The CHR Internationally

The humanities, as a discourse that places the university in direct relation to society, assumes a transnational orientation, not least because of the ways in which its emergence brushes up against concerns of nationalism, troubling the securities of what we assume to be common sense about the human condition. To this end, the humanities function as a self-critical constellation of knowledge formations that always also open onto a future that has not yet been anticipated. In the interval between past and a future that is not yet, the humanities offer us different conceptions of the world we live in, and which we might potentially inhabit. With this broad understanding, the CHR’s particular contribution to elaborating a concept of the post-apartheid that is more than a reference to the experience of apartheid in South Africa brings it into conversation and dialogue with a range of academic and art projects around the world. A significant aspect of this discussion and dialogue has centred on our approach to the larger global debate on the future of the humanities, and what specifically in our view is a need to get beyond the limits of the perennial talk about the crisis of the humanities. Ours is an effort to ascribe to the humanities a potential with which it has not adequately reckoned and that is the very condition for unrelenting questioning. It is also to learn from the larger preoccupations of humanities scholars and arts practitioners in the world. To this end, the CHR hosts a cohort of leading local and international doctoral and post-doctoral fellows, with a significant proportion drawn from South Africa and elsewhere on the African continent, and a growing list of international visiting scholars eager to engage the CHR on its perspectives on the humanities.

Makarere Initiative

Makerere University
May – June 2011

In 2011 the CHR held discussions with colleagues at Makerere University on the possibility of a taught Ph.D programme between Makerere and UWC. The content of such a taught Ph.D initiative was the subject of four major workshops in Kampala, Uganda,from May to June 2011. Suren Pillay, Desiree Lewis, SakhumziMfecane, Steve Akoth, Leslie Witz and Premesh Lalu participated in the workshops on behalf of UWC. Colleagues from UWC and Makerere University also benefitted from extended discussion with several leading international scholars. These included Nivedita Menon, Tim Mitchell, Lila Abu Lughod, SibaGrovogui, Janet Halley, amongst others.