Kylie Thomas is a researcher, writer and activist who has produced ground-breaking work on violence, photography and queer and anti-racist activism in South Africa during and after apartheid. She was a research associate at the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice at the University of the Free State, South Africa and the recipient of a 2017-2018 European Institutes for Advanced Study fellowship at the Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna, Austria. She currently holds a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship at The Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Amsterdam.
Kylie Thomas is the author of the book Impossible Mourning: HIV/AIDS and Visuality after Apartheid and co-editor of the collection, Photography In and Out of Africa: Iterations with Difference. She writes about photography, violence and history; about queer and anti-racist activism; and about South African politics and society during and after apartheid. She holds a PhD from the University of Cape Town, South Africa and an MA from the University of British Columbia, Canada. During her PhD she was a visiting fellow in Rhetoric and Medical Anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley and has since held research fellowships at the Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape; the University currently known as Rhodes, the Archive and Public Culture Research Initiative at the University of Cape Town; the Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Amsterdam; the Moore Institute at the National University of Ireland, Galway; University College, Dublin, Ireland; the African Studies Center, Leiden University, and the Peter Wall Institute at UBC, Canada. From September 2017 – June 2018 she held a European Institutes for Advanced Study Junior Visiting Research Fellowship at the Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna, Austria. She was a British Academy Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Brighton (September 2018-February 2019) and a non-resident Research Associate at the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice, University of the Free State, South Africa (2017-2019).
Primary Recipient Awards
While Kylie Thomas is at UBC she will work together with Dr Sarah Hunt (Assistant Professor in First Nations and Indigenous Studies and in the Department of Geography) to facilitate a workshop on photography and resistance with two-spirit youth. She will also share her recent work on the contemporary student movements campaigning for the decolonisation of universities in the aftermath of apartheid, and on the powerful ways in which queer activists have responded to the rape and murder of LGBTQI people in South Africa.
She has also developed a collaborative research project with Dr. Shannon Walsh on the history of HIV and AIDS activism in South Africa, a subject that has been at the centre of both their research for close to twenty years. She met with Dr Walsh during her research visit to South Africa in August 2018 and began to work on a proposal for a collaborative book project that focuses on the visual history of the South African HIV and AIDS epidemic.
Dr. Thomas is keen to engage with students and faculty at UBC who are working on social justice issues in Canada.