A single mother to a toddler, Professor Joy Owen also heads the Anthropology department at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa. Prior to her employment at UFS, she was the head of the Anthropology department and the Deputy Dean of Humanities (Teaching and Learning) at Rhodes University (Grahamstown) during the #feesmustfall movement in higher education institutions in South Africa.
With diverse interests including critical pedagogy, the art of anthropological fieldwork, ethnographic writing, social capital, intersectionality and transnational migration Prof Owen's monograph on Congolese migrants in Muizenberg, Cape Town (2015) explored Congolese transnational social networks and how these supported the 'progress' of individual members.
Her more recent research projects consider the decolonial 'project' in higher education in South Africa, motherhood in the academy and the narratives of contemporary 'self-exiled' transmigrant South Africans.
Professor Joy Owen is visiting Oxford in Trinity Term 2019 as one of the TORCH Global South Visiting Professors. Her academic host is Professor Wale Adebanwi, director of the African Studies Centre of the University of Oxford.
During her stay, Professor Owen will be involved as a discussant for two panels at the conference ‘Racialisation and Publicness in Africa and the African Diaspora’, organised by the Oxford African Studies centre (27 and 28 June). She will also participate in other events within the University, including a workshop with students and academics within the University entitled, 'Identities: Personal, Local and Otherwise', 29 May (https://www.torch.ox.ac.uk/event/identities-personal-local-and-otherwise-graduate-workshop), and a colloquium entitled 'Inscribing Biographies in Global South History' on 1 June (https://www.torch.ox.ac.uk/event/inscribing-biographies-in-global-south-history).