I’m a Social Anthropology PhD candidate at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. I also previously worked in journalism as well as at the Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division (HEARD) of the University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. As a passionate ethnographer, I am interested in the digital in all its facets: its affordances, ethical entanglements and potential of conflict and polarisation. It is also important to me to encourage the inclusion of a broader range of Humanities scholars to contribute to DH discussions.


Doctor of Philosophy Candidate, Social Anthropology, University of Cape Town

2018 Feb – November 2020

Thesis Topic: Relationships facilitated via the dating application Tinder.

Master of Social Science (Distinction), Social Anthropology, University of Cape Town

2015 Feb – June 2016

Thesis Topic: Strategies of coping with the fear of crime in suburban Cape Town.

Bachelor of Social Science Honours (Distinction), Social Anthropology, University of Cape Town

December 2014

Thesis Topic: Strategies of bodily navigation of male refugees in Cape Town.

Bachelor of Social Science, Social Anthropology; African Language Studies and Literatures.

December 2013

First year of study at the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität in Mainz, Germany.

Other Publications

Junck, L.D., 2019. Cultivating Suspicion: An Ethnography. Langaa RPCIG.

Junck, L., 2018. Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water: An Ethnography on Strategies of Bodily Navigation of Male Refugees in Cape Town. Langaa RPCIG.

Junck, L., 2017. Fenced off: Distrust and the city as an exclusive space in a post-Apartheid context. Codesria Bulletin, 3/4, p.13.

Blog Posts



    For my PhD dissertation in Social Anthropology, I engaged with the role of dating applications like Tinder in establishing various kinds of intimacy. More specifically, the (digital) ethnography grapples with how the embedded mechanisms, politics as well as user perceptions influence patterns of relating. Beyond the ways in which digital technologies themselves are used, I am very curious about their potential sources of conflict and polarisation. Researching the fear of crime and surveillance strategies in suburban Cape Town for my Master degree, I also came to write about the role of WhatsApp groups in recycling information and cultivating notions of ‘a suspect’. My Honours dissertation on male refugees bridging precarity in Cape Town dealt with being on the other end of surveillance. Both Honours and Master thesis were published as monographs.

    Upcoming Talks and Conferences

    Between Phallus and Freedom: An Ethnography on the Embodied Experiences of Tinder Users in Cape Town


    Digital Humanities Southern Africa (DHASA)

    Network for Digital Humanities in Africa

    Leah Junck

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    Active 3 years, 6 months ago