My research is located within the History Department at UWC, bringing together comparative research on the performance of gender and citizenship as enacted through body surface design within both izikhothane/ skothane and dancehall cultures. Body surface design within these cultures can facilitate the performance of many engendered identities to seize both virtual and physical spaces to survey, celebrate and critique the self. I intend to examine and analyse the impact of social media in providing platforms for protagonists to self-actualise their identities through the display of personal consumption, cosmopolitanism and eroticised behaviour.
This study tries to understand how these performative genres come into being, how they are changing and how they are possibly evolving towards new expressions. Focusing on the conflicting relationships between hypermasculine, homoerotic, cisgender, camp and queer presentations of gender, this research investigates the possibility of a more elastic definition of gender and sexuality. Additionally, my study bridges the gap between South African and Caribbean research on the performance of culture, memory studies, oral history, heritage and material culture, contributing to new scholarship on social relations and the performance of gender within physical and virtual realms.