Susan Levine, '87
My studies at Bard prepared me for more than just academic life. It prepared me for life, with all its complexity, sorrow, and grace. At the height of apartheid in 1986, I conducted research for my senior thesis on a South African play, which I used as a lens through which to comment on the uneven relationships between gender, class, and race among women in South Africa. This formative experience paved the way for my post-graduate research on youth activism in Cape Town (MA) and children's particpation as workers in South Africa's wine industry (PhD).
I enjoy a lively academic career at the University of Cape Town where I lecture in medical, visual, and political anthropology. In 2003 I joined a group of documentary filmmakers who produced 35 films about ordinary people living with HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. My job was to travel with our mobile cinema unit through Mozambique, Lesotho, and South Africa to document the impact of the films among rural and urban communities. It was one of the continent's most successful intervention campaigns at a time when governments in the region were slow to address the magnitude of the crisis. I continue to supervise students who work on questions related to HIV/AIDS and TB, and currently hold a grant from the National Research Foundation in South Africa to support post graduate students researching children's health in Africa.