Sphesihle Khanyile

I joined the Wits University community in 2010, as first year student. During my time at Wits I have gained a thick inter-disciplinary grounding which includes media studies, political studies, sociology, history and African literature. I have a huge passion for teaching and find great fulfilment engaging and sharing ideas. My research interests are in the domain of critical discourse analysis and new media, particularly how social phenomenon like religion exhibit and propagate multiple sociological and political discourses through the employment of new/social media's multimodal representational configuration. Furthermore, I am fascinated in questioning how power relations are manufactured through texts within new/social media platforms of expression.

I find huge interest in how religious sects (Charismatic neo-Pentecostals), predominantly in the global south, vigorously transport their ideologies and sometimes bizarre, extreme and exceptional religious ritual performances through virtual/online forums such as Facebook-which is used as a means of visibility, self-definition, self-representation and self-efficacy. I am currently a PhD student working on a project that focuses on the mediation of the transnational neo-Pentecostal prosperity gospel/message in South Africa, specifically, its discursive construction on both virtual and mainstream South African "Nguni media." I am intrigued by how the prosperity gospel has been able to wiggle itself amidst the South African social system. I want to probe why these new and emergent religious movements find fertile ground to permeate and infiltrate in Africa, as compared to other geographical spaces. More importantly to understand how the media have been central in facilitating the dispensing of ideals and practices of new religious movements universally.


BA in Politics and Media Studies (Wits).

BA Honours in Media Studies (Wits).

MA in Sociology (Wits).

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