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Exploring the Haunting Legacy of Apartheid's Immorality Act: A Lecture with Prof. Susanne M. Klausen
Start: 28/05/2024, 12:30
End: 28/05/2024, 13:45
Contact:Ceasar - 0218084032
Location: AVReQ Seminar Room

The Afterlife of Apartheid's Immorality Act: Enduring Legacies of Legacies of the Criminalization of Interracial Desire

In 1950, a significant legislative change occurred in South Africa with the passage of the Immorality (Amendment) Act under the apartheid regime. This legislation sought to criminalize interracial relationships between "Europeans" and "non-Europeans," marking a pivotal moment in the country's history. As we examine the repercussions of this Act, it becomes imperative to analyse its enduring legacies and the profound impact it has had on our societal landscape.

On the 28th of May, Prof. Susanne M. Klausen, the Julia Gregg Brill Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Pennsylvania State University, will lead an insightful lecture titled "The Afterlife of Apartheid's Immorality Act: Enduring Legacies of the Criminalization of Interracial Desire." This event promises to be a thoughtful exploration into a crucial chapter of South Africa's history that continues to resonate in our contemporary reality.

During the thirty-five years that the Immorality Act remained in effect, over 19,000 South Africans faced prosecution, with more than 11,000 individuals convicted for crossing the colour line in pursuit of love and intimacy. The enforcement of this Act, though fading from public memory, continues to cast a long shadow over our society, with its implications reverberating in contemporary issues.

In this upcoming lecture, Prof. Klausen will shed light on how the Immorality Act not only criminalized love but also significantly expanded the discretionary power of the South African Police, leading to the exploitation of Black women's bodies. By understanding this historical dimension, we gain crucial insights into the persistent challenges of sexual violence perpetrated against Black women by law enforcement today.

Prof. Klausen's extensive research, focused on the history of fertility politics, nationalism, and sexuality in modern South Africa, brings a unique perspective to this discourse. With works like "Race, Maternity, and the Politics of Birth Control in South Africa, 1910-1939" and "Abortion Under Apartheid: Nationalism, Sexuality, and Women's Reproductive Rights in South Africa," Prof. Klausen has earned acclaim for her insightful analyses of South Africa's complex social fabric.

This is a rare opportunity to engage with a distinguished scholar and delve into a crucial aspect of our history that requires acknowledgment and reflection. The lecture will take place from 12:30 to 13:45.

Click HERE to register.