Welcome to the Centre for Humanities Research

In a rapidly shifting social context of a post-apartheid society, the study of the humanities offers creative possibilities for dealing with the challenges of globalisation, rapid technological change, and the legacies of colonialism and apartheid.

To this end, the Centre for Humanities Research (CHR) at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) is unique in developing partnerships across and between institutions, particularly universities, schools, public arts projects, museums, archives and art galleries, and nurturing future generations of humanities graduates, educators and cultural practitioners.

Research Platforms 

The Flagship is designed to host scholars and students from South African universities, public institutions and national and international research bodies in a collaborative initiative to forge the next generation of humanities scholars, committed to the demands of building a post-apartheid South Africa. Located in the Centre for Humanities Research, the flagship is founded on three research thematics: Aesthetic Education, the Becoming Technical of the Human, and Migrating Violence.

Aesthetics and Politics

The Aesthetics and Politics research platform is aimed at renewing a humanities inquiry through encounters with the visual and performing arts, and at critically investigating the intersection of the arts, politics, and publics in post-apartheid South Africa.

Becoming Technical of the Human

What are the outlines of an aesthetic education, constitutive of an “aesthetic field,” which may open onto other understandings of the concept of the post-apartheid and the postcolonial, both in and beyond South Africa?

Migrating Violence

The popular nature of xenophobia, the violence involved in labor disputes on the mines, and the violence of citizenship regarding who belongs, are vivid reminders of how migrancy continues to pose a challenge for critical thought, and provides insights into the nature of political practice and democratic promise in Africa.

Greatmore is the first arts and humanities research hub in the city for the University of the Western Cape. By renovating a former derelict school building, UWC is taking a bold new step into the city, breaking through the spatial and intellectual circumscriptions of apartheid that had largely denied the university access to the city centre. 

The CHR has a robust fellowship programme, inviting emerging scholars in the humanities and interpretive social sciences to join a team of scholars and artists who, in conversation and collaboration, continue to contribute significantly to redefining the study of the humanities and social sciences locally and internationally.

The CHR’s intellectual inquiry is shaped by the myriad of interests organised under the research platforms, which include aesthetic education; the human and technology; citizenship, migration and political violence; political theory and philosophy; visual history and theory; performance and kinetic objects; and transformative constitutionalism.

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