Dr Valmont Layne

Convener: New Archival Visions

Valmont Layne is Convenor for the New Archival Visions Programme at the Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape. His current research interests include sonic humanities, archives, sound art, media histories and jazz musicking. He is currently working on a monograph and a documentary film both based on his doctoral thesis which was titled: ‘Goema’s refrain: Sonic anticipation and the musicking Cape’

As a Fellow:

Valmont was an NRF Early Career Fellow and PhD Candidate at the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape.

He  worked with questions of social transformation and justice mediated through cultural space including research, curating, collecting and advocacy. His work has been located at different sites – on museum practice and social justice at the District Six Museum, with curating ‘transformation’ at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, and with arts and rights-based research and policy advocacy at Arterial Network.

His research read ‘the Cape’ as an affective space, auditing its ‘jazzing’ and vernacular lifeworlds in terms which amplify the sonic, the postcolonial and the global.

Related News

Hemispheric Headspace workshop

To explore the concept of partition in the context of AI and the humanities, and with an eye towards potential cross-national collaboration on developing research and curriculum, Dr Valmont Layne co-hosted two workshops with Professor Jennifer Keating, Teaching Writing in the Disciplines Specialist at the William S. Dietrich II Institute for Writing Excellence, University of Pittsburgh.

Sound Art Exhibition (27 April – 19 May): Oscillations – Cape Town to Berlin – Sonic Inquiries and Practices

Critical listening is the first step toward an ethics and aesthetics of care and freedom. Discarding listening habits and accepting new sound qualities afford access to other layers of history and experience.

Kronos, Oral/Aural: Pastness and sound as medium and method

We are pleased to announce the publication of Kronos: Southern African Histories under the theme of Oral/Aural: Pastness and Sound as Medium and Method, edited by Dr Valmont Layne, CHR, and Dr Aidan Erasmus, Department of Historical Studies, UWC.

ACIP Workshop: Archiving Otherwise

This year’s African Critical Inquiry Programme (ACIP) Workshop, titled ‘Archiving Otherwise: Sound thinking and Sonic Practice’, brought together CHR staff and fellows, UWC faculty members and students, ACIP fellows, and sonic practitioners for a three-day workshop in early April.

2023 African Critical Inquiry Workshop: Archiving Otherwise: Sound Thinking and Sonic Practice

The African Critical Inquiry Programme (ACIP) is pleased to announce that the 2023 ACIP Workshop will be Archiving Otherwise: Sound Thinking and Sonic Practice.

Beyond Nostalgia: Reimagining Post-Apartheid Freedom

Founding CHR director and filmmaker Premesh Lalu will be in conversation with Rashid Lombard, Jayson King, Sylvia Mndunyelwa and Dinga Sikwebu about his new film The Double Futures of Athlone at the Encounters South African Documentary International Film Festival. The panel will be moderated by Valmont Layne.

Restitution, Technics and Disciplinary Objects in the Preservation of African Music Institution Making

Next Generation Scholar Valmont Layne examines the challenges and possibilities of music archives in Southern Africa.

Archival Futures and Research: Preservation, Access and UWC’s Digital Infrastructure

Prof. Patricia Hayes and Dr Valmont Layne investigate how UWC can revitalise its archival holdings for preservation, teaching, research access, and public programmes.

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.

Flipside: The Inadvertent Archive

The South African Contemporary History and Humanities Seminar is pleased to announce that Kim Gurney will be presenting “Flipside: The Inadvertent Archive” on 22 June 2021 at 14:00.

Spring – Cape Jazz Classic blooms again

South Africa’s lost jazz history contains many an overlooked classic. But even within that hidden tradition, there are few albums that suffered such an unlucky fate as Spring, the monumental 1968 debut album by pianist Ibrahim Khalil Shihab, formerly Chris Schilder. 

Music and the Remaking of the World: An Interview with Valmont Layne

Dr Valmont Layne, Next-Generation Scholar at the Centre for Humanities Research NRF Flagship, recently participated in a podcast for National Public Radio in the USA.

Leaving Zion

A Winter School webinar with Associate Professor Heidi Grunebaum

Encounters Film Festival: The Letter

As part of the Communicating the Humanities project at the Centre for Humanities Research, Next Generation Scholar, Valmont Layne, will be in conversation with Steve Akoth, Christine van Zyl and The Letter’s co-directors Maia Lekow and Christopher King.


Exodus, Movement, a/the People: Critical Thinking and the Collective

CHR’s Valmont Layne Graduates with PhD focusing on Goema music

The CHR congratulations to Valmont Layne for graduating with his doctorate, with a thesis that focuses on the history of Goema music in Cape Town and its intricate links to Cape Jazz.

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.

Africa as Concept and Method: Emancipation, Decolonization, Freedom

The Consortium of Humanities Centres and Institutes (CHCI) Africa Workshop 2019 was hosted in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with scholars from the CHR attending.

Seminar: Valmont Layne

Tem Hawker, Yakhal Inkomo and the sentimental ‘avant-garde: Revisiting Cape jazz’s sonic archive’