Rosabelle Boswell

Rosabelle Boswell
Nelson Mandela University | NMMU · Department of Sociology and Anthropology

PhD Anthropology

About

38
Publications
7,398
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
238
Citations
Introduction
Rosabelle Boswell is an anthropologist and a Research Chair in Ocean Cultures and Heritage at Nelson Mandela University. Rosabelle's research covers issues of cultural identity, gender and heritage in the Southwest Indian Ocean region. Her most recent papers explore the expression and experience of the senses in the IOR. The work contributes to sensory theories and ethnographies. She is also author of two poetry books: Things Left Unsaid and Pandemix, both published by RPCIG, Cameroon.
Additional affiliations
January 2013 - December 2016
National Research Foundation, South Africa
Position
  • Principal Investigator
Description
  • I hold an NRF CPRR grant to investigate silences and success in heritage management in Mauritius and South Africa.
January 2010 - April 2011
Mauritius Truth and Justice Commission
Position
  • Research Leader
Description
  • I led a multinational team of 7 researchers to investigate the legacies of slavery and racism in Mauritius after abolition in 1835.
January 2005 - December 2007
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek
Position
  • Principal Investigator
Description
  • I successfully secured and completed a postdoctoral research project on the management of intangible cultural heritage in Zanzibar, Mauritius and Madagascar.
Education
January 2002 - September 2003
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Field of study
  • cultural anthropology
January 1995 - July 1996
University of Cape Town
Field of study
  • anthropology

Publications

Publications (38)
Article
Full-text available
In 2000, UNESCO declared Zanzibar Stone Town a World Heritage Site. Since this time the Tanzanian government and international NGOs (based in Zanzibar) have participated in the rehabilitation of the town's buildings and other physical infrastructure. However, little attention has been paid to the rich intangible heritage of the islands and the fusi...
Article
The island of Mauritius, situated in the southwest Indian Ocean region, is an integral part of southern Africa. A significant majority of its population, known locally as Creoles, are the descendants of African and Malagasy slaves who were forcibly relocated by European colonisers over a period of 300 years. This article discusses the situation of...
Article
This article discusses challenges to achieving justice for slave descendents in Mauritius 177 years after the abolition of slavery. It reflects on the 2009 institution of a Truth and Justice Commission (TJC) in Mauritius to investigate the legacies of slavery and indentured labour. It is argued that time, the ethnic and cultural complexity of Mauri...
Article
How does one explain the poverty and marginalization of a group that lives in a remarkably successful economy and peaceful society? A native anthropologist, the author provides critical insight into the dynamics of contemporary Mauritian society. In her meticulously researched study of ethnic, gender and racial discrimination in Mauritius, she addr...
Article
This article considers how a particular university’s openness to uncertainty and pursuit of change is helping it to transform its landscape and cultural heritage during a period of significant socio-political change. Using the conceptual lens of critical heritage studies and potential uncertainty, the article discusses the university’s efforts to a...
Article
This paper considers the role of art in ocean conservation. Drawing on the presentations and work of two artists featured in the One Ocean Hub Art and Emotions webinar hosted during the UN World Ocean Week, the paper focuses specifically on the sensorial nature of art and of human beings and the role that art can play in advancing ocean conservatio...
Article
This article proposes that including the Khoisan will produce a more inclusive Blue Economy in South Africa. Presently, economistic perspectives of the ocean, low regard for knowledge pluralism and historical stereotyping of Khoisan peoples, risk their further exclusion from ocean management in South Africa. Drawing on secondary data on Khoisan his...
Article
This article considers the impact of COVID-19 on speech in the island of Mauritius. In particular, I discuss the socially embedded nature of speech prior to COVID-19 and its transformation during the early months of pandemic lockdown. I propose that, in Mauritius, speech plays a key role in interethnic interaction and tension, sociality, and in the...
Article
This paper seeks to assert the relevance of ‘sensing’ identity in social analyses of the Southwest Indian Ocean islands. It is proposed that for some time, a broad concept of social change (specifically creolization) has been the reference point for understanding identity in the region. However, authors have tended to ignore the sensorial nature of...
Article
Full-text available
The Ebola crisis of 2013–2015 highlighted the relationship between cultural heritage, neoliberal globalization and public health. It also raised the problem of cultural compatibility between organizations within the global ‘epidemic space’, which intruded on the pre-existing ‘heritage space’. In this paper, we discuss the differences and disjunctur...
Chapter
This chapter considers the legacy of grand narrative thinking in Mauritius, insofar as heritage management is concerned. Mauritius, an island of the southwest Indian Ocean, has a long history of colonization and marginalization. Thus the experience of heritage and heritage management there is valuable to global discussions on heritage “at the inter...
Article
Full-text available
Providing examples from the islands of the Indian Ocean Region, this article focuses on the multisensory nature of storytelling and listening. Drawing on anthropological fieldwork in the region (1998–2016), the author proposes a sensuous epistemology that turns on listening to “sense”. She reveals that storytelling can be a profoundly sensuous expe...
Article
Full-text available
The island societies of the southwest Indian Ocean offer rich worlds that reveal shared discourses regarding the natural environment, politics and identity the region. This article draws on anthropological research and in particular, recorded video for its aesthetic analysis of voicework in Mauritius and Seychelles to discuss the role of voicework...
Article
Recent studies suggest that contemporary body work involves ‘fashioning futures’ and the spectacularisation of identity to articulate multiple subjectivities in diverse world. This article investigates the situation and experiences of black male bodybuilders in a South African town ‘after’ apartheid, exploring thoughts about whether bodybuilding ma...
Article
This article offers a discussion on creolization in two island societies: Mauritius and Madagascar. It suggests that in these island states there is a concerted effort to produce national identity and that this process seems to challenge creolization. The article makes three claims: creolization is a process inscribed by the historical experience o...
Article
This paper discusses heritage management in Antananarivo, Madagascar. It is argued that in this city, which contains a significant African Diaspora, heritage is part of everyday practice. Heritage is also influenced by global processes of change which include the inscription of sites on a UNESCO World Heritage List and the advent of international t...
Article
This thematic issue on postcolonial heritage management and tourism in Africa offers a selection of case studies that reveal the significance of heritage to the construction of identity in postcolonial and post-apartheid African states. Drawing insights from the critical literature on heritage, as well as from the discussion on identity as discursi...
Article
Full-text available
Isaac Mazonde and Pradip Thomas, eds., "Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Intellectual Property in the Twenty-First Century: Perspectives from Southern Africa" Dakar, CODESRIA, 2007.Reviewed by;Rosabelle BoswellDepartment of AnthropologyRhodes UniversityGrahamstownSouth AfricaEmail: r.laville@ru.ac.za
Article
Full-text available
Mauritius, part of Southern African Development Community (SADC), is in the process of diversifying its tourism sector, which for the last two decades has attracted substantial foreign direct investment. To diversify tourism and sustain economic development achieved in the 1980s, government is encouraging various projects and opportunities for inve...
Article
This Briefing considers women's access to maternity benefits in South Africa and its legal and social implications. Presently South African employers are not legally required to offer paid maternity leave. This and associated conditions of the present policy negatively affect mothers, families and children. It is argued that the present maternity l...
Article
This article offers a discussion on creolization in two island societies: Mauritius and Madagascar. It suggests that in these island states there is a concerted effort to produce national identity and that this process seems to challenge creolization. The article makes three claims: creolization is a process inscribed by the historical experience o...
Article
This paper focuses on the sexuality and contemporary sensual behaviour among Zanzibari women and their use of scent in these domains. It is argued that scent forms an integral part of different life-cycle rituals which are embedded in gendered everyday relations. Scents are useful in courting, marriage, birth and sexual attraction. While fragrance...
Article
Africa is richly blessed with cultural and natural heritage, key resources for nation building and development. Unfortunately, heritage is not being systematically researched or recognised, denying Africans the chance to learn about and benefit from heritage initiatives. This book offers a preliminary discussion of factors challenging the managemen...
Article
The paper considers the significance of dress to identity and power among women living on the island of Zanzibar. Drawing on her own preliminary fieldwork in Zanzibar (June 2004) and on the work of Laura Fair (200125. Fair , L. 2001. Pastimes & Politics: Culture, Community, and Identity in Post‐abolition Urban Zanzibar, 1890–1945, Oxford: James Cu...
Article
This article discusses the understanding of hybridity in Mauritius and the marginalisation of those considered hybrid. The author argues that Mauritius, a plural society, is influenced by essentialist interpretations of ethnicity and that dominant groups living there perceive hybridity as a threat to group integrity and identity. Among the signific...

Questions

Question (1)
Question
I am especially interested in the apartheid effect on aestheticization. So, in my paper, I propose that Black body builders are not publically aestheticized and eroticized outside of their communities. They use body building to reach for and produce a moral, eroticitized and aestheticized body. I am looking for possible literature to advance this argument. Thanks.

Network

Cited By