Gabeba Baderoon

Gabeba Baderoon

Associate Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and African Studies

129 Willard Building

Phone: (814) 865-2372


Area(s) of Specialization: Representations of Islam in Africa, African feminism, South African literature, Race and Sexuality, Slavery in South Africa, Food studies, Visual art in South Africa


Gabeba Baderoon is an Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and African Studies, and holds courtesy appointments in Comparative Literature and the School of International Affairs. She co-directs the African Feminist Initiative at Penn State with Alicia Decker. Among Baderoon’s honors are an Extraordinary Professorship of English at Stellenbosch University and fellowships at the African Gender Institute, the Nordic Africa Institute and the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study. Baderoon received a PhD in English from the University of Cape Town and has held Post-doctoral fellowships in the Africana Research Center at Penn State and the “Islam, African Publics and Religious Values” Project at the University of Cape Town. She writes on representations of Islam, slavery, race and sexuality and her articles have appeared in Feminist Studies, Research in African Literatures and Social Dynamics, among other journals. Baderoon is also an award-winning poet whose work has been published in Cultural Studies, Meridians, Feminist Studies, Callaloo and other venues. Baderoon has received fellowships from the Future of Minority Studies/Mellon Summer Institute on “Queer Studies in Transnational Contexts” at Cornell University, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Sainsbury/Linbury Trust. She serves on a number of editorial boards, including the African Poetry Book Fund, and has co-edited three notable collections: a special issue of the Journal for Islamic Studies on Theorizing gender and Islam with Sa’diyya Shaikh and Nina Hoel, and a special issue of Meridians on African feminism with Alicia Decker. A collection titled Surfacing: on Being Black and Feminist co-edited with Desiree Lewis is forthcoming from Wits University Press. Baderoon is the author of Regarding Muslims: from Slavery to Post-Apartheid (Wits, 2014), which received the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences Best Non-fiction Monograph Award for 2017, and the poetry collections The Dream in the Next Body, The Museum of Ordinary Life and A Hundred Silences. Her most recent poetry collection, The History of Intimacy (2018) received the 2019 Elisabeth Eybers Prize and she is also the recipient of the 2005 Daimler award for South African Poetry. She has received an artist’s fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation at Bellagio for 2020.