A scholar of African history, gender studies and visuality, Patricia Hayes began research on photography and the question of history after completing her PhD at Cambridge University. Initially conceived through an exhibition project on Namibia called ‘The Colonising Camera’ (1998), and supported by the innovative History Department, research and teaching in Visual History became established at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). Specific paradigms and postgraduate research associated with the Chair now include documentary photography; liberation struggles and the post-apartheid; digital photography in the postcolony; and photography and historical method.
Patricia Hayes has edited several journal special issues on visuality and gender including Gender & History (2006) and Kronos (2000). She co-authored Bush of Ghosts: Life & War in Namibia (Umuzi 2010) with photographer John Liebenberg, and has published articles on South African photographers Santu Mofokeng, David Goldblatt, Jo Ractliffe, Omar Badsha, Chris Ledochowski and others, as well as Ricardo Rangel and Kok Nam of Mozambique. Her work appears in Okwui Enwezor’s The Rise and Fall of Apartheid (International Centre for Photography 2012), Crais and McLendon’s The South African Reader (Duke 2014), Mofokeng’s Chasing Shadows (Prestel 2011), and Ribeiro’s Proximo Futuro on African photography (Gulbenkian Foundation 2013). Recent critical historical articles on photography and the making of publics have appeared in Cultural Critique (Issue 89, 2015) and Sanil V & Divya Dwivedi’s The Public Sphere from Outside the West (Bloomsbury 2015). Hayes is also series co-editor of the new Photography, History: History, Photography series at Bloomsbury Academic publishers (http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/series/photography-history-history-photography/).
Patricia Hayes was educated in Zimbabwe. She gained her BA (Hons) in Modern History & Modern Languages from Oxford University (UK), followed by a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) from the University of Zimbabwe. After some years in experimental education projects (Zimbabwe Foundation for Education for Production), she completed her PhD on the history of the colonisation of northern Namibia at Cambridge University in 1992. Hayes taught African History for one year at Bucknell University in the USA, then returned to Cambridge as a postdoctoral Junior Research Fellow at Fitzwilliam College (1993-5). Two collaborative research projects on Namibia were supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (USA), resulting in Namibia Under South African Rule (James Currey 1998) and The Colonising Camera (Ohio University Press 1998).
Hayes joined the History Department at UWC in 1995, teaching 20th century African history as well as postgraduate courses on gender and visual history. She co-edited Deep hiStories: Gender & Colonialism in Southern Africa (Rodopi 2002) with UWC colleagues Gary Minkley and Wendy Woodward. She was Chair of the History Department in 2006-07, and national Convenor of the NRF Rating Panel for History in 2011-2. She has held Visiting Fellowships at Columbia University (1993), Emory University (2001), University of Michigan (Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies 2005), Cambridge University (Smuts Fellowship 2006), Calcutta Centre for Social Science Research (2008), Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi (2009), and the Internationales Kolleg Morphomata at the University of Cologne (2011 and 2013). Hayes is currently the convenor of the Seminar in Contemporary History and Humanities, co-hosted by the History Department and the Centre for Humanities Research.