Training the next generation of South African scholars

WiSER's record as a centre of post-graduate training is one of the best indicators of its success as a Humanities institute, both in terms of the quality of the doctorates and the fact that many of its graduates take up research positions in the academy and public service.  Below, we track the progress of some of our graduates:


Dissertation title


After Graduation…

Robert Muponde

Childhood, History and Resistance: A critical Study of the Images of Children/Childhood in Zimbabwean Literature in English.


Associate Professor in English at Wits University.

Grace Khunou

Maintenance and changing masculinities as sources of gender conflict in contemporary Johannesburg.


Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of Johannesburg.

Kgamadi Kometsi

Coloured Subjectivities and Black Africanness.


Researcher at the Foundation for Human Rights.

Nhlanhla Dlamini

The Legal Abolition of Racial Discrimination and its Aftermath: The Case of Swaziland, 1945-1973.


Head of Department of History at the University of Swaziland.

Detlev Krige

An anthropological study of moneylenders as a nexus to explore wider relations of finance.


Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Pretoria.

Abueng Matlapeng

Bommastandi of Alexandra Township


Senior Researcher in the Science and Technology Policy Directorate of FRD

Sakhumzi Mfecane

Exploring Masculinities in the context of ARV use: A study of men living with HIV in a South African village.


Senior Lecturer at the University of the Western Cape.

Annie Leatt

The State of Secularism: Constituting Religion and Tradition towards a post-apartheid South Africa.


Lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies at UCT

Euclides Goncalves

Political ritual and rhetoric in contemporary Mozambique: a study in Inharrime district.


Co-founder and Executive Director of Kaleidoscopio – a Research Unit located in Mozambique.

Syned Mthatiwa

Human-Animal Relationships and Ecocritism: A study of the Representation of Animals in poetry from Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa.


Lecturer in the English Department at the University of Malawi.

Nicole Ulrich

Counter Power and Colonial Rule in the Cape of Good Hope during the Age of Revolution and War: connections, solidarities, and the rebellious imaginations of the labouring poor, c. 1770- 1810.


Post-doctoral fellow in History at Rhodes University.

Zethu Matebeni

Exploring black lesbian sexualities and identities in Johannesburg.


Researcher at HUMA

Cobi Labuscagne

Reflections on the Contemporary Moment in South Africa: Art Publics, Art Money, and Art Objects at Joburg Art Fair, 2008-2009.


Creative Director of Artlogic and Research Associate at WiSER

Reason Beremauro

Living between compassion and domination? An ethnography study of institutions, interventions and the everyday practices of poor black Zimbabwean migrants in South Africa.


Post-Doctoral Fellow at University of Pretoria.

In addition to these students, the researchers trained and nurtured by the History Department in Durban (where Catherine Burns and Keith Breckenridge worked before coming to WISER) make up another very important cohort of young scholars in the South African academy:

Name Surname PhD granted by Currently working at
Prinisha Badassy UKZN Wits
Suryakanthie Chetty UKZN UNISA
Bernard Dubbeld Chicago Stellenbosch
Nafisa Essop Sheik Michigan UJ
Vashna Jagarnath UKZN Rhodes
Vukile Khumalo Michigan UKZN
Andrew Macdonald Cambridge Wits
Ian Macqueen Sussex Pretoria
Mandisa Mbali Oxford Stellenbosch
Vanessa Noble Michigan UKZN
Stephen Sparks Michigan UJ
Sandra Swart Oxford Stellenbosch