Sarah Emily Duff

Sarah Emily Duff is an NRF Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Her research project, ‘Imperial Babies: Mothercraft and the Politics of Childhood in the British Empire’, considers the global impact of the Mothercraft Movement between the two World Wars. She is interested in histories of age, the body, food, and consumerism, and writes a blog, tangerineandcinnamon.wordpress.com, on food history. Sarah also volunteers for Right2Know, a freedom of information campaign. She can be contacted at sarahemilyduff@gmail.com.

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Most Recent Articles

July 29, 2013
 isiZulu  and English in South Africa
June 4, 2013
Crises in South African education.
March 26, 2013
Recently, Blade Nzimande, South Africa’s Minister for Higher Education and Training, announced that the country’s first universities to be founded since the ending of apartheid will open in 2014. Work on a university in Kimberley in the Northern Cape is set to begin in September, so that it can open in time for the beginning of the academic year in January. The second university will be based in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, a significant agricultural district about 340km northeast of Johannesburg.
February 24, 2013
On a recent trip to the UK, I visited a friend who works at the University of Birmingham. She took me on a tour of its really quite beautiful campus, ending at the Muirhead Tower, a brutalist monstrosity built in 1971. Its recent renovation has smoothed over some of the worst features of the original design, including the shards of concrete which had begun to fall off its exterior.
January 6, 2013
In a recent interview with Mother Jones, the author Philip Pullman admits: ‘I'm perfectly happy about being superstitious and atheistic.’ Pullman, who has been outspoken about his own lack of faith and has critiqued organised religion in much of his writing, describes a set of rituals he has around his writing
October 10, 2012
When I graduated in March last year, I expected to enjoy the pomp of the ceremony, the sumptuous and faintly ridiculous robes and hat of formal academic dress, and the joy of receiving my doctoral degree with my parents in the audience. And I did enjoy all of this, but what surprised me was my pleasure at being able to call myself Dr Duff. I have a title which is absolutely gender neutral, and it reflects the decade’s worth of hard work which went into my university education. But I never expected to insist that others use my title, and I still feel slightly odd calling myself Dr Duff.
August 7, 2012
About a month ago my colleagues and I moved back into our old building. For slightly more than a year, we’ve been housed in a collection of offices around campus as our own department was rebuilt after a devastating fire.
June 18, 2012
We’re halfway through the academic year in South Africa, and like many of my colleagues, I’ve been catching my breath after the deluge of marking which arrived at the end of the first semester. I’ve taught since beginning my graduate studies, and have marked students’ essays and exam scripts both in South Africa and the UK. Over the past eight years, what has struck me is that the quality of students’ writing and research hasn’t varied all that greatly; I can remember a few very bad, and some brilliant, pieces of work, but I haven’t noticed a decline or marked improvement in the standard of the work submitted to me.
April 19, 2012
Over the past few weeks,  I’ve been avoiding the inter library loans sections of my university’s library. Guiltily, I’ve been clicking ‘delete’ on the several emails they’ve sent me to remind me to return about twenty books borrowed from other South African libraries.
March 4, 2012
Today is the end of the first week of teaching in the South African academic year. It’s been an experience that any academic at any university around the world would recognise: the chaos of finding timetables and new lecture venues, the inevitable problems with IT and parking spaces, the long queues at university bookshops, and in the midst of all this, a new group of anxious, happy, first year students.

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