Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela
Ph.D (UCT)


Contact details:

Room Number: 4.09
Tel: +27 (0)21 650.3427
Email: pumla.gobodo-madikizela@uct.ac.za

Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela


Research Interests

• Conscious and unconscious dimensions of working through of trauma
• Intrapsychic dynamics of forgiveness as an aspect of working through trauma (includes examination of psychological significance of apology).
• The use of testimonial narratives in working through trauma.
• Post-traumatic growth.
• Cross-cultural study of guilt, shame and blame in post-apartheid South Africa and post-World War II Germany.


Current Research Projects
My current research projects cover the following areas:

• Psychoanalytic analysis of the relationship between, on the one hand, trauma and forgiveness and between empathy and forgiveness on the other.
I am involved in a research collaboration with partners based in Department of Psychotherapeutic Medicine and Psychotherapy at the University of Cologne and a scientific team of representatives from the Psychotherapeutic Study Group of Persons Affected by the Holocaust (with the German acronym PAKH). PAKH is a group of “second generation” psychoanalysts who are adult children of Holocaust survivors and descendants of Nazi perpetrators. Our collaborative research focuses on the phenomenological study of empathy, emotions, and what the process of being moved entails. Our first Research Meeting was held in Düsseldorf at the headquarters of PAKH on 1-4 May, 2008; click here to view our meeting in pictures.



 Teaching & Supervision Responsibilities

• Supervision of Honours, Masters and PhD students
• Clinical Masters Seminar: Trauma in Context.
• Masters Seminar (elective): Co-teach interdisciplinary course, Narrative, Trauma & Forgiveness
• Honours seminar: The Psychology and Politics of Trauma
• Undergraduate teaching: Second year Psychopathology


Selected Publications

Books and Monographs:

Van der Merwe, C. & Gobodo-Madikizela, P. (2007). Narrating Our Healing: Perspectives on Working through Trauma. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholars Press.

Gobodo-Madikizela, P., Collins, A., & Eagle, G. (2006). Critical Psychology in Africa. London: Lawrence & Wishart Ltd.

Gobodo-Madikizela, P. (2005) (Monograph, with contributions by F. Ross & E. Mills). Women’s Contributions to South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Washington, D. C.: Hunt Alternatives.

Gobodo-Madikizela, P. (2003). A Human Being Died That Night: A South African Story of Forgiveness. Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin. Translated into Dutch (Balans Press) and German (Barbara Budrich Publishers). 2004 Alan Paton Award; 2004 Christopher Award; Voted Finalist for Best Book of the Year by National Book Critics Circle, 2004.

Articles and Book Chapters:

Gobodo-Madikizela, P. (2009). Editorial: Ethical Uncertainties in the Professional Practice of Psychology in Challenging Times. Psycho-analytic Psychotherapy in South Africa, 17, i-vi.


Gobodo-Madikizela, P. (2009). Exploring the Ethical Principle of Social Responsibility and Other Ethical Issues in the Context of the Mental Health Professionals' Response to Xenophobic Violence in Cape Town. Psycho-analytic Psychotherapy in South Africa, 17, 79-101.

Gobodo-Madikizela, P. (in press). Transforming Trauma in the Aftermath of Gross Human Rights Abuses: Making Public Spaces Intimate. In Arie Nadler, Jeffrey Fisher & Thomas Malloy (Eds.), Intergroup Reconciliation. London: Oxford University Press.

Gobodo-Madikizela, Pumla. (2007) "Language Rules": Witnessing about Trauma on South African's TRC. River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative, 8, 25-33.

Gobodo-Madikizela, P. (2006). Healing. In C. Villa-Vicencio & F. du Toit (eds.), Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa: Ten years On, pp. 71-77. Cape Town: David Philip

Gobodo-Madikizela, P., & Foster, D. (2005). Psychology and Human Rights Abuses. In C. Tredoux, D. Foster, A. Allan, A. Cohen, & D. Wassenaar (eds.), Psychology and Law, pp. 343-383.

Gobodo-Madikizela, P. (2003). Remorse, Forgiveness, and Rehumanization: Stories from South Africa. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 42, 7-32.

Gobodo-Madikizela, P. (2003). Alternatives to Revenge: Building a Vocabulary of Reconciliation through Political Pardon. In C. Villa Vicencio & E. Doxtader (eds.), The Provocations of Amnesty: Memory, Justice and Impunity. Cape Town: David Philip, pp. 51-60.

Gobodo-Madikizela, P. (2002). Het Menselijke Gezicht Van Het Kwaad. (The Human Face of Evil? (Trans. Katrina van Santen) Nexus Journal, 34, 141-157.

Gobodo-Madikizela, P. (2001). Traumatic Memory.In J. Edelstein (Ed.). Truth and Lies: Stories from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa. New York: New Press.

Gobodo-Madikizela, P. (2000). Eugene de Kock and Symbols of Blood and Dirt. In W. Verwoerd & M. C. Mabizela, Truths Drawn in Jest, pp. 103-116. Cape Town: David Phillip.

Gobodo-Madikizela, P. (1998). On Reconciliation and Reflecting on the Truth Commission. In Donald Will (ed.) The Global Citizen, pp. 274-276. Needham Heights, MA: Simon and Schuster.

Gobodo-Madikizela, P. (1998). Healing the Racial Divide? Personal Reflections on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. South African Journal of Psychology, 27, pp. 271-272.

Gobodo-Madikizela, P. (1995). The Dynamics of a Traumatised Community: Understanding Crowd Violence and its Aftermath. Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in South Africa, Vol. 4, No.2.

Gobodo-Madikizela, P. (1995).Remembering and the Politics of Identity. Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in South Africa, 3, 89-95.