Dr Grace Idahosa

  • College positions:
    College Lecturer
  • University positions:
    Assistant Professor in Education and Social Justice
  • Subjects: Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Political and International Studies, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa.

Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa.

Master of Arts (With Distinction) in Political and International Studies, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa.

Bachelor of Arts in History and International Relations, Redeemer’s University (RUN), Mowe, Ogun State, Nigeria.

Research interests

I am a political sociologist, an intersectional, and an interdisciplinary scholar. My research program encompasses two complementary lines of inquiry: Agency and Higher Education Transformation and Feminist and Decolonial Thought. The first is a hermeneutic phenomenological interpretation of the impact of structures, cultures, and identity on academic staff and university leaders' agency to contribute to social change. Within this project, my interest lies in the somatic representations of power and how it produces and is reproduced by different bodies to enable the reproduction/transformation of the social world. This interest is explored within the context of higher education transformation in South Africa, India, and Northern Ireland. Higher education in my work is understood not just as an educational space where learning occurs but as an institution and organisation with its own logic that mirrors, produces, and reproduces societal inequalities while creating the conditions of possibility for changing and transforming these inequalities. I attempt to understand the intersectional nature of the reproduction and transformation of legacies of oppression and domination within HE systems and how individuals (staff, faculty, management, students) within these spaces challenge and transform them. The second strand of my research draws on feminist and decolonial scholars employed within my study to develop a framework for analysing agency and transformation within contexts marred by legacies of oppression. My research interests encompass the social dimension of political and feminist theory, higher education transformation, agency, gender, social change, body politics, marginalities, decolonisation, and qualitative research methodology.

Teaching Interests

My teaching philosophy is guided by a commitment to providing the necessary conditions for students to think critically, ethically, and engage with contextually relevant issues while promoting a critical sense of the self and 'other. I hold a view of teaching-research intersection where my research informs my teaching and vice-versa, ensuring a feedback loop between teaching and research. In this respect, I have taught courses and co-taught courses at the undergraduate and postgraduate level on 'Puzzles in Contemporary Political Philosophy,' 'Qualitative Research Methods' and 'Higher Education in the 21st Century', ‘Social Justice and Education’ and Education, Policy and Society’. I am interested in teaching subjects related to ‘Education and Social Justice’, ‘Higher Education Transformation’ ‘Decolonisation’, ‘Agency and Social Transformation’, ‘Intersectionality’.

Awards and prizes:

2021                United Nations, Economic Commission for Africa Fellowship. 

2019                The Nordic Africa Institute, Guest Researcher Fellowship.

2019                Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Seal of Excellence for a proposed project titled ‘Mid- level Managers Agency for Transformation’.

2020-2021       National Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Johannesburg.

2017-2019       Global Excellence Stature Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Johannesburg.

2017                National Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, Rhodes University.

2016                Rhodes University Prestigious Scholarship, Rhodes University.

2014-2015       Andrew Mellon PhD in Humanities Fellowship, Rhodes University.

2014                Rhodes Doctoral Degree Scholarship, Rhodes University.

2014                SAVUSA Skills Scholarship for Exchange Study at the ISS, The Hague.

Award: All expense paid: Travel, Accommodation and Monthly Stipend.

2013                Sandisa Imbewu Rhodes University Prestigious Scholarship.


Journal Articles

Dhawan, N.B., Belluigi, D., and Idahosa, G.E. 2022. “There is a hell and heaven difference among faculties who are from quota and those who are non-quota”: Under the veneer of the ‘New Middle Class production of Indian public universities. Higher Education (Online).

Idahosa, G.E. and Mkhize, Z. 2021. Intersectional Experiences of Black South African Female Doctoral Students in STEM: Participation, Success and Retention. Agenda: Empowering women for gender equity. 35(2): 110-122. 

Idahosa, G.E. 2020. Dirty Body Politics: Habitus, gendered embodiment and the resistance to women’s agency in transforming South African higher education. Gender, Work and Organization. 27(6): 988-1003.

Idahosa, G.E, and Bradbury, V. 2020. Challenging the way we ‘know’ the world: Overcoming Paralysis and Utilising Discomfort Through Critical Reflexive Thought. Acta Academia, 52(1): 31-53.

Idahosa, G.E and Vincent, L. 2019. Enabling transformation through critical engagement and reflexivity: A case study of South African academics. Higher Education Research and Development, 38(4): 780-792.

Idahosa, G.E and Vincent, L. 2019.  Strategic competence and agency: Individuals overcoming barriers to change in South African higher education. Third World Quarterly, 40(1): 147-162.

Belluigi, D.Z., Alcock, A., Farrell, V., and Idahosa, G.E. 2019. Mixed metaphors, mixed messages and mixed blessings: How figurative imagery opens up the complexities of transforming higher education. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in the South (SOTL), 3(2): 110-120.  

Idahosa, G.E and Vincent, L., 2018. “The scales were peeled from my eyes”: South African academics coming to consciousness to become agents of change. International Journal for Critical Cultural Studies, 15(4): 13-28.

Vincent, L., Idahosa, G.E., and Msomi, Z., 2017. ‘Disclaiming/denigrating/dodging: White South African academics’ everyday race-talk’. African Identities, 15(2): 324-388.

Idahosa, G., and Vincent, L., 2014. Losing, using, refusing, cruising: First-generation South African women academics narrate the complexity of marginality. Agenda: Agenda: Empowering women for gender equity, 28(1): 59-71.

Idahosa, G., and Vincent, L., 2014. Xenophobia, sovereign power and the limits of citizenship. Africa Review, 6(2): 94-104.

Vincent, L., and Idahosa, G., 2014. Joining the academic life: South African students who succeeded at university despite not meeting the entry requirement, South African Journal of Higher Education, 28(4): 1433-1447.


Book and Book Chapters

Belluigi, D., Dhawan, N.D., and Idahosa, G.E 2022 ‘Like king, like subject’? Insights into the politics of staff participation within institutions in India and South Africa. In Role of Leaders in Managing Higher Education: Governance and Management in Higher Education. Emerald Publishing Group.

Wijngaarden, V. and Idahosa, G.E., 2021. ‘An Integrated Approach Towards Decolonising Higher Education’ In E. Woldegiorgis, I. Turner, and A. Brahima (Eds). Decolonisation of Higher Education in Africa: Perspectives from Hybrid Knowledge Production. London: Routledge. 

Idahosa, G.E. 2020. Agency and social transformation in South African higher education: Pushing the bounds of possibility. London: Routledge.

Idahosa, G.E. 2019. ‘Decolonising the curriculum on African women and gender studies’ In O. Yacob-Haliso and T. Falola (Eds.). The Palgrave Handbook on African Women’s Studies. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Idahosa, G.E. 2019. ‘African women in university management’ In O. Yacob-Haliso and T. Falola (Eds.). The Palgrave Handbook on African Women’s Studies. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Reports and Policy Briefs

Idahosa, G.E., Brink, T., & Sibanda, A., 2022. The contributions of scientific research during the Covid-19 pandemic in response to the associated challenges and opportunities of the Pandemic. Policy Brief. Covid-19 Second Edition Country Report. DPME (Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation), GTAC (Government Technical Advisory Centre) & NRF (National Research Foundation), Pretoria: April.

Jobson, J., Alexander, K., Horwitz, D., Idahosa, G. E., Kalla, S., Kritzinger, C., Mokgele, K., Mutekwe, P., Roman, N., van Noordwyk, J-M., Zembe, Y. & Zembe-Mkabile, W., 2021. Civil society responses to the Covid-19 Pandemic. South Africa Covid-19 Country Report. DPME (Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation), GTAC (Government Technical Advisory Centre) & NRF (National Research Foundation), Pretoria: May.

Idahosa, G.E. 2020. Mid-Managers Agency for Transformation in Post-Conflict Societies. Report on Research Funded by the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE), London, United Kingdom.

Dhawan, N.B., Belluigi, D., and Idahosa, G.E. 2020. Sustainability and Transformation in Higher Education: Interactional Dynamics in Gender and Intersectionality. Report on Research funded by Jadavpur University, India, under the RUSA 2.0 scheme of Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.

Vincent, L., and Idahosa, G.E. 2014. Academic interpretation of transformation at Rhodes. Research Commissioned by the Equity and Institutional Culture Office. Unpublished Report. Rhodes University, Grahamstown. South Africa.


Idahosa, G.E. 2019. ‘What are the limits of identity and positionality in the decolonisation debate?Convivial Thinking. How we know the world series.