Prof. Louise du Toit

Louise du Toit is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. Her main research interests include a wide range of themes within feminist philosophy especially in the European and African traditions. She is interested in sexual violence, Critical Theory, political philosophy, hermeneutics, philosophy and literature, phenomenology, legal philosophy, environmental philosophy and feminist philosophy of religion. She is the author of A Philosophical Investigation of Rape: the making and unmaking of the feminine self (Routledge, 2009) and is currently working on a second monograph with the title Sexual Violence and Political Transition. She was also guest editor of ‘Rape and Its Meaning/s’, a special edition of Philosophical Papers, November 2009. She is on the editorial board of Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology, De Uil van Minerva and of Gender Questions. She is currently involved in several international research collaborations with themes including ”Towards a Political Ontology of Violence: reality, image and perception’ (Leiden University), ‘Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict’ (Hamburg Institute for Social Research), ‘Boundaries and Legal Authority in a Global Context’ (Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study), and ‘African Philosophy and Literature’ (Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program).

Selected publications

2018. African Philosophy and the Epistemic Marginalization of Women (eds.) Jonathan Chimakonam and Louise du Toit, New York and London: Routledge (Taylor & Francis).
2009. Du Toit, Louise. A Philosophical Investigation of Rape: The Making and Unmaking of the Feminine Self. New York & London: Routledge (available in paperback).

Journal articles
2019. Du Toit, Louise. ‘The African Animal Other: Decolonising Nature’, Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, Vol.24, No.2, pp.130-142.
2018. Coetzee, Azille and Du Toit, Louise. ‘Facing the sexual demon of colonial power: Decolonising sexual violence in South Africa’, European Journal of Women’s Studies, Vol.25, No.2, pp.214-227.
2017. Du Toit, Louise. ‘Sexual Violence, Religion and Women’s Rights in Global Perspective’, Religious Studies and Theology, Vol.36, No.2, pp.155-170
2017. Du Toit, Louise. ‘Debating Brain Drain: three objections that complicate the picture’ in South African Journal of Philosophy, Vol.36, No.1, pp. 58-68.
2016. Du Toit, Louise. ‘The South African Constitution as Memory and Promise: An Exploration of Its Implications for Sexual Violence’ in Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies,Vol. 44, No. 1, April 2016, pp.31-51. DOI:10.1080/02589346.2016.1155133.
2015. Du Toit, Louise. ‘”When everything starts to flow”: Nkrumah and Irigaray in search of emancipatory ontologies’ in Phronimon, Vol.16 No.2, pp.1-20.
2015. Du Toit, Louise. ‘Die ekwivalente waardering van seksuele spesifisiteite: perkament vir die inskripsie van ‘n geslagsgeregtigheid wat nog moet kom’ in Tijdschrift voor Filosofie 77/2015, pp.27-54.
2014. Du Toit, Louise. ‘Human rights discourse: friend or foe of African women’s sexual freedoms?’ in Acta Academica, Vol. 46, No.4, pp.49 – 70.
2014. Du Toit, Louise. ‘Shifting Meanings of Postconflict Sexual Violence in South Africa’ in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, vol.40, no.1, pp. 101-123.
2013. Du Toit, Louise. ‘In the Name of What? Defusing the Rights-Culture Debate by Revisiting the Universals of Both Rights and Culture’ in Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies, Vol.40, No 1, April 2013, pp.15-34.
2012. Du Toit, Louise. ‘From consent to coercive circumstances: rape law reform on trial’ in South African Journal on Human Rights; Vol. 28, Issue 3, pp. 380-404.
2012. Du Toit, Louise. ‘Sexual specificity, rape law reform and the feminist quest for justice’ in South African Journal of Philosophy, Volume 31 Number 3: 465-483.
2009. Du Toit, Louise. ‘Meaning/s of Rape in War and Peace’ in Philosophical Papers, Vol 38, Number 3, November 2009: 285-306.
2008. Du Toit, Louise. ‘Old Wives’ Tales and Philosophical Delusions: on the “Problem of Women and African Philosophy”‘, in South African Journal of Philosophy special edition on African Philosophy, edited by Pedro Tabensky.
2008. Du Toit, Louise. ”n Filosofiese besinning oor die vroulike en vroulikheid van die godheid’ (translated title: A philosophical consideration of the female and the feminine of the divine), in Hervormde Teologiese Studies, Vol. 64, No.3, September (Recipient of the ATKV / Akademie Prize in 2012.)

Book chapters
2019. Du Toit, Louise. ‘Resisting the Symbolic Power of (War) Rape’, ‘Why are you doing this to me?’ Exploring the field of sexual violence in armed conflict, (eds) Regina Muelhaüser and Gaby Zipfel, Zubaan Books (in press).
2019. Du Toit, Louise & Elsabé Boshoff. ‘Transitional Justice, Sexual Violence, and Women’s Status in Africa’, Patriarchy and Gender in Africa, ASRF Online (in press).
2018. Du Toit, Louise. ‘The Right to Interpret: Epistemic Justice for Women in South Africa’, Justice-based Ethics: Challenging South African Perspectives, AOSIS, (ed.) Chris Jones, pp. 2018, pp. 3-28.
2017. Du Toit, Louise and Azille Coetzee. ‘Gendering African Philosophy; or: African Feminism as Decolonising Force’ in Handbook of African Philosophy (eds. Adoshina Afolayan and Toyin Falola), Palgrave Macmillan.
2016. Du Toit, Louise. ‘Exploring Rape as an Attack on Erotic Goods’ in Identity and Difference: Contemporary Debates on the Self (ed. Rafael Winkler), Palgrave Macmillan.
2015. Du Toit, Louise. ‘Does the South African Constitution (really) promise an end to sexual violence?’ in Memory and Meaning: Lourens du Plessis and the haunting of justice. LexisNexis: Cape Town, pp. 81-99. ISBN 978 0 409 12446 0
2011. Du Toit, Louise. ‘How not to give rape political significance’ in Confronting Global Gender Justice: Women’s Lives, Human Rights (eds.) Debra Bergoffen, Paula Ruth Gilbert, Tamara Harvey and Connie L McNeely. New York & London: Routledge.
2007. Du Toit, H. Louise. ‘Feminism and the Ethics of Reconciliation’ in Law and the Politics of Reconciliation, (ed.) S. Veitch, Aldershot: Ashgate (in the ‘Edinburgh Centre for Law and Society Series’), pp. 185 – 213.
2007. Du Toit, Louise. ‘The Conditions of Consent’ in Choice And Consent: Feminist Engagements With Law And Subjectivity (eds.) Rosemary Hunter & Sharon Cowan. London: GlassHouse Press, pp. 58 – 73.
2005. Du Toit, Louise. ‘A Phenomenology of Rape: Forging a New Vocabulary for Action’ in Unthinking Citizenship: Feminist Debates in Contemporary South Africa, (ed.) Amanda Gouws, Aldershot: Ashgate and UCT Press, pp 253 – 274.



Introduction to Moral Philosophy (first year level)

Critical Social Theory (third year level)


Feminist Theory and the Law (honours level)

Introduction to Environmental Ethics (post-graduate diploma level)