Fellows’ seminars

Freeing the African mind more complex than simply decolonisation – Fellows’ seminar by Denis Ekpo

Freeing the African mind more complex than simply decolonisation – Fellows’ seminar by Denis Ekpo

“In many parts of Africa, the debate on decolonisation and the Africanisation of knowledge appears somehow dated,” said Prof. Denis Ekpo, of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria and current STIAS fellow. “In South Africa, the debate which has been simmering since the end of apartheid, has flared up … [Read more]

Urgent need for evidence to inform policies and practices to protect precious groundwater for the future - Fellows' seminar by Daniel Olago

Urgent need for evidence to inform policies and practices to protect precious groundwater for the future – Fellows’ seminar by Daniel Olago

“The management of groundwater resources in sub-Saharan Africa is deteriorating rather than improving,” said Daniel Olago of the Institute for Climate Change Adaptation and the Department of Geology at the University of Nairobi. At a time when the Western Cape is experiencing extreme drought conditions, Olago’s project looking at groundwater development, supply and governance in … [Read more]

The quest for a viable political philosophy for contemporary Africa - Fellows' seminar by Uchenna Okeja

The quest for a viable political philosophy for contemporary Africa – Fellows’ seminar by Uchenna Okeja

“The idea of coming together in a public space to talk and discuss is a feature of many African societies,” said Uchenna Okeja. “I see it as something related to democratic practices. However, it has not been explored sufficiently and, only descriptively, not theoretically.” “Might it be a way to re-imagine traditional democratic practices?” he … [Read more]

Unravelling the myth of hymen - Fellows' seminar by Margaret Ferguson

Unravelling the myth of hymen – Fellows’ seminar by Margaret Ferguson

“Derived from an ancient Greek word signifying both a ‘thin membrane’ and a sexually ambiguous minor god associated with the celebration of marriage, hymen is a historically contested sign that travels across geographic, temporal, and linguistic borders in ways that remind us that human female virgins are made, not born. And in some cultures, past … [Read more]

To survive, democracy must transcend borders and become inclusive and responsive - Fellows' seminar by Marcelo Neves

To survive, democracy must transcend borders and become inclusive and responsive – Fellows’ seminar by Marcelo Neves

“To be sustainable, democracy has to care about its political environment and be responsive towards other political systems. Without such responsiveness, there is a trend among today’s democracies to collapse,” said Prof. Marcelo Neves. “It is no longer sufficient to associate democracy with the phrase expressed in the preamble of the US constitution ‘We the … [Read more]

The power of words - Fellows' seminar by David Simpson

The power of words – Fellows’ seminar by David Simpson

“After 9/11, the USA declared war on an emotion – terror. Like many who followed the political and media representation of the events of 9/11, I was struck by the absence of a robust critical response to the invocation of a ‘war on terror’. Only a few left-wing intellectuals (who were kept away from US … [Read more]

Discovering new methods to test and treat a very old disease - Fellows' seminar by Nicole Sampson

Discovering new methods to test and treat a very old disease – Fellows’ seminar by Nicole Sampson

“An estimated 9 million people have active tuberculosis (TB) globally – 11% of these are children – 200 million children are infected and likely to develop disease. TB remains the leading cause of death by infectious disease. South Africa has the third-highest incidence in the world – estimated at 1000 per 100 000. 74% of … [Read more]

Exploring post-apartheid South Africa and the rise of xenophobia - Fellows' seminar by Fred Khumalo

Exploring post-apartheid South Africa and the rise of xenophobia – Fellows’ seminar by Fred Khumalo

“Devil With Blue Eyes is a novel of dislocation that seeks to explore and expose the rise of xenophobia in South Africa,” said journalist and author Fred Khumalo. “It also seeks to interrogate post-apartheid complexity.” STIAS Artist-in-residence Fred Khumalo during his seminar presentation on 26 May 2017 Khumalo gave STIAS fellows a tantalising glimpse into … [Read more]

“Let the dead speak for themselves - mummies rule!” Fellows' seminar by Salima Ikram

“Let the dead speak for themselves – mummies rule!” Fellows’ seminar by Salima Ikram

“For some scholars, a culture is largely created as a reaction to the natural world,” said Salima Ikram. “Certainly this holds true to a large extent for the Ancient Egyptians. Their language, religion and the raw materials that were the building blocks of their physical existence were all derived from or in reaction to the … [Read more]

The logic of life: bridging the physical, chemical and biological worlds - Fellows' seminar by Addy Pross

The logic of life: bridging the physical, chemical and biological worlds – Fellows’ seminar by Addy Pross

“Though we all recognise the material world is made up of living and non-living forms, the logical connection between these forms remains a continuing scientific puzzle,” said Addy Pross, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Chemistry, Ben Gurion University, Israel and current STIAS fellow. “Living and non-living systems are strikingly different. Yet the established principles … [Read more]