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Prof Amanda du Preez

2013 Faculty Researcher of the Year, Humanities Arts Cluster
Professor Amanda du Preez, Department of Visual Arts

Amanda du Preez is Associate Professor in the Department of Visual Arts where she teaches Art History and Visual Culture Studies. She obtained a DPhil in English on the topic of cyberfeminism and embodiment in 2003. She has co-edited South African Visual Culture (2005) introducing visual culture studies to a broader South African audience. This was followed by an edited volume entitled Taking a Hard Look: Gender and Visual Culture (2009) mainly focussing on the intersection between gender and contemporary visual culture. In 2009 she also published Gendered Bodies and New Technologies unravelling the complicated way in which technologies, specifically image technologies, are implicated in constructing and perpetuating gender biases.

Professor Du Preez is the co-editor of two South African journals, namely De Arte focussing on original research in the visual arts, art history, art criticism and related disciplines; and Image & Text, a multi- and interdisciplinary journal that orbits around the visual culture nexus. She serves on the governing board of the International Association for Visual Culture. She has published widely on topics mainly pertaining to gender, embodiment and the sublime.

Her current research interests include social media platforms and visual identity constructions, as well as dissenting scopic regimes in contemporary South African visual culture.

“From self-portrait to selfie” was the topic of Prof Du Preez’s lecture presented at the Research Day of the Faculty of Humanities. The genre of the self-portrait is currently experiencing a revival online and particularly on social media platforms such as Facebook. This growing popularity of the self-portrait online also known as the 'selfie', has caused some authors to refer to the online self-portrait as the folk art of the digital age. The popularity of self-portraiture is in part made possible through ubiquitous tools such as web and cell phone cameras. The main question explored in this research project is what happens to the genre of the self-portrait in an era of social media networks?

Professor Du Preez's Researcher of the Year Award was co-sponsored by Bookmark at the University of Pretoria and the Office of the Dean of Humanities.

View Prof Du Preez's UP Beat lecture on YouTube. 

Sketch by Graphic Facilitator Nicolene Louw

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Last edited by Tanita McCulloughEdit