B Camminga

Gender Refugees and Border Lines: An Interview with Dr. B Camminga

B Camminga, a 2016 Next Generation Social Sciences Doctoral Dissertation Completion fellow, studies transgender refugees establishing a new life in South Africa. B’s experience as a transgender person informs and personalizes this research on a complex pairing of crossed boundary lines. With support from the SSRC, B completed a dissertation entitled “Bodies over Borders and Borders over Bodies: The ‘Gender Refugee’ and the Imagined South Africa.” B received their doctorate from the Institute for Humanities in Africa at the University of Cape Town.

Francesca Freeman and Natalie Reinhart interviewed B at a meeting held at an SSRC workshop in Nairobi. Sitting just outside the main lecture hall of a lush private university, B shared reflections on their dissertation research, which engaged topics ranging from discrimination against transgender refugees in South Africa, to the complex politics of identity both as it relates to the state and an individual, to the endlessly frustrating bureaucracy that transgender refugees are forced to navigate due to a state that at once recognizes their rights but lacks recognition of identities undergoing transformation.

Read our interview with B Camminga on Research Matters, a digital forum of the Social Science Research Council.