PHOTOGRAPHED BY MARK BERNDT
PROFESSOR / AUTHOR
Susan Levine is Professor and Head of anthropology at The University of Cape Town in South Africa. Her research lies at the crossroads of medical and visual anthropology, with a focus on the political economy of infectious disease. She leads a vibrant master’s program, Health Humanities and the Arts, and is the author of Children of a Bitter Harvest (2013), which considers the politics and affective dimensions of child labour in South Africa’s wine industry. She is the editor Medicine and the Politics of Knowledge (2012), Bodies of Knowledge: Children and Childhoods in Health and Affliction with Efua Prah, and At the Foot of the Volcano: Reflections on Higher Education in South Africa (2018).
Working with WISC FELLOW Pamila Gupta, 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.