Department of History, PhD
Retha Ferguson is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at UWC. Her dissertation “Neoliberal Imaginaries and Counter-imaginaries: Dispatches from Cape Town” examines the relation between the decline of empire and the rise of globalised capital as the new configuration of power. Towards critiquing this condition from the Global South, a historical materialist approach is deployed to unearth the tangible human stories hidden behind the monumental abstraction that characterises economic discourse. By reimagining, retrofitting, and reconstituting the overarching rationale of the market, an array of many markets emerges, eluding the idea of one omnipresent entity.
Ferguson is also a former Masters Fellow of the CHR. Her thesis “Voortrekker Road Palimpsest: A Study in Social, Spatial and Temporal Flux in the City” was a study on the intersecting microhistories at play in Voortrekker Road, Cape Town, as a site of fractured negotiation within South Africa as a transitional society. She specialises in materialist approaches to history and, following the lessons from Walter Benjamin, incorporates visuality into her work. She is also an accomplished photographer.