New people at WISER in 2016

Tuesday, 1 March, 2016 (All day)

WiSER is very pleased to welcome these talented, lively and interesting scholars to our Institute in 2016:


Victoria Collis-Buthelezi

Victoria, currently a lecturer in the English department at the University of Cape Town with a focus on African and diasporic literatures, will be spending study and sabbatical leave here at WiSER as a visiting researcher. She will be working to complete her book entitled Empire, Nation, Diaspora: The Making of Black Intellectual Culture, and to begin research towards her next book project, African Revolutions and the Routes of Caribbean Literature.  Empire, Nation and Diaspora is an excavation of the cultural production of early twentieth century migrants from across the black world to Cape Town and South Africa through which she theorizes the field of sight of Black Studies and its assumptions about where black modernity happens and Africa as a site of the diaspora’s past. African Revolutions and the Routes of Caribbean Literature asks what modern Caribbean literature as a conceptual field owes modern African literature and Africa-based debates around decolonization. Both projects speak to her commitment to harnessing the archive to reanimate dialogues between Africa and its diasporas that make visible the place of Africa and Africa-based intellectual currents in literary and intellectual movements of the New World.


Doron Isaacs

Doron joins us after eight years of fulltime work with Equal Education, a large South African youth and education-rights social movement, many of them as head of the organisation. He will be a writer in residence, using the time to write a book reflecting on the work EE did on the very poor state of school infrastructure in thousands of South African schools. Thinking of Michael Komape, the six-year-old who drowned in a pit latrine at his Limpopo school, or of numerous others injured and infected by conditions in their schools, it is accurate to say that physical conditions in schools remain violently inadequate. EE’s campaign for a new law to establish binding school infrastructure standards mobilised tens of thousands of people into the streets, hundreds of thousands online, and generated much public attention. Doron’s book, aimed at a young activist readership,  will consider how the campaign made use of age-old and newly-emerging tactics; how it sought to combine research, law, media, a wide variety of physical demonstrations, and engagement with government at every level – all underpinned by the weekly discussions of its thousands of members across the country. It is a story of value to those looking to harness community organising, social mobilisation and modern advocacy to progressive policy goals.


Charne Lavery

Charne will be here on a post-doctoral fellowship, working on two book projects. The first, under the provisional title, Writing the Indian Ocean, describes how authors of fiction in the twentieth and twenty-first century write from and about Indian Ocean shores. Imagining alternative forms of community to the European colony or postcolonial nation, their writing produces an oceanic world of South-South connections--the Indian Ocean world as an incipient and constitutive Global South. Her second book project shifts below the much-tracked surface of the sea to explore three-dimensional oceanic space, taking seriously the liquid and geographical qualities of the ocean. It explores imaginaries of the deep ocean, most of which has never been mapped or seen at all. The project takes a posthumanist and ecocritical perspective on myths and fiction of the deep ocean, as well as on representations of on-going geologic exploration of mineral-rich deep-sea vents; recent discoveries of new species--including sea cucumbers and large-eyed sharks--as well as radically new forms of non-photosynthetic life; ocean trench disposal of nuclear and other forms of waste; and jelly-fish futures.

Thank you for your continued support in 2015 and we look forward to seeing you at WiSER in 2016.

Sarah Nuttall
Director, WiSER