A Writer at Work -  Public lecture by NoViolet Bulawayo

A Writer at Work – Public lecture by NoViolet Bulawayo

Zimbabwean novelist, NoViolet Bulawayo read from her novel-in-progress at the third STIAS public lecture of 2019. “I’m both lucky and cursed to be working on a currently unfolding drama, that is, and of course without giving anything away, very much inspired by a most public narrative where pretty much everybody follows and therefore knows and … [Read more]

Lost and found in translation - Fellows' seminar by Rúnar Vignisson

Lost and found in translation – Fellows’ seminar by Rúnar Vignisson

“Does it matter in what language we express ourselves? Would the world be a better place if the Tower of Babel had never been built and we all spoke the same language? What would be lost, if anything?” asked Rúnar Vignisson, Director of the Creative Writing Programme at the Faculty of Icelandic and Comparative Cultural … [Read more]

Understanding religious hybrid identities  - Fellows' seminar by Wanda Deifelt

Understanding religious hybrid identities – Fellows’ seminar by Wanda Deifelt

“The enslavement of indigenous and African peoples was carried out through colonialism, often using theological reasoning to justify occupation. While Roman Catholicism remains the predominant – and, in many cases, official – religion on the continent, religious identities are much more plural and diverse,” said Wanda Deifelt of the Department of Religion, Luther College. STIAS … [Read more]

Combinatorial evolution: a theory of evolution for technology - Fellows' seminar by Brian Arthur

Combinatorial evolution: a theory of evolution for technology – Fellows’ seminar by Brian Arthur

“Technology—the entire collection of individual technologies—evolves in the sense that all technologies, like all species, can trace a line of ancestry back to earlier technologies. But the base mechanism is not Darwinian. Radically novel technologies do not come into existence by the cumulation of small changes in earlier technologies. They spring from combining or integrating … [Read more]

Gathering data on gender inequality from across the globe -Fellows’ seminar by Jody Heymann, Amy Raub and Aleta Sprague

Gathering data on gender inequality from across the globe -Fellows’ seminar by Jody Heymann, Amy Raub and Aleta Sprague

“Gender inequality remains pervasive around the world, costing the global economy trillions of dollars and denying half of humanity their full rights and equal opportunities,” said Jody Heymann of the WORLD Policy Analysis Center, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, University of California. “Laws and policies shape the environment in which we live and can … [Read more]

Making a case for German Enlightenment thinkers as agents in the history of emancipation -  Fellows’ seminar by Martin Ruehl

Making a case for German Enlightenment thinkers as agents in the history of emancipation – Fellows’ seminar by Martin Ruehl

“For millennia, probably since the first settled agricultural societies, forms of bond-servitude were considered natural, God-given, or at any rate unobjectionable. Then, towards the end of the eighteenth century, something extraordinary happened: small, but well-connected groups of evangelical Christians in Britain and the United States launched an impassioned campaign against slavery – racial slavery in … [Read more]

Embracing the ‘new science’ of complexity - Fellows' seminar by Jean Boulton

Embracing the ‘new science’ of complexity – Fellows’ seminar by Jean Boulton

“Complexity theory is positioned as a ‘new science’, a post-modern science with a strong focus on process and pattern,” said Jean Boulton of the Department of Social and Policy Sciences at the University of Bath. “It provides an important challenge to the dominance of worldviews informed by classical science, to what we see as science, … [Read more]

Making sense of siege architecture and private security in middle-class residential neighbourhoods in Johannesburg - Fellows' seminar by Martin Murray

Making sense of siege architecture and private security in middle-class residential neighbourhoods in Johannesburg – Fellows’ seminar by Martin Murray

“Johannesburg is one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Crime rates have remained high since the 1990s. ‘Crime talk’ – rumour, gossip and hearsay – has become routine in everyday conversation. In middle-class residential suburbs, the signs of ‘siege architecture’ are everywhere: high walls, razor wire, security gates, electric fencing, and the ubiquitous … [Read more]

Lessons of successes and failures in the politics of education reform - Fellows' seminar by Ben Ross Schneider

Lessons of successes and failures in the politics of education reform – Fellows’ seminar by Ben Ross Schneider

“High-quality education as essential for sustained and equitable development. It’s the most sustainable way to address inequality – the silver bullet – so why isn’t it implemented successfully in so many middle-income countries?” “Why do quality reforms succeed in some countries and not in others, and what are the lessons that can be learnt?” These … [Read more]

Approaching a shared topic from different angles: studying the new middle classes in southern Africa  - Fellows' seminar by Maxim Bolt, Claudia Gastrow and Preben Kaarsholm

Approaching a shared topic from different angles: studying the new middle classes in southern Africa – Fellows’ seminar by Maxim Bolt, Claudia Gastrow and Preben Kaarsholm

“Context is important. What is middle class in Amaoti is different to Sandton. We are examining the different self-understandings and identity politics of belonging and aspiration. As well as a matter of property, income, and power, class is also a matter of self-definition with ethnicity, gender, generation and modernism as important markers of distinction,” said … [Read more]