Dr Rachel Johnson
Rachel Johnson’s research focuses on the contemporary history of South Africa and combines interests in gender theory and the symbolic aspects of politics with a focus upon the ‘history making’ practices of social movements, human rights groups and government institutions. Her PhD thesis (University of Sheffield, 2010) examined the position of young black women within student and youth, anti-apartheid politics in South Africa from 1976 onwards. Before taking up her post at Durham she worked as a Research Associate for two inter-disciplinary research projects: Gendered Ceremony and Ritual in Parliaments and Understanding Institutional Change: A gender perspective, for which she explored the gendering of the post-apartheid state through a focus on the South African Parliament and the Constitutional Court. She is currently working on a new project writing a history of the South African Parliament 1910-2010, which approaches the institution as a place for the making and remaking of politics in colonial, apartheid and democratic South Africa.
Department of History
- Gender History
- History of Parliaments
- Modern South African History
- Political Cultures
- Public History
Chapter in book
- Johnson, Rachel, Armitage, Faith & Spary, Carole (2014). 'The Speakership and Parliamentary Feminisation: The Emergence and Impact of First Female Speakers'; 'Disrupting Deliberation: Comparing Repertoires of Parliamentary Representation'; and ‘Pageantry as Politics: The State Opening of Parliaments’. In Democracy in Practice. Johnson, Rachel & Rai, Shirin Palgrave-Macmillan.
- Johnson, Rachel E. & Rai, Shirin (2014). Democracy in Practice: Gendered Ceremony and Ritual in Parliaments. Palgrave-MacMillan.
- Johnson, Rachel E. (2016). ‘The day that fell off the calendar’ 16 June, South African newspapers, and the making of a national holiday, 1977–1996. Journal of Southern African Studies 42(6): 1143-1160.
- Johnson, Rachel & McLeod, Laura (2014). Gendering Processes of Institutional Design: Activists at the Negotiating Table: Sheila Meintjes, Alice Brown and Valerie Oosterveld in Conversation with Laura McLeod and Rachel Johnson. International Feminist Journal of Politics 16(2): 354-369.
- Johnson, Rachel E. (2014). Haunted by the Somatic Norm: South African Parliamentary Debates on Abortion in 1975 and 1996. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 39(2): 485-508.
- Johnson, Rachel E. (2014). Women as a Sign of the New? Appointments to the South African Constitutional Court since 1994. Politics & Gender 10(4): 595-621.
- Johnson, Rachel E. (2013). Disrupting the South African parliament: performing opposition 1994–2010. Democratization 20(3): 478-500.
- Johnson, Rachel E., Armitage, Faith, Spary, Carole & Malley, Rosa (2012). A Conversation: Researching Gendered Ceremony and Ritual in Parliaments. Feminist Theory 13(3): 325-336.
- Johnson, Rachel E. (2009). ‘The Girl About Town’ Discussions of Modernity and Female Youth in Drum Magazine, 1951–1970. Social Dynamics 35(1): 36-50.