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Academic Staff

Leigh-Ann Naidoo

Assistant Lecturer

Room 5.05
Neville Alexander Building
Telephone: (021) 650 5385


Leigh-Ann’s research interests are in education and social justice, social movements as sites of knowledge production, the roles of education in resistance movements, histories of radical education and student resistance, and thinking about the figure of the intellectual and the teacher as an intellectual.



Books and Special Journal Issues


Journal articles


Book chapters

  • Naidoo, L-A. (forthcoming 2018). The Big Ideas Book. Equal Education Publishers: Cape Town.
  • Naidoo, L-A. (2017). Women’s Boat to Gaza: International Solidarity Mission. In von Kotze, A. and Walters, S. (eds.)Forging Solidarity: Popular Education at Work. Sense Publishers: Rotterdam.
  • Naidoo, L-A. (2017) The ‘Hidden’ Curriculum of South African Sport in Ballantine, C., Chapman, M., Erwin, K. and Mare, G (eds) Living Together, Living Apart? The making of a future South Africa. UKZN Press: Durban
  • Naidoo, L-A. (2016). Contemporary Student Politics in South Africa: The Rise of the Black-led Student Movements of #RhodesMustFall and #FeesMustFall in 2015. In Nieftagodien, N. (ed) New Narratives of Youth Struggle. Wits University Press: Johannesburg.

Print and Online Media Articles

  • Naidoo, L-A. Critical Thinking and the Hidden Curriculum, Destiny Magazine (forthcoming) May 2018.
  • Naidoo, L-A. The State of the Nation. Speaking Truth to Power. The Steve Biko Transformative Education Project Online Newsletter, Vol. 1 Issue 1, February 2017.
  • Naidoo, L-A. Women’s Boat to Gaza – International Solidarity Freedom Flotilla Mission, Amandla Magazine, Issue 49/50, December 2016.
  • Naidoo, L-A. Soweto Anniversary: is our 1976 moment still to come? International Viewpoint Online Magazine, IV Online Magazine, June 2016. Accessed 1 July 2016. (
  • Naidoo, L-A. Soweto Anniversary: is our 1976 moment still to come? Amandla Magazine, Issue 46, June 2016. 
  • Naidoo, L-A. The Violence of Universities – A reflective conversation by students at the Neville Alexander Commemorative Conference. Inkamva Newsletter, 2016.
  • Vally, S., Motala, E., Naidoo, L-A., Hlatshwayo, M. and Maharajh, R. (2016). How to take free higher education from pipe dream to reality. In The Conversation. Accessed 28 June 2016. 
  • Vally, S., Motala, E., Naidoo, L-A., Hlatshwayo, M. and Maharajh, R. (2016). Quality, Free Education is necessary – and possible. In The Conversation. Accessed 9.31pm Friday, 4 March 2016. 
  • Naidoo, L-A. Building a Movement: Cross-Class Solidarity, in Workers World News Issue 97, December 2015: Alternatives to Globalisation.
  • Naidoo, L-A. (2015) Needing to learn: #RhodesMustFall and the decolonisation of the university. Independent Thinking (2nd edition). November 2015, Pretoria: Department of Higher Education and Training. Retrieved from
  • Naidoo, L-A. Open Letter to Barney Pityana on the Rhodes Must Fall Movement, Daily Maverick, 14 April 2015. URL:

Public Lectures/Presentations/Speeches/Seminars/Workshops/Panels

  • February 2017  Presented a paper on a panel with Father Vernon Hammond, titled ‘FMF and the role of the Church’, Diakonia Council of Churches, Diakonia Centre, Durban
  • November 2016  Presented on a panel with Trevor Manuel and Sipho Pityana, an input on our analysis of the ‘State of World Politics and its relation to SA’, to the Nelson Mandela Board and staff
  • November 2016  Delivered a lecture titled ‘The Curriculum and the Black Intellectual’ at the Social Sciences Research Council Fellows meeting, Nairobi
  • November 2016  Presented evidence to the Presidential Fees Commission with Vally, S., A., Hlatshwayo, M. and Maharajh, R., 7 November.
  • August 2016  Delivered the Ruth First Annual Memorial Lecture titled ‘Hallucinations’, Great Hall, Wits
  • August 2016  Presented on ‘How the general ideas of Decolonising the Curriculum specifically relate to Teacher Education’, at the Education Deans Forum, Universities South Africa, Johannesburg
  • May 2016  Vally, S., Motala, E., Naidoo, L-A., Hlatshwayo, M. and Maharajh, R., Z. Marawu. Submission to the Higher Education and Training Commission (Fees Commission) in Pretoria.
  • May 2016  Presented as part of a panel with Dr Vashna Jagarnath, Tshepo Motsepe and Kgotsi Chikane titled ‘A dialogue on protest and self-expression within higher education: Opportunities and Challenges’ to the                Canon-Collins Scholars’ Conference, Cape Town
  • May 2016  Presented a paper as part of a panel with Dr Andre Goodrich and Prof Bongani Bantini, titled ‘Decolonising the Higher Education Curriculum’ at the North West University Speak Out seminar
  • April 2016  Presented as part of a panel with Prof Andre Keet, Dr Mvuyo Tom and Chumani Maxwele, titled ‘Transformation of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education since the advent of democracy’, at the University of Fort Hare centenary celebration, Alice 
  • April 2016  Presented a paper at the University of the Free State Centre for Research on Higher Education and Development on ‘Decolonising the Curriculum by centering of the Black intellectual’
  • March 2016  Presented a paper at the University of Cape Town History Seminar titled ‘Student Movements Past (1968/69) and present (2015/16)’
  • May 2016  Interviewed for the first episode of the Wits Academic podcast series to discuss the historical background of paying fees for higher education in SA (
  • February 2016  Delivered a keynote lecture titled ‘Decolonising the Curriculum by Centering the Black Intellectual’ at Wits School of Education Transformation Seminar. Presented a similar paper at the Wits School of Modern Languages transformation staff meeting
  • November 2015  Presented a paper titled ‘Forget Transformation: Rhodes Must Fall and the Decolonising of the University’, at Indexing the Human, Dpt of Sociology/Anthropology, University of Stellenbosch
  • October 2015  Presented a paper ‘RMF and the Decolonisation of the Curriculum’ on a panel with Prof Renuka Vithal, Dr Lis Lange, Dr Noluthando Toni, titled ‘Knowledge and curriculum transformation in higher education’, Second National Higher Education Transformation Summit at the Durban ICC
  • September 2015 Presented a paper, ‘Africanisation of Higher Education. What does that mean?’ as part of a panel discussion on Africanisation of higher education in South Africa, at the Steve Biko Frank Talk Memorial Lecture at the University of the Western Cape
  • September 2015 Presented a paper on ‘Transformation and the new student movement’ at the HERPNET International Higher Education Conference at Wits School of Education
  • August 2015  Presented as part of a panel with Prof’s Achille Mbembe, Xolela Mangcu and Thadeus Metz, titled ‘Decolonising Institutions’ at the Mail and Guardian Literary Festival and SA Book Fair
  • February 2014  Presented paper titled ‘The Stakes of Education in the History of the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa’ at the Biko and SASO Symposium, University of Kwazulu-Natal
  • August 2010  Speaker at Various media conferences: Cologne Gay Games; Speaker on Panel at Jozi Book Fair: ‘Sport and Politics in Post-Apartheid South Africa: the 2010 World Cup’. Speaker on Panel of FGG Ambassadors at Media Briefing, Federation of Gay Games, Cologne Germany
  • August 2009  Keynote speaker at the UWC HIV/Aids Awareness volleyball tournament
  • August 2008  Delivered a 10-minute presentation on Life Skills in Sport as part of a panel discussion at the SRSA Women in Sport Colloquium in Jhb.
  • July 2006  Delivered a key note address to 35000 people at the Closing Ceremony of the Gay Games at the famous Wrigley Field baseball stadium in Chicago USA
  • July 2006  The New York Times presented a Gay Games special ‘Times Talks’ a forum with LGBTI Athletes in the Pritzker Auditorium at the Chicago Public Library. Robert Lipsyte, renowned author and New York Times columnist, moderates a distinguished panel of sports luminaries. The discussion focussed on issues around gays and lesbians in the sports world.
  • July 2006  Keynote presenter at Sports Equality Day, a series of educational workshops hosted at Rooseveldt University, Chicago, designed to bring attention to LGBT issues in sports.
  • May 2006  Panel of Gay Olympic Athletes at the Weekend of Champions event at Soldier Field Chicago. Intimate Meet the Champions Panel Discussion hosted by a surprise guest celebrity with the opportunity for questions from the audience and autograph signing.
  • Sep 2005  Keynote speaker at the UWC Sportsperson of the Year awards ceremony
  • 2005   Keynote address at the Cape Technikon Sport Awards Ceremony
  • Nov 2004  Women and Sport Seminar hosted at Tshwane University. On the panel of athletes and administrators to discuss issues of women in sport.   
  • Aug 2004  Initiated and drove the process of developing a press release from the SA Athens Olympic athletes. Read the press release compiled to the press briefing at Jhb International airport on the arrival home of the SA Olympic contingent.
  • 2004  Keynote address at SASSU (SA Student Sport Association) 10-year celebration dinner as well as at the WP Volleyball Union’s Annual Awards dinner and the St. Josephs High School Sport Awards ceremony