Cabrita has a long-standing interest in how Southern Africans used and transformed a range of old and new media forms. Her first book (Text and Authority in the South African Nazaretha Church, Cambridge University Press, 2014) investigates the print culture of a large South African religious organization, while her edited collection (Religion, Media and Marginality in Africa, Ohio University Press, 2018) focuses on the intersection of media, Islam, Christianity and political expression in modern Africa.
Her current project (under contract with Ohio University Press) is the biography of a pioneering African feminist, Christian Pentecostal pioneer and liberation leader, Regina Gelana Twala (1908 – 1968), who co-founded Swaziland’s first political party in 1960 and introduced the Assemblies of God denomination to the region. Celebrated during her lifetime, Twala’s remarkable story is today largely forgotten, in part a consequence of her untimely death in 1968, one month before Swaziland’s independence. Cabrita’s project considers the radically new perspective a figure such as Twala affords on the contribution of women to Africa’s anti-colonial liberation movements and to evangelical history. The book will probe the politics of memory whereby certain African nationalist and religious icons have been erased from the historical record.
Cabrita did her PhD at the University of Cambridge and was subsequently a Junior Research Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge. Before moving to Stanford, she held permanent posts at SOAS (University of London) and the University of Cambridge. Her research has been recognized by two major early-career research prizes, the British Arts and Humanities Early Career Research Fellowship (2015) and the Philip Leverhulme Prize (2017).
Guest-Edited Special Issues
'New Histories of Christianity in Southern Africa' (edited with N. Erlank), South African Historical Journal, Vol. 70, No. 3 (2018)
‘Africa in the Indian Ocean’ (edited with F. Becker), The Journal of African History, Vol. 55, No. 2 (July 2014)