Christi van der Westhuizen, Associate Professor and Senior Researcher, is the head of the Research Programme at CANRAD. She was awarded a Visiting Professorship for 'outstanding international female scholars' at Leipzig University, Germany, in 2022.

As transdisciplinary scholar with a Doctorate in Sociology (UCT), Christi is interested in identities, differences, ideologies and discourses, with a focus on colonial, apartheid and postapartheid South Africa. She has published widely, both academically and popularly. 

Her scholarly work includes, as co-editor, The D-Word: Perspectives on Democracy in Tumultuous Times (2023) and the Routledge International Handbook of Critical Studies in Whiteness (2022), and two sole authored books: Sitting Pretty: White Afrikaans Women in Postapartheid South Africa (2017) and White Power & the Rise and Fall of the National Party (2007). She has also published a volume of essays and newspaper columns, titled Working Democracy: Perspectives on SA's Parliament at 20 Years (2014).

Christi was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for Humanities in Africa (HUMA), University of Cape Town, and held research associateships with the University of KwaZulu Natal and Free State University. She previously worked as an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Pretoria.

She has served on several global initiatives, including as an expert on globalisation and gender on a project for the World Communion of Reformed Churches. Her working life started at the anti-apartheid weekly newspaper Vrye Weekblad and she worked as a Senior Political Correspondent in Parliament and as an Associate Editor for a not-for-profit global online news agency focusing on social justice.

She is a regular public speaker and columnist, and her public scholarship features in local and international radio, TV, print and online media.

Some of her publications and media outputs appear below.


2017, Sitting Pretty: White Afrikaans Women in Postapartheid South Africa (UKZN Press).

2007, White Power & the Rise and Fall of the National Party (Zebra Press).


Edited volumes and collected writing:

2023 (as co-editor), The D-Word: Perspectives on Democracy in Tumultuous Times (Mandela University Press).

2022 (as co-editor), Routledge International Handbook of Critical Studies in Whiteness (Routledge).

2014, Working Democracy: Perspectives on SA's Parliament at 20 Years (Open Society Foundation of South Africa)


Journal articles and book chapters:

Recent articles and chapters include contributions to Africa Today, Comparativa/b Auto/Biography StudiesMatatu Journal for African Culture and Society, African Studies and Critical Philosophy of Race, and to Violence - South African Perspectives (2021, AfricanSUNMedia), The Intersections of Whiteness (2019, Routledge) and Gender Under Construction. Femininities and Masculinities in Context (2018, Brill). Writing on democracy and transformation includes chapters in The End of the Representative State? Democracy at the Crossroads (2016, Nomos) and Transforming Transformation in Research and Teaching at South African Universities (2018, African SUN Media).


Some analysis in media/non-peer reviewed books:

2022, 'Formation of Cape Forum a blast from apartheid past' on News24.

2021, commissioned obituaries of FW de Klerk on News24 and The Conversation Africa.

2021, Freedom Day reflection on democracy.

2019, Public debate on liberalism and racism.

2018, ‘To Womb it May Concern’ in J Watson and A Gouws (eds.) Nasty Women Talk Back – Feminist Essays on the Global Women’s Marches (Imbali).


Some TV/radio/podcast interviews with Prof Van der Westhuizen:

Real Talk with Anele 

CNBC Africa Talking Books

Eusebius McKaizer Show on 702/567

Voices from South Africa

SABC Morning Live on Freedom Day 2021

Right Rising by the Centre for the Analysis of the Radical Right (USA)