Since its inception in 2006, the Centre for Humanities Research (CHR) at the University of the Western Cape has emerged as a crucial meeting point for researchers in the Humanities and Social Sciences throughout Southern Africa. The Centre strives to develop unifying and interdisciplinary themes in the humanities that will enable a renewal of its study in Africa.


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Recent Submissions

  • Elusive Jannah: The Somali diaspora and borderless Muslim identity, by Cawo M. Abdi 

    Hadebe, Rutendo (York University Libraries, 2018)
    Overall, Belonging and Transnational Refugee Settlement should be applauded for emphasizing the need to recognize the complexity of refugee lives, and to rethink the dominant assumptions that so often render refugees ...
  • Insights and current debates on community engagement in higher education institutions: Perspectives on the University of the Western Cape 

    Bidandi, Fred; Ambe, Anthony Nforh; Mukong, Claudia Haking (SAGE Publications, 2021)
    This study investigated the insights and current debates on community engagement in higher education institutions with specific reference to the University of the Western Cape (UWC) in South Africa. The article argues ...
  • Navigating ethnicity, nationalism and Pan-Africanism – Kimbanguists, identity and colonial borders 

    Vähäkangas, Mika (AOSIS, 2021)
    The Kimbanguists, whose church is based on the healing and proclamation ministry of Simon Kimbangu in 1921 in the Belgian Congo, challenge colonially defined borders and identities in multiple ways. Anticolonialism is ...
  • Little Amal 

    Lalu, Premesh (José Frantz, 2020)
    When South Africa celebrated Heritage Day this year, Boschendal Estate in Franschhoek provided an ideal backdrop for the first steps of Little Amal, a three-metre puppet created by the Handspring Puppet Company from South ...
  • Looking back 

    Odendaal, André (José Frantz, 2020)
    Professors Patricia Hayes and Premesh Lalu have in this edition of Signals provided useful insight into the importance of theory, history, archives and the humanities in South Africa, and how they can help “assist us in ...
  • An archive of the future 

    Lalu, Premesh (José Frantz, 2020)
    The University of the Western Cape (UWC) recently entered into a partnership with photographer Rashid Lombard to house his substantial archival collection, which promises to offer expanded perspectives on the everyday ...
  • Memory burns 

    Hayes, Patricia (José Frantz, 2020)
    Among the photograph collections at Mayibuye, especially from IDAF, are numerous contact sheets. The contact sheet was part of the toolkit of the photographer in the time of analogue photography. The contact sheet is ...
  • The enchantment of freedom at University of the Western Cape 

    Lalu, Premesh (José Frantz, 2020)
    The history of the modern university is ,first and foremost ,the history of the unfolding of complex problematics of a planetary condition through established scientific and humanistic inquiry. Defined as such, the work ...
  • Inxeba (The Wound), Queerness and Xhosa Culture 

    Scott, Lwando (Taylor & Francis, 2020)
    This article focuses on the controversy caused by the release of the film Inxeba (The Wound). Inxeba depicts a complex intersection of rites of passage, masculinities, queerness and the relationships between men in a ...
  • Creating ‘safe-ish’ learning spaces—attempts to practice an ethics of care 

    Sykes, P.; Gachago, D. (South African Journal of Higher Education, 2018)
    One way to approach the project of decolonising the university is to employ decolonising pedagogies, which allow the whole of people’s lived experience into teaching and learning spaces, affirm this experience as worthy ...
  • On uncertainty 

    Taylor, Jane (University of the Western Cape, Centre for Humanities, 2018)
    There is some uncertainty written into the form of this paper because, while it seeks to use scholarly procedures in engaging with the philosophical questions provoked by Ludwig Wittgenstein's late speculative essay On ...
  • Understanding refugee durable solutions by international players: Does dialogue form a missing link? 

    Bidandi, Fred (Cogent OA, 2018)
    This study evaluates durable solutions in relation to refugees from East Africa. It particularly focuses on the Great Lakes countries of Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. The study is based on the ...
  • Nationalism and exile in an age of solidarity: Frelimo–ZANU relations in Mozambique (1975–1980) 

    Munguambe, Clinarete Victoria Luis (Taylor & Francis, 2017)
    This article contributes to our knowledge on the intricate relations between host governments and liberation movements and on the workings of transnational military partnerships in the anticolonial struggles of the 1970s, ...
  • Debates on memory politics and counter-memory practices in South Africa in the 1990s 

    Grunebaum, Heidi (UNISA Press, 2018)
    Memory politics are often regarded as the “soft” issues contested in the aftermath of political and social upheaval. Yet critical public debates on memory, justice, impunity and reconciliation in South Africa prompted by ...
  • Memory, oral history and conservation at Robben Island's Bluestone Quarry 

    Lusaka, Mwayi (Taylor & Francis, 2017)
    This article is a critical examination of a conservation project on the restoration of the Stone Wall at Bluestone Quarry on Robben Island, a world heritage site. The project attracted different stakeholders with diverse ...
  • Breaking the mold of disciplinary area studies 

    Lalu, Premesh (Indiana University Press, 2016)
    At the outset of an edited volume on Intellectuals and African Development, the question is posed about what went wrong.1 The call for self-reflection perhaps anticipates a further question—about how to account for the ...
  • The ‘Rough edge of deterritorialisation’: Contemplation 

    van Bever Donker, Maurits (Taylor & Francis, 2016)
    To frame this paper, which given its focus on the installation Red should ostensibly deal with a question of aesthetics and technology, with an epigraph that situates the contemplative capacity of a cow alongside the echo ...
  • Aftershocks: Psychotechnics in the wake of apartheid 

    Truscott, Ross; Smith, Michelle (Taylor & Francis, 2016)
    What we at first found intriguing about Simon Gush’s Red, what the documentary and the installation seemed to mutually conjure, was the Mandela car as a body to be mourned.2 Mourning recurred as a latent theme through the ...
  • Empathy’s echo: post-apartheid fellow feeling 

    Truscott, Ross (Taylor & Francis, 2016)
    The concept of empathy has been set to work, across a range of fields, to mark a break with the relational patterns of apartheid. Similarly, empathy has been identified, historically, as that which, within apartheid and ...
  • Anxious urbanity: xenophobia, the native subject and the refugee camp 

    Pillay, Suren (Routledge Taylor Francis Group, 2013)
    Could we think of the black subject under apartheid as a refugee, and might this condition be the paradigmatic metaphor for thinking about the postcolonial African predicament of citizenship? This paper considers the ...

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