WiSER in 2014

WiSER in 2014

Our Wits semester is about to begin, and the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WiSER) welcomes you to its 2014 programme.

In line with the evolving intellectual and research landscape, our priority themes for 2014-2016 are:

Medical Humanities in Africa, Curating the Afropolitan City, Digital Humanities and the Futures of the Archive, Categories of Persons, African Futures.

New Initiatives

A new initiative in 2014 is the series of workshops, seminars and symposia designed to initiate research, inquiry and debate in the following areas:

  • Secrecy and Transparency (in collaboration with the University of California Humanities Research Institute)
  • Curating the Afropolitan City
  • Medical Humanities II: Cultures of Aging and Dying; Organ Transplantation
  • The Politics and Poetics of Infrastructure
  • Mapping Science and Technology in Africa: Traveling technologies and global dis\order (in collaboration with the STSAfrica Network)
  • Archives of the Non-Racial (JWTC 2014 Annual workshop, in WiSER)
  • The Global South as a Source of Theory (in collaboration with the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)
  • Temporariness and the Everyday (in collaboration with the JWTC and Duke University Franklin Humanities Institute)
  • Photography from India and Africa--Collections, Preservation, Dialogue
  • The Social Life of the Law

Evening events will include panel discussions and book launches.

On the Move


Currently at Columbia University (New York), Professor Hlonipha Mokoena will join us for several weeks mid-year and then permanently in 2015 as a member of staff.
Mokoena is the author of Magema Fuze: The Making of a Kholwa Intellectual.

Dhammameghā Annie Leatt (currently in the Department of Religious Studies, University of Cape Town) will join us in April as a post-doctoral fellow. She will also replace Leigh-Ann Naidoo as the coordinator of the Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism (JWTC).

Senior Artist in Residence:

Terry Kurgan

Writing Fellows:

In collaboration with Duke University, WiSER has awarded Writing Fellowships to Neo Muyanga, Khadija Patel and Percy Zvomuya, as well as a non-stipendiary Fellowship to Christa Kuljian.

Postdoctoral Fellows:

Our new postdoctoral fellows will include Dhammameghā Annie Leatt, Kirk Sides, Tim Wright and Joshua Walker.

Visiting Fellows:

We will also host Karin Barber (University of Birmingham), Stefan Helgesson (University of Stockholm), Lisa Vetten (researcher and gender activist), Mark Gevisser (author of Thabo Mbeki: The Dream Deferred and the forthcoming Lost and Found In Johannesburg), Louise Bethlehem (The Hebrew University, Jerusalem) and Ebrahim Moosa (Duke University).


Last year saw the publication of Achille Mbembe's Critique de la raison nègre (Paris, Editions La Découverte). The book  won the  2013 Feltkann Prize and was selected as one of the 25 most influential books published in France in 2013 by the French weekly Le Point.

In 2014, WiSER will publish books by Pamila Gupta, Keith Breckenridge, Achille Mbembe, Catherine Burns, Sarah Emily Duff and Zoe Groves, as well as many special issues and articles.