Scott Burnett (Wits Centre for Diversity Studies)

Scott Burnett investigates the construction and repair of racial hierarchies privileging whiteness in spatial and environmentalist discourse. He is part of the research team at the Wits Centre for Diversity Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand in  Johannesburg, South Africa, and lectures in strategic communication at Lund University in Helsingborg, Sweden. His doctoral thesis, entitled “Giving back the land: Whiteness and belonging in contemporary South Africa” was completed in 2018. His work has been published in leading journals such as ACME: an International Journal for Critical Geographies, Discourse, Context & Media, and the African Journal of Employee Relations. 

Before his doctorate, Scott spent over a decade working on South Africa’s national youth development and HIV-prevention for young people, loveLife, which was one of the world’s largest and most ambitious multimedia and social activation programmes. He served in a number of programme management and design roles, and ultimately as director of strategy. 

Scott also holds an M.Sc. in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a B.A.Hons in English and Philosophy from the university currently known as Rhodes. He is a frequent contributor to public debates on whiteness and racism.

Scott is Principal Investigator on the Phase 2 project ‘Ilizwi Lenyaniso Lomhlaba.’


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