnership for Human Development) project where she was hosted by the Department of Political and Social Sciences. At the end of 2014, she was invited by BIGSAS (Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies) in Germany to participate in a workshop on religion and space in Africa. In February 2015, Dr Cawood was a panel member on the Presidential Theme Panel titled, Decolonizing the Western Academy: Postcolonial Challenges to Global IR  at the 56th Annual Convention of the ISA (International Studies Association) held in New Orleans, Louisiana (USA).  


Publications (Short List)

Cawood, S. 2014. The ‘Recalcitrant Other’: The rhetorical identity and struggle of Nelson Mandela. Africa Insight 44(1): 38 – 50.

Cawood, S. 2014. The rhetoric of ritual: Sacred sites and the oral tradition in the Mohakare Valley. In: P. Post, P.J. Nel & W. van Beek (Eds.). Sacred Spaces and Contested Identities: Space and Ritual Dynamics in Europe and Africa. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press. Chapter 11: pp 203 – 224. ISBN 9781592219544. 

Cawood, S. & De Wet, J.C. 2014. The rhetorical imprint from a constructivist perspective. Communitas, 19(2014): 60 – 79.

Cawood, S. & Moephuli, J. 2014. Site descriptions of the sacred sites of the eastern Free State.  In: P. Post, P.J. Nel & W. van Beek (Eds.). Sacred Spaces and Contested Identities: Space and Ritual Dynamics in Europe and Africa. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press. Addendum: pp 27 - 38. ISBN 9781592219544. 


Area(s) of Interest

Rhetoric and discourse (Cognitive linguistics, embodied realism, pragmatic constructivism)

Africa Studies (Postcolonial critique, thought systems, epistemology)

Gender Studies (Patriarchy, media representation)

Heritage Studies (indigenous knowledge systems, ritual, oral tradition and memory)

Culture and Media Studies (Pop culture, consumerism, media representation, gender)



Courses Presented

ASHR6806 Research methodology

GSPT5826 Gender and tradition

GSPC5826 Gender and citizenship (co-teach with Prof Heidi Hudson)

ASIK7918 Indigenous knowledge systems

ASIP7928 African thought systems and postcolonial critique

ASDC7928 Development communication in an African context


T: +27 51 401 2240 or

Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Katlego Mabulana: +27 51 401 2495
Juanita Hlongwane: +27 51 401 3269

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