Carla Meyer is a Master of Arts candidate in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of the Western Cape and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Humanities Research. During this fellowship, Carla will serve as a contributor to the multi-institutional and inter-disciplinary Re-Centring AfroAsia project, which is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This initiative is aimed at creating a community of scholarship on the movement of material and symbolic goods during the precolonial era, or between the years 700 and 1800 AD.
Carla is passionate about issues relating to the queer community, of which they are a proud and outspoken member. This inspires and shapes their keen interest in the field of queer theory, wherein their previous research outputs dealt with issues of queer representation in the media. Carla’s research during their fellowship thus applies this interest in queer identities and issues to the precolonial era in Africa, exploring the existence of queer sexualities and gender identities on the continent. This is done against the alarming backdrop of the increasing waves of homophobia and transphobia currently being fuelled by African leaders, with the purpose of rebutting their argument that queerness is “unAfrican”. Carla’’s research during this fellowship with the Centre for Humanities Research is aimed at contributing to the creation of a much-needed body of research on the precolonial era in Africa, whilst simultaneously shifting the focus of queer theory away from the West.