Rajendra Chetty is a post-colonial scholar in South Africa. He is Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of the Western Cape. In 2015/16 he was Fulbright visiting professor at the City University of New York and the University of Washington. He is currently a National Research Foundation C1 rated social scientist and serves as President of the English Academy of Southern Africa.
A critical educationist, his primary research interest is the study of the marginalization of children in high poverty communities and the intersectionality of race, class and inequality in schooling. He studies these issues in his work within a transdisciplinary paradigm with the voices of disadvantaged children and communities in the Cape Flats, using both qualitative and quantitative methods. His research is typically participatory, with youth and activists, drawing from critical race theories. He received his PhD in English Education from the University of South Africa, a MA in South African literature from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, an MBA from the University of Cape Town and Honours degrees in Education and Languages.
His most recent publication is a literary biography, At the edge – The writings of Ronnie Govender (2017, Peter Lang Publishers). He has published two seminal works on South African Indian writings (2002 and 2010); Trauma, Resistance, Reconciliation in post-1994 South African writings (2010); Transnationalisms and diaspora (2009); and Indias Abroad, The Diaspora Writes Back (2004). His international scholarships and visiting professorships include universities in the USA, India, Brazil, Sweden, the UK, Italy & Africa.
He received the 2016 Medal of Honour for his national and international work in educational research from the Education Association of South Africa. In 1994 he was acknowledged for his role as community activist, specifically for his work in Child Welfare during the apartheid era. He has reviewed South African writings for the Mail and Guardian, has a Thespian streak (his most acclaimed performance was the role of the barman, Sunny, in Ronnie Govender's The Lahnee's Pleasure at Artscape in 2010. He is an ultra-distance runner having completed Comrades marathons (90km), Two Oceans Marathons (56km) and a host of national marathons (42km). Rajendra has summited Africa's highest point, Mount Kilimanjaro; the base camp of Everest (Annapurna); and Machu Picchu from the Sacred Valley of Cusco.
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