After a first degree at the University of Natal (UN) and an MA from the University of Cambridge, Margaret Daymond took up a junior lectureship at the then University of Natal (where she has been ever since) and began a doctoral dissertation on the 19th C British novelist, Elizabeth Gaskell. By the time she had completed her doctorate, however, she had committed to a life in South Africa and so she turned her teaching and research to African writing. A huge influence on that decision was Ellen Kuzwayo’s Call Me Woman (1985).
She was the first in the department to offer a module in women’s writing, and in 1990 edited the second issue of Current Writing (the journal she had established with 3 colleagues) on feminist theory and women’s writing in South Africa. South African Feminisms followed, and during this time she also edited four novels by African women. When the Feminist Press began an archival project, she was asked to be one of the editors, and this resulted in Women Writing Africa Vol 1.
Somewhere along this line she was promoted to a senior professorship and was Head of the Department of English 1994-9. She retired from teaching in 2005, but has continued publishing books, journal articles, and chapters in books. She continues to enjoy travelling to conferences here and abroad. For the past four years she has reviewed all scholarly publications on southern African literary and cultural matters for The Year’s Work in English Studies (OUP).
In 2016, a book she edited called Everyday Matters was released. Everyday Matters is a collection of unpublished letters of Dora Taylor, Bessie Head and Lilian Ngoyi.
Follow the link to Daymond's blog to keep up to date with happenings regarding her newest offering, Everyday Matters: seleceted letters of Dora Taylor, Bessie Head and Lilian Ngoyi.