PHOTOGRAPHED BY MARK BERNDT

PAMILA GUPTA

PROFESSOR / AUTHOR

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Pamila Gupta is Full Professor based at WiSER (Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research) at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her research explores Lusophone (post)colonial links and legacies in India and East Africa. She has written on such varied topics as monuments, tiles and the colour blue for the Portuguese diaspora in South Africa; monsoons, wetness and islandness in the Indian Ocean; tourism and heritage design in Goa (India); Goan fishermen and urban renovation in Mozambique; tailoring, photography and visual cultures in Zanzibar; and chick-lit, Art Deco and swimming pools in Johannesburg. She is the co-editor of Eyes Across the Water: Navigating the Indian Ocean with Isabel Hofmeyr and Michael Pearson (UNISA, 2010).   Her two single authored monographs are entitled, The Relic State: St. Francis Xavier and the Politics of Ritual in Portuguese India (Manchester UP, 2014) and Portuguese Decolonization in the Indian Ocean World: History and Ethnography (Bloomsbury Academic, 2019). She recently published a third monograph (2022) with Cambridge UP's Elements in Critical Heritage Studies Series entitled, Heritage and Design: 10 Portraits from Goa.

Working with WISC FELLOW Susan Levine, our project on adoption in South Africa takes the form of three books that aim to capture the complexities of transracial adoption stories from the multiple perspectives of adoptees, first mothers and adoptive parents.  Starting with two narratives of adoption based on our respective positions as adoptive mothers’, we aim to produce new research on adoption that blends photography with non-fiction prose and ethnography. It matters to make adoption narratives visible and accessible in the wake of scant attention to how adoptive families are produced in systems that lean towards race, class and gender inequality.