Jane Taylor


Andrew W. Mellon Chair of Aesthetic Theory and Material Performance
Convenor of LoKO

Professor Jane Taylor, who is the newly appointed Andrew W Mellon Chair of Aesthetic Theory and Material Performance, has a history of scholarly as well as creative work within these domains. She has written several plays for puppets, working with artist William Kentridge and Handspring Puppet Company, as well as a recent puppet play for Renaissance scholar Stephen Greenblatt – a work dealing with the early history of neurology. She has written a novel on transplants, and most recently has completed a monograph on William Kentridge’s production of The Nose, for the New York Met. (This study explores the subject/object relation, as well as the aesthetic experiments associated with Soviet Constructionism).

Related Research Platform


Laboratory of Kinetic Objects

LoKO is a new initiative, funded in large measure by the Andrew W Mellon Foundation, that engages with the development of the Arts of movement.

Related News


DSI-NRF Early Career Doctoral Fellows: Meet the Next Generation

The CHR’s Flagship fellowship programme for early career scholars is at the heart of a deep commitment to transforming higher education at the doctoral level in South Africa.

Book Chapters List

Contributions by Staff and Fellows of the Centre for Humanities Research to edited volumes represent a diverse engagement with the centre’s academic inquiries. The following list shows publications from the latter years of the centre’s output.

Of Moving and Being Moved: The Subject and the Object in Puppetry and AI

Who am I in relation to what is going on? How can I mobilize questions that matter to me?

List of Articles (2016-present)

Staff and Fellows of the Centre for Humanities Research regularly publish articles and reviews in local and international journals, applying the centre’s intellectual inquiries across a wide range of disciplines and interests.

Kafka’s Ape in A KAFKA MOMENT

CHR Artist in Residence Tony Bonani Miyambo will be performing the award-winning Kafka’s Ape on 22 and 23 April 2021.

PAN: An Intellectual History of AI

The CHR’s Professor Jane Taylor will be giving a talk as part of the HUMA Interdisciplinary Seminar Series on 8 April 2021.

Animations and Activations: A Workshop Toward Embodying Memory Through Puppets and Plants

On 9 March 2021, the CHR’s Jane Taylor and Aja Marneweck will be participating in the puppetry workshop Animations and Activations with William Ellis (Dept. of Anthropology, UWC) and Marcus Neustetter as part of the Tri-Continental Partnership between the University of Missouri, the University of the Western Cape, and Ghent University.

PAN: A Performance Lecture

The CHR warmly congratulates Professor Jane Taylor on winning the UWC Arts Faculty’s research award within the creative arts category. Professor Taylor was awarded the award for Creative Research for her paper “PAN: A Performance Lecture” published in Critical Times (2019) 2:3: 493-517.

Re-Centring Afro Asia Conference

The CHR presented a panel with the Centres’ Patricia Hayes, Luis Gimenez and Kiasha Naidoo, chaired by Ross Truscott discussing the possibilities and approaches to the invocation of the precolonial at the recently convened Afro-Asia Conference.

Reboot Eden: Celebrating Ten Years of Puppetry in Barrydale

The Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape (CHR), in partnership with Net vir Pret are celebrating 10 years of puppetry in Barrydale. Reboot Eden will be an online program of four new puppet performances that will be available online from the 16th -19th December 2020.

Reboot Eden: The Art of Recovery

For the past ten years the Centre for Humanities Research’s Laboratory of Kinetic Objects has been engaged in a mutual education and arts initiative (along with partners Net Vir Pret, Handspring Puppet Company, uKwanda Puppetry and Design Collective, and Magpie Collective) in the village of Barrydale some three hours outside of Cape Town. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, this years Barrydale parade is set to convene remotely.

Global Narratives of Artificial Intelligence: Sub-Saharan Africa – African Histories and Philosophies of Artificial Intelligence

The CHR’s Professor Jane Taylor will be participating in this weeks Global Narratives of Artificial Intelligence: Sub-Saharan Africa – African Histories and Philosophies of Artificial Intelligence conference hosted by the HSRC and the University of Cambridge.

The Long Minute

The CHR’s Professor Jane Taylor, from the Laboratory for Kinetic Objects (LoKO) at the Centre for Humanities Research (CHR), has filmed and directed a series of one minute films that will be posted one a day for this week at the Centre for the Less Good Idea.

ARA Podcast – Researching the Arts of Movement – a conversation with Prof Jane Taylor

As part of the Arts Research Africa dialogue, the CHR’s Professor Jane Taylor was interviewed

The Museum Today with Jane Taylor

Professor Jane Taylor will be giving a zoom talk on the new exhibition of the South African sculptor, Jackson Hlungwani, on ,Thursday 20th August at 6 pm.

LoKO: Seminar One

These online seminars will pursue many of the questions which we would pursue in the normal course of things; although things are anything but normal.

The CHR’s Professor Premesh Lalu to present at the University of Stellenbosch.

The CHR’s Professor Premesh Lalu to present a paper titled: ‘Theatrical Politics: Ubu and the Truth Commission Revisited’ at The University of Stellenbosch.

The Arts and Rethinking the Subject

The CHR is delighted to be participating to the thematic session “The arts and rethinking the subject” as part of the first edition of the French-South African Science and Innovation Days.

Launch of Mellon South Lab in Performance Cultures and Embodied Creative Practices

The Andrew W Mellon Chair of Aesthetic Theory and Material Per-formance and the Laboratory of Kinetic Objects is involved in an excit-ing partnership between the CHR at UWC and the Institute of the Humanities and Global Cultures at the University of Virginia.

KINESIS: Of Moving and Being Moved

Between July 6th and July 10th 2019, the Laboratory of Kinetic Objects (LoKO) at the CHR hosted a colloquium on Subject/Object relations, in an ongoing exploration of Animation, Animism, Thing Theory, the Subject and the Object, Puppetry Arts and performance.

Kronos: Southern African Histories 44

Missing and Missed: Subject, Politics, Memorialisation (Special Issue)

Pan Troglodyte to travel to the Université Paris

Professor Jane Taylor to present performance/lecture in November

Pan Troglodyte

A Performance by Jane Taylor, Tony Miyambo, and Terry Norton at the Centre for the Less Good Idea

Report of the Activities of the Chair of LoKO in the second quarter

LoKO (the Laboratory of Kinetic Objects) is immersed in a busy cycle of making and thinking.

Publication: Jane Taylor

William Kentridge: That Which is Not Remembered 

New Work by Ukwanda Puppetry Collective and LoKO

The CHR's artists in residence, the uKwanda puppetry group, is in rehearsal, working with director Thando […]

Report of the Activities of the Chair of LoKO in the first quarter

The most recent very significant threshold to note is that the Greatmore building in Woodstock, which will house the Laboratory of Kinetic Objects, has finally…

New Book by Jane Taylor: William Kentridge Being Led by the Nose

Jane Taylor

The CHR fellowship programme will continue in 2021 primarily through online platforms. Regulations permitting, the CHR plans to host limited live events in compliance with current COVID-19 protocols. Please follow our events page for updates about seminars, workshops, and arts events.

For queries, please email us at

centreforhumanitiesresearch@uwc.ac.za

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