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Prof. Louise du Toit

Louise du Toit is a Professor of Philosophy. She taught at the University of Johannesburg since 1997, before moving to Stellenbosch in 2010. Her main research interests include a wide range of themes within feminist philosophy, especially in the interface between African and European 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 was guest editor of ‘Rape and Its Meaning/s’, a special edition of Philosophical Papers, November 2009. With Jonathan Chimakonam, she edited African Philosophy and the Epistemic Marginalization of Women (Routledge, 2018). She is on the editorial board of Philosophy and Rhetoric, Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology, De Uil van Minerva and of Gender Questions. She is currently involved in several international research collaborations with themes relating to sexual violence and nonviolent resistance. She has been a visiting fellow/researcher at the University of Bristol Law School (2019), the Center for Theological Inquiry in Princeton (2018), and the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (2017, 2020 and 2021). She has completed supervision of 5 PhDs and 15 MA degrees, and has held C2- and C1- NRF ratings.

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

  • 2021. Du Toit, Louise. ‘Eithne Dowds: Feminist Engagement with International Criminal Law: Norm Transfer, Complementarity, Rape and Consent’, Feminist Legal Studies 29, 417-421 (2021).
  • 2021. Du Toit, Louise and Le Roux, Elizabeth. ‘A feminist reflection on male victims of conflict-related sexual violence’, European Journal of Women’s Studies. 2021;28(2):115-128. doi:10.1177/1350506820904982
  • 2021. Du Toit, Louise & Vosloo, Jana L.  ‘When Bodies Speak Differently: Putting Judith Butler in Conversation with Mahatma Gandhi on Nonviolent Resistance’, Religions, 2(8):627- 643.
  • 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. ‘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.
  • 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.


Book chapters

  • 2021. Boshoff, Elsabé and Du Toit, Louise. ‘Transitional Justice, Sexual Violence, and Women’s Status in Africa’, in (eds.) E. Uchendu & N Edeagu, Negotiating Patriarchy and Gender in Africa: Discourses, Practices, Policies, Lexington Books, 241-255.
  • 2020. Du Toit, Louise. ‘Sexual Violence, Religion and Women’s Rights in Global Perspective’, Explorations in Women, Rights and Religions.  Sheffield, UK: Equinox Press. (ed.) Morny Joy.
  • 2019. Du Toit, Louise. ‘Resisting the Symbolic Power of (War) Rape’,  In Plain Sight: Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict. (Eds.) Gaby Zipfel, Kirsten Campbell, Regina Muelhaüser. New Delhi: Zubaan Books.
  • 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.
  • 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)