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New Frontiers Seminar Series – Professor Mark Hunter

Mark Hunter is Associate Professor in the Department of Human Geography, University of Toronto Scarborough, and Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Built Environment and Development Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal. Prior to working on the politics of education in South Africa his research addressed the history of the AIDS pandemic culminating in his book Love in the Time of AIDS: Inequality, Gender, and Rights in South Africa which was recognized with the 2010 C. Wright Mills Award and 2010 Amaury Talbot Prize for African Anthropology.

  Abstract: In the early 1990s privileged ‘white’ South African schools began to admit ‘black’ pupils. Drawing on research with parents and formerly-white schools in Durban, this talk addresses two central paradoxes. First, why did white parents so enthusiastically vote for schooling desegregation when apartheid was still in place? Second, why, over time, did intense competition emerge between schools and become so focused on improving sports results? Addressing these questions, the paper takes an historical geographical approach that begins in the 1950s, a period of great schooling expansion and urban segregation, and traces how the hierarchy of white schools developed in relation to the city’s class and race geography. It is this schooling hierarchy and the way it became contested in the 1990s that is key to understanding schools’ shift from ‘cooperative desegregation’ to ‘aggressive competition.’ More broadly, the paper argues that education provides a window into key post-apartheid tensions, namely between the deracialization of privilege, the continued dividend of whiteness, and efforts to redistribute resources to the poor.

Refreshments provided. Don’t forget to join your colleagues afterward at Rendezvous at the Ralph Campbell Lounge (4:00PM).

 The New Frontier Seminar Series is hosted by the Graduate Students' Association at Scarborough (GSAS) and sponsored by the Office of the Vice-Principal Research. The series showcases cutting edge research from the University of Toronto Scarborough, while highlighting new discoveries from leading researchers in North America.

 




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