Last year's news

24th November 2015 : Professor Shireen Hassim joins WiSER for three years

WiSER is delighted to announce that Professor Shireen Hassim will join the Institute for period of three years, on secondment from the Department of Political Studies at Wits. Shireen has a distinguished career as a Professor of Politics with a rich and widely recognised body of work on... more

10th November 2015 : Interview with Achille Mbembe

Swiss Radio reports on the recent African Futures Festival in Johannesburg, and interviews Achille Mbembe.

12th October 2015 : Geschwister Scholl Award for 'Critique de la raison nègre'

WiSER is proud to announce that the German edition of Achille Mbembe’s latest book Critique de la raison nègre has been awarded the highly regarded 2015 Geschwister Scholl-Preis. This literary prize was initiated in 1980 by the City of Munich and the Association of German Publishers and Booksellers... more

05th October 2015 : Thomas Piketty Speaks at Wits

A report on Thomas Piketty's recent talk at Wits, co-organised by WiSER.

02nd October 2015 : Report on 'The New Middle Class in the Global South'

Deborah James reflects on our recent workshop on the new middle class in the global south.

29th September 2015 : Podcast of Public Lectures from 2015's JWTC

Public lectures from the 2015 Session of the Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism, held at WiSER and the Adler Museum, Wits University, Johannesburg.

25th September 2015 : Free Download of 'WIDE ANGLE: Photography as Participatory Practice'

'WIDE ANGLE: Photography as Participatory Practice', co-edited by WiSER artist-in-residence Terry Kurgan, and published by Fourthwall Books, is now available as a free download.

22nd September 2015 : Two Cape Launches of Justin Pearce's 'Political Identity and Conflict in Central Angola'

Justin Pearce will be launching his new book Political Identity and Conflict in Central Angola,1975-2002 (Cambridge University Press) in the Cape on 29 September 2015. Stellenbosch Date: 29 September 2015 Time: 13:00-14:30 Venue: Room 401, Arts and Social Sciences Building Cape Town Date: 29... more

22nd September 2015 : Sarah Emily Duff at the Institute for Advanced Study

WiSER Researcher Sarah Emily Duff is a fellow of the Summer Programme in Social Science, an initiative run jointly over three years by the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, and the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, Uppsala... more

19th September 2015 : Achille Mbembe on the state of South African political life

A new essay for Africa is a Country by Achille Mbembe.

16th September 2015 : Hlonipa Mokoena at Open Book

On 'The Colour of Our Future' - a panel including Xolela Mangcu, Hlonipa Mokoena and Crain Soudien, and chaired by Ashraf Jamal, at the recent Open Book Festival in Cape Town.

16th September 2015 : Piketty's lessons for South Africa

[A shorter version of this piece was published in the Sunday Times.] Thomas Piketty will be visiting South Africa at the end of this month. His visit lays down an awkward deadline for the thousands of you who have bought his 700 page magnum opus. And it poses an interesting question: what does this... more

04th September 2015 : Dutch Translation of 'Critique de la raison nègre'

Achille Mbembe's 'Critique de la raison nègre' has been translated into Dutch.

03rd September 2015 : Sarah Emily Duff writes for Notches

Sarah Emily Duff recently published a post - 'Race, Class, and Sex Education in Early Twentieth-Century South Africa' - based on her current research on Notches: (Re)Marks on the History of Sexuality.

03rd September 2015 : Christi Kruger wins the Monica Wilson Prize

The Monica Wilson Prize is awarded to the best student essay submitted by a postgraduate student as a paper at the annual Anthropology Southern Africa conference. The prize-winning essay is selected based on the work that best addresses the theme of the annual conference or excellently exemplifies... more

26th August 2015 : The Sowetan on Hlonipha Mokoena

The Sowetan reports on Hlonipha Mokoena's return to South Africa, and position at WiSER.

18th August 2015 : Rhodes has Fallen. Now What?

The Society for Current and Global Affairs presents Rhodes Has Fallen. Now What? With Achille Mbembe And as part-discussant, Prof Christie van der Westhuizen 20 August 2015 17:00 University of Pretoria Main Campus - SRC Chambers Programme: 17:00  SCGA introduces Prof Mbembe & Prof van der... more

17th August 2015 : Achille Mbembe on the Marikana killings

Achille Mbembe on the Marikana killings.

06th August 2015 : 13th annual Ruth First Memorial Lecture

RACE: LIVED EXPERIENCES AND CONTEMPORARY CONVERSATIONS The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Adam Habib, and Wits Journalism invite you to the 13th annual Ruth First Memorial Lecture. Ruth First Fellow Panashe Chigumadzi will report on her research into the experience of those she describes as ‘coconuts’. Ruth... more

05th August 2015 : Afrique Magazine Interviews Achille Mbembe

An interview with Achille Mbembe in Afrique Magazine. (In French.)

04th August 2015 : Institute for Geographies of Justice Public Lectures

Public lectures from the Institute for Geographies of Justice Public Lectures held at WiSER earlier this year.

30th July 2015 : Johannesburg Salon, Vol. 9

A special edition of the Johannesburg Salon on the #RhodesMustFall movement.

27th July 2015 : South African Book Fair, 31 July-2 August

The South African Book Fair will be held at the Turbine Hall in Newton from 31 July to 2 August. Achille Mbembe will speak on a panel about decolonising institutions on 1 August at 09:30. Hlonipha Mokoena will discuss race and why it still matters on 2 August at 11:30.

27th July 2015 : David William Cohen on Barack Obama Senior

See African Studies for David William Cohen reflection on Barack Obama Senior's 1965 review of Kenya's Development Plan.

22nd July 2015 : A Podcast of Consent, Rights, and the Regulation of Youth Sexuality in South Africa

A podcast of our recent seminar on consent, rights, and the regulation of childhood and adolescent sexuality in South Africa.  

22nd July 2015 : Wits News on Consent, Rights, and the Regulation of Youth Sexuality in South Africa

Wits News reports on our recent seminar on consent, rights, and the regulation of childhood and adolescent sexuality in South Africa.

21st July 2015 : Reporting on Consent, Rights, and the Regulation of Youth Sexuality in South Africa.

A report on our recent seminar on consent, rights, and the regulation of childhood and adolescent sexuality in South Africa.

16th July 2015 : Victoria Hume Reviews 'Where does it hurt'?

Victoria Hume reviews Where does it hurt? for Durham University's Centre for Medical Humanities' blog.

15th July 2015 : Keith Breckenridge discussing the South African biometric ID Card on Voice of Wits

https://soundcloud.com/witsradioacademy/law-of-identity-theft-keith?in=witsradioacademy/sets/law-focus-law-of-identity

19th June 2015 : Rewriting the script around South Africa’s rape statistics

WiSER Research Associate Lisa Vetten writes about South Africa's rape statistics for The Conversation.

19th June 2015 : Postdoctoral Researcher (CfA, University of Oslo, 15th Sept 2015)

The Centre for Medical Humanities at the University of Oslo has advertised a two-year postdoctoral research fellowship. For more information, and to apply, see here.

19th June 2015 : What kind of past are we creating?

Former WiSER MA student Simphiwe Ngwane reflects on the legacies of the 1976 Soweto Uprising for Generation Y.

15th June 2015 : Stremlau on Piketty and offshoring on the African continent

John Stremlau comments on the WISER Piketty panel and the implications for taxation and the surveillance of offshore capital flows in the Business Day.

12th June 2015 : Video Podcast | Reinventing Pan-Africanism in the Age of Xenophobia

(videos are listed in the order in which the panels took place) Wednesday, June 3, 2015 Introduction: Sarah Nuttall Panel One: Africa in Diasporic and Continental Imagination Xolela Mangcu, "The Idea of Africa in Black South African Political Thought" Achille Mbembe, "Futures of Pan-Africanism"  ... more

04th June 2015 : NEWSFLASH | Reinventing Pan-Africanism in the Age of Xenophobia | 4 June 2015

International SymposiumReinventing Pan-Africanism in the Age of Xenophobia4th June 2015 12.00 to 1.30 Moeletsi Mbeki will offer remarks on the symposium theme. From 2.00 to 3.30, Michael Neocosmos and Suren Pillay will speak on Africa in the South African curriculum. The symposium will end today... more

02nd June 2015 : Programme Highlights | Reinventing Pan-Africanism in the Age of Xenophobia | 3-4June

International SymposiumReinventing Pan-Africanism in the Age of Xenophobia 3rd June 2015 Two of the best scholars of black thought Xolela Mangcu and Achille Mbembe will take us through the histories of the idea of Africa and its futures in a shrinking world characterized by the return of virulent... more

26th May 2015 : Yasmina Martin at Wits

We are very pleased that Yasmina Martin, a recent recipient of a Fulbright scholarship currently based at Amhest College in the US, will be joining the Wits History Department and WiSER to do research on LGBT rights in South Africa. She describes her project: As an internationally recognized figure... more

26th May 2015 : Black Music and the Aesthetics of Protest - Hammer Museum

Black Music and the Aesthetics of Protest Co-presented with the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Department of Musicology Neo Muyanga’s opera The Struggle serves as a departure point for a panel discussion exploring the role of Black opera and other genres of Black music in achieving racial justice... more

26th May 2015 : Notes from a composer-in-residence, April and May 2015

Neo Muyanga, WiSER's composer-in-residence, reflects on work done during April and May 2015.

25th May 2015 : Publication of Sarah Emily Duff's 'Changing Childhoods in the Cape Colony'

WiSER is proud to announce the publication of Sarah Emily Duff's monograph Changing Childhoods in the Cape Colony: Dutch Reformed Church Evangelicalism and Colonial Childhood, 1860-1895. The first full-length study of the history of childhood in South Africa, it has been published in Palgrave... more

25th May 2015 : Hlonipha Mokoena Joins WiSER

The Wits Vuvuzela on Hlonipha Mokoena's move to WiSER later this year.

25th May 2015 : Let’s talk about sex education: race and shame in South Africa

Sarah Emily Duff writes about sex education in South Africa during the 1920s and 1930s for The Conversation.

21st May 2015 : Statement from the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Adam Habib, on Accelerating Transformation at Wits

The Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand, Professor Adam Habib, has released a statement on accelerating transformation at Wits. This communique follows a number of stakeholder conversations that have been conducted over the past few months, and which will be... more

20th May 2015 : Doppiozero's Translation of Achille Mbembe's Essay on Xenophobia

Doppiozero has reprinted the text of Achille Mbembe's essay on xenophobia, in both English and Italian. Photographs are by Kudzanai Chiurai.

18th May 2015 : Advertisement: Lecturer in Media Studies.

Faculty of Humanities School of Literature, Language and Media LECTURER IN MEDIA STUDIES The School of Literature, Language and Media (SLLM) invites applications from suitably qualified candidates with teaching and research experience in Media Studies, Cultural Studies, Communications or related... more

18th May 2015 : New Preface to the Africa Edition of Achille Mbembe's 'On the Postcolony'

An edited version of the new preface, 'The Value of Africa's Aesthetics,' to the Africa edition of Achille Mbembe's On the Postcolony, published in May 2015 by Wits University Press.

15th May 2015 : Ebook of 'Decolonizing Knowledge and the Question of the Archive'

Achille Mbembe's recent essay 'Decolonizing Knowledge and the Question of the Archive' has been published as an ebook by the blog Africa is a Country.

13th May 2015 : Performance of Neo Muyanga's 'Uniti Hymn'

On 6 May 2015, the House of Prayer for All Nations Choir performed the Uniti Hymn, composed by WiSER composer-in-residence Neo Muyanga, and based on the preamble to the national planning commission written by poets Njabulo Ndebele and Antjie Krog. The concert premier of the hymn was recorded live... more

12th May 2015 : Talk at the Adler Museum of Medicine: Tony Cantrell on 'Asbestos: Miracle Fibre - Serial Killer'

The Adler Museum of Medicine at the Wits Medical School hosts a talk by Prof Tony Cantrell on 'Asbestos: Miracle Fibre - Serial Killer' on 18 May, 13:00-14:00. All welcome.

11th May 2015 : New Edition of 'On the Postcolony'

Wits University Press will publish an updated edition of Achille Mbembe's On the Postcolony, with a foreword by Professor of African Literature Isabel Hofmeyr and a preface by the author, this month.

05th May 2015 : Book Launch and Discussion: Healing and Change in the City of Gold

  AFRICAN CENTRE for MIGRATION & SOCIETY   UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND, JOHANNESBURG   Invitation: Book Launch and Discussion Healing and Change in the City of Gold   Manifestations of Woundedness - Violence and Xenophobia... more

02nd May 2015 : Achille Mbembe, Decolonizing Knowledge and the Question of the Archive

The text of Achille Mbembe's recent lecture 'Decolonizing Knowledge and the Question of the Archive.'

01st May 2015 : #RhodesMustFall Invites Achille Mbembe to the University of Cape Town

Achille Mbembe in conversation with the #RhodesMustFall movement at the University of Cape Town: part one and part two.

01st May 2015 : Achille Mbembe and Sarah Nuttall Speak at Stellenbosch University

Achille Mbembe and Sarah Nuttall speak at Stellenbosch University's Indexing the Human project.

30th April 2015 : Achille Mbembe on Xenophobic Violence

The Daily Maverick interviews Achille Mbembe on xenophobic violence.

30th April 2015 : Christa Kuljian on the Armenian Genocide

WiSER writing fellow Christa Kuljian describes her family's experience of the Armenian genocide, in the Mail and Guardian.

29th April 2015 : Nelson Mandela: The Myth and Me

Now showing at The Bioscope, Johannesburg - Nelson Mandela: The Myth and Me, a film by Khalo Matabane with an original score by WiSER composer-in-residence, Neo Muyanga. For more information, see here: http://www.thebioscope.co.za/2015/03/23/nelson-mandela-the-myth-and-me-s...

28th April 2015 : Podcast: Achille Mbembe's Public Lecture 'Decolonizing the University'

Achille Mbembe's public lecture 'Decolonizing the University: Five New Directions,' presented at WiSER on 22 April 2015.  

23rd April 2015 : French, Italian, and Spanish Translations of Achille Mbembe's Essay on Xenophobia

Recently, Achille Mbembe published thoughts on xenophobic violence in South Africa. This essay has since been translated in to French, Italian, and Spanish.

21st April 2015 : Call for Workshop Applicants: Migration, Urbanisation and Health in Southern Africa

  Call for Workshop Applicants Migration, urbanisation and health  in southern Africa: interdisciplinary conversations   July 27th – 29th, Johannesburg, South Africa   The Southern African Development Community (SADC) region is associated with high level of historical and contemporary population... more

20th April 2015 : People's March Against Xenophobia

Emergency Coalition announces People’s March Against Xenophobia   20 April 2015 Johannesburg – The recent xenophobic attacks that have gripped South Africa have shamed the country, and sent shockwaves far beyond our borders. The attacks present a picture of South Africans to the world that suggests... more

17th April 2015 : A Statement from Wits VC Adam Habib on the Xenophobic Violence

Wits vice–chancellor Prof Adam Habib has released a statement on behalf of the university, condemning the xenophobic attacks that have taken place across South Africa in recent weeks. Dear Members of the Wits Community Wits University strongly condemns all forms of xenophobia and the brutal acts of... more

17th April 2015 : An Open Letter to All South Africans

Danai Pechedu, a pupil at Sacred Heart College in Johannesburg: My name is Danai Pachedu and I am 11 years old. For the past two weeks my life has changed. I have been scared to go to the shops because people may recognize me. I have stopped speaking Shona in public or too loudly at home because I... more

16th April 2015 : Achille Mbembe on Xenophobia in South Africa

Achille Mbembe responds to mounting xenophobia in South Africa.

08th April 2015 : No Place Like Home

Former WiSER Writing Fellow and current associate researcher Khadija Patel has collaborated on a major new project for Al Jazeera. No Place Like Home tells the stories of migrants and xenophobia in South Africa.

30th March 2015 : Online Exhibition: Planned Violence

An online exhibition accompanies our conference 'Forensic Infrastructure: Building the Global South' (31 March-1 April). The exhibition brings together a small body of contemporary art by young southern African artists, presenting aesthetic responses to, and explorations of, ‘the postcolonial city... more

29th March 2015 : History of Sexuality Reading Group, 23 April, 3pm

The next meeting of the history of sexuality reading group will be on Thursday, 23 April at 3pm in the WiSER seminar room (6th floor, Richard Ward Building, East Campus). We'll be focussing on the work of Caroline Bynum, specifically: Caroline Bynum, 'Fast, Feast, and Flesh: The Religious... more

28th March 2015 : On the Future of Legal Identity

*/ April 28, 2015 Between April 21 and 23, thirty-two researchers and practitioners met in the Hague to examine the contemporary possibilities and limits of the new technologies of identity registration in the world's poorest countries. Some key points stand out from these discussions: Tightly... more

27th March 2015 : News from our composer-in-residence

Neo Muyanga, our composer-in-residence, has been invited by the Goethe Institut, Brazil, to curate an intervention on protest music in the Global South. He travelled recently to Brazil and Uruguay and has begun work on a collaborative project titled 'massa revoltante' ('a revolting mass'). He also... more

27th March 2015 : Call for Workshop Applicants: Migration, Urbanisation and Health in Southern Africa

Call for Workshop Applicants Migration, urbanisation and health  in southern Africa: interdisciplinary conversations July 27th – 29th, Johannesburg, South Africa The Southern African Development Community (SADC) region is associated with high level of historical and contemporary population... more

27th March 2015 : ISCHP 2015 Conference Registration is Open

International Society of Critical Health Psychology (ISCHP) 9th Biennial Conference 12-15 July 2015, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa ‘Health, Health Care and Social Justice’ Early bird registration: ZAR 2500.00 Final day for early bird registration is 15 April 2015 Student registration... more

09th March 2015 : Volume 8 of the Johannesburg Salon

Volume 8 of the Johannesburg Salon, edited by Megan Jones and Achille Mbembe, is now available.

05th March 2015 : Neo Muyanga Performs at the Opening Night of Infecting the City

The Africa Centre warmly invites you to the opening night of its public arts festival, Infecting The City. Please join us for drinks prior to the start of the Festival, at 17:30 on Monday 9 March outside the Groote Kerk on Church Square. The Festival will officially commence at 18:00 with the... more

05th March 2015 : Report on our launch of 'Land Divided, Land Restored'

BooksLIVE reports on our recent launch of Launch Land Divided, Land Restored edited by Cherryl Walker and Ben Cousins.

03rd March 2015 : Christa Kuljian on the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg

Christa Kuljian writes about recent changes at the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg for City Press.

27th February 2015 : History of Sexuality Reading Group, 26 March, 3pm

The next meeting of the history of sexuality reading group will be on Thursday, 26 March at 3pm in the WiSER seminar room (6th floor, Richard Ward Building, East Campus). We'll be focussing on the work of David Halperin, specifically: David Halperin, ‘Forgetting Foucault: Acts, Identities, and the... more

27th February 2015 : South African Edition of Achille Mbembe's 'On the Postcolony'

A South African edition of On the Postcolony will be published in May by Wits University Press, with a foreword by Isabel Hofmeyr and a note by the author.

26th February 2015 : Launch of Charles van Onselen's Showdown at the Red Lion

Join Jonathan Ball Publishers and Love Books at the launch of Showdown at the Red Lion by the winner of the prestigious Alan Paton award, the Herskovits prize and voted as author of one of the 100 best books to emerge from Africa during the 20th century, CHARLES VAN ONSELEN in conversation with... more

26th February 2015 : Launch of Changing Space, Changing City: Johannesburg after Apartheid

To all urbanists, thinkers about cities and those interested in Johannesburg and its development You are invited by Prof Adam Habib, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand, and Wits University Press & UKZN Press to the launch of two books CHANGING SPACE, CHANGING... more

19th February 2015 : Jonny Steinberg on returning to Johannesburg

Our new colleague Jonny Steinberg writes for BuzzFeed Books on his decision to return to Johannesburg.

18th February 2015 : The Mail and Guardian reports on our first WISH seminar of 2015

The Mail and Guardian reports on Allen and Bobby Isaacman's seminar on the Cahora Bassa dam and South Africa's security interests.

13th February 2015 : The Extraordinary Life of Neo Muyanga

A profile of Neo Muyanga, WiSER's composer-in-residence, in the Mail and Guardian.

03rd February 2015 : Call for applications - 2015 JWTC: Bios, Techne and the Manufacture of Happiness

Applications to participate in this year's Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism (28 June-8 July 2015) are open. This year's theme is Bios, Techné and the Manufacture of Happiness. Click here to apply and for more information.

30th January 2015 : CFP: 9th Biennial Conference of the International Society of Critical Health Psychology, 12-15 July 2015

International Society of Critical Health Psychology (ISHCP) 9th Biennial Conference 12-15 July 2015, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa   The ISCHP brings together health scholars who are interested in exploring ongoing and emerging issues in critical research, critical theory and... more

29th January 2015 : Achille Mbembe interviewed by Le Monde

An extract from an interview with Achille Mbembe for Le Monde's special edition 'L'Africa, l'envol'.

27th January 2015 : Psychosocial Studies: Beyond Academic Boundaries, Connecting with Politics

PSYCHOSOCIAL STUDIES: BEYOND ACADEMIC BOUNDARIES, CONNECTING WITH POLITICS Visiting Professor of Psychology, Ian Parker, from the University of Leichester will deliver the Umthombo Public Lecture on his paper that explores the contributions and limitations of psychoanalytic ideas in the new field... more

27th January 2015 : Makhosazana Xaba on Jacob Dlamini's 'Askari'

Makhosazana Xaba - who spoke at the launch of Jacob Dlamini's Askari at WiSER - reflects on betrayal, torture, and the complexities of the anti-apartheid struggle.

22nd January 2015 : Neo Muyanga Awarded Composer in Residence Fellowship

Neo Muyanga Awarded Composer in Residence Fellowship The Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WiSER) and the University of California Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI) are delighted to announce that Neo Muyanga has been awarded a Composer in Residence Fellowship for 2015. An... more

21st January 2015 : Achille Mbembe on the Ebola Crisis

Achille Mbembe on how the ebola crisis reveals Africa's dependence on the West.

12th January 2015 : Videos of 2014's Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism

A playlist of videos from 2014's Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism.

04th January 2015 : Review of A Man of Good Hope in the Observer

Ian Birrell reviews Jonny Steinberg's A Man of Good Hope in the Observer.