Rudo Robin Mudiwa

Picture of Rudo Robin Mudiwa
Assistant Professor, Gender and Sexuality Studies
School of Humanities
Ph.D., Indiana University, Bloomington, 2018, Communication and Culture, Minor in African Studies
Phone: (949)824-2376
University of California, Irvine
3000 Humanities Gateway
Mail Code: 2655
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Black Feminisms, Black Geographies, Postcolonial Thought, Rhetoric
Presidential Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Princeton University, 2019-2021
Awards and Honors
-American Society for the History of Rhetoric Dissertation Award, 2019
-Carl Ziegler Teaching Award, Indiana University, 2018
-Virginia L. Gunderson Essay Award, Department of Communication and Culture, Indiana University, 2013
Short Biography
I joined UCI's Gender and Sexuality Studies department in 2021. Prior to that, I was a Presidential Postdoctoral Research Associate at Princeton University. I received my PhD from Indiana University, Bloomington in Communication and Culture in 2018.

Broadly speaking, I am interested in thinking through the promise and practice of invention for black people. How do we make new ways of being in the world and with each other? My attempt to answer this question frequently returns to the politics of public space and mobility, particularly for black women. I am working on my first book, titled A Nation of Prostitutes: Gender, Policing, and the Invention of Zimbabwe. This book will examine how the prostitute--a symbol of the mobile and transgressive black woman--came to express anxieties regarding the challenge of remaking urban space, gender relations, and the state itself in the aftermath of 90 years of colonial rule in Zimbabwe. This research was supported by the Social Science Research Council. I've published articles on sex work and policing; timing, rhythm, and wildcat strikes during the interregnum in Zimbabwe; and the needling but not all that new tendency to mark female politicians as "wives" or "prostitutes" in Zimbabwean politics. Some of the writing I've most enjoyed doing--cultural criticism on varied things like Afropunk, the intertwined histories of cricket and boarding schools, and the specter of the prostitute (yet again!) in Zimbabwe's 2017 coup--has appeared in Transition, Chimurenga, New Frame, Ebony, and Africa is a Country.
"Timing as Tactic: The Wildcat Strikes during the Transition from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe, March 1980," Journal of Southern African Studies, 48 (5) 2022: 901-919

“‘As it was bodily, so it is politically’: Prostitutes, Wives, and Political Power in Zimbabwean Political Discourse” in Jocelyn Alexander, Joanne McGregor, and Miles Tendi ed., Handbook of Zimbabwean Politics, Oxford University Press, 2020

“Stop the Woman, Save the State: Policing, Order, and the Black Woman’s Body,” in Micol Seigel ed., Panic, Transnational Cultural Studies, and the Affective Contours of Power, Routledge Press, 2018: 223-243.

“Nostalgia, Undone: Remembering Zimbabwe’s Past,” New Frame, May 2020

“He Should Practice Homosexuality at Home,” Popula, October 2018

“Look at Us Now,” Popula, July 2018

“Henry Olonga Days,” Chimurenga Chronic special issue on “The Invention of Zimbabwe,” April 2018

“Coups and Phalluses” Africa is a Country, November 2017

“Feeling Precarious,” Transition, no. 123, 2017: 78-88
-Patrick O’Meara Travel Grant, African Studies Program, Indiana University, 2017; -College of Arts and Sciences Dissertation Fellowship, Indiana University, 2016; -International Dissertation Research Fellowship, Social Science Research Council, 2015; -African Student Research Grant, African Studies Program, Indiana University, 2015
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