I am specifically interested in how the idea of white Africanity – its possibilities and constraints – was articulated among dissident whites such as Nadine Gordimer and Ruth First during Apartheid times, and how this notion is being negotiated in the present.
My doctoral dissertation examines the idea of white Africanity in South Africa, homing in on three different time periods during Apartheid, and in our contemporary moment. It is part of the reserach stream Citizenship and Ethnic Relations: Social, Cultural and Historical Perspectives.
I teach at the bachelor program Social and Cultural Analysis (SKA).
Willén, J. (2015) ”The Curse of the Nation State and History as Remedy? Xenophobia and Migritude in Post-Apartheid South Africa”, in Discover Society, February 1.
Willén, J. (2009) ”Vad är en källtext” in Lundahl & Leppänen (eds.) Kanon ifrågasatt. Kanoniseringsprocesser och makten över vetandet, Hedemora: Gidlunds.
Willén, J. (2007) “Gruvornas röster”, in Glänta, No. 4.
Conference and Workshop Presentations
“‘The Trials Go on Inside Us Already’: Futures Past of South African Whiteness” at ’The Ethos of History’, oconference organised by the research program Time, Memory, Representation, 10-12 September 2015.
“The Tragic Time of Whiteness: History as Remedy and/or Curse in Apartheid South Africa” at the international conference ‘Concurrences in postcolonial research – perspectives, methodologies, engagements’ at Linnaeus University, Kalmar, Sweden, 20-23 August 2015
“Unsettled Africans: Coloniality, Heritage, Landscapes” at the international workshop “Archaeologies of ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ – Debating the Ethics and Politics of Ethnicity and Indigeneity in Archaeology and Heritage Discourse”, Uppsala, 23-24 October, 2013.
“Subjects of the Interstices: Home, Belonging, and Heritage in White Settler Societies”, at the International Conference "Race, Migration, Citizenship: Postcolonial and Decolonial Perspectives'. Birmingham, 7-9 July, 2013.