Dr Duane Jethro

Lecturer- African Studies

Duane Jethro is a Lecturer in the Department of African Studies and Linguistics at the University of Cape Town. He specialises in the analysis of the cultural construction of heritage and contested public cultures.

A graduate of Utrecht University, he was Junior Research Fellow at the Centre for Curating the Archive, at the University of Cape Town between 2020 and 2022, and pursued a research project takes a multi perspectival approach to the loss and salvage of the University of Cape Town Jagger Library and its collections after a devastating fire in April 2021. He was co-curator (with Michaelis Galleries curator Jade Nair) of the Jagger Library Memorial Exhibition in April 2022, and co-organised a symposium, After the Fire: loss, archive and African Studies with Archive and Public Culture Research Initiative postdoctoral research fellow Alirio Karina.

Between 2019 and 2020 he worked as a researcher at the Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage, CARMAH, at the Humboldt University in Berlin, which was founded and directed by Professor Sharon Macdonald. He held an Alexander von Humboldt Georg Foster Post-doctoral research fellowship and was also based at CARMAH between 2017-19. And he is an Associate Research Fellow at the Archive and Public Culture Research Initiative at the University of Cape Town.

He serves as ambassador scientist and is on the selection committee for the Alexander von Humboldt German Chancellor Fund for South Africa. From 2023, he serves on the executive board of the Association for Critical Heritage Studies. He has published in the International Journal of Heritage Studies, Material Religion, African Diaspora and Tourist Studies. He is an editor of the journal Material Religion and serves on the editorial board of the journal Museums and Social Issues. His book Heritage Formation and the Senses in Post-Apartheid South Africa: Aesthetics of Power is published by Bloomsbury Academic.

Areas of Competence

Cultural heritage; archives; material culture; memory and memory studies; aesthetics; heritage and religion; public culture in South Africa

Key Publications

Jethro, Duane & Karina, Alírio. 2024. 'After the fire: loss, archive and African studies'. Social Dynamics50(1), 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1080/02533952.2024.2333213

Jethro, Duane. 2024. ‘Crossing Heritage: Material Religion at the Humboldt Forum Berlin’. In The Routledge Handbook of Material Religion, edited by Pooyan Tamimi-Arab, Brent S. Plate and Jennifer Hughes, 185-204. London: Routledge.

Jethro, Duane and Sharon Macdonald. 2023. ‘Difficult Heritage at the Door: doing heritage research in precarious times’. Rethinking Heritage in Precarious Times: Coloniality, Climate Change and COVID-19, edited by Nick Shepherd, 204-218. London: Routledge.

Jethro, Duane & Lehloenya, Mahoati. A. 2023. Call to prayer: the sound of the adhan, heritage and shifting urban identity in Cape Town. Anthropology Southern Africa46(3), 213–228. https://doi.org/10.1080/23323256.2023.2279074

Jethro, Duane. 2021. “Monuments.” In The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology, edited by Hilary Callan and Simon Coleman. London: Wiley Online. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118924396.wbiea2493

Jethro, Duane. 2020. Heritage Formation and the Senses in Post-Apartheid South Africa: Aesthetics of Power. London: Bloomsbury Academic.