Projects

National Identities and State Formation

National identity is the set of inter-related cultural attributes that provides meaning and self-recognition to a collective of humans who define themselves as a national community. The term “national” specifies the meaning of this community as an aspiration to be acknowledged as a distinct social group that transcends primary ascription attributes, such as ethnic or … [Read more]

The Responsive University

This project falls under the STIAS longer term theme project University and Society, sub-theme: Understanding the Contemporary University (From the concept note): Universities worldwide are relentlessly focused on attaining ‘excellence’. But through whose lenses is ‘excellence’ to be seen? Who defines the criteria under which the quality of a university is to be judged? By … [Read more]

Compensation Through Expropriation without Compensation? Land Reform and the Future of Redistributive Justice in South Africa

The decision by the South African Parliament in February 2018 to review the constitutional property clause possibly allowing for expropriation without compensation has fervently brought the land question back into public debate. While expressing a deeply felt and justified popular discontent that land reform has fallen short of its promises to redress race-based dispossessions of … [Read more]

The Wind Scatters

This envisaged collection will comprise of short stories set in different periods over a century, beginning from the 1920s to the  2020s. The stories will trace the lives of a set of friends (and later their offspring) growing up in a Zimbabwean village to become omasiganda, the troubadours whose story has often drawn parallels with … [Read more]

Legal protection of hunter-gatherer groups’ land rights in Central and Southern Africa

Africa is home to the remaining “hunter-gathers”, meaning traditional communities that make a living predominantly through collecting wild fruits and hunting wild animals. Examples include the Hadzabe of Tanzania and Pigmies of Rwanda. These communities totally depend on land and natural resources for their physical and cultural survival as distinct groups. Other common features are … [Read more]

Predictive Computational Modelling of Intramyocardial Biomaterial Therapies towards Personalised Care for Myocardial Infarction

Myocardial infarction is one of the major causes of death globally. Cell and biomaterial injection therapy is a new and promising treatment for MI. Yet, it has not been fully optimised. Mechanical aspects of the treatment, especially the biomaterial injection, had attracted great interest in research community due to the alterations in cardiac mechanics induced … [Read more]

A transdisciplinary analysis of the role of social identity on performance under social stratification and stigmatisation

The emergent fields of stratification economics and identity economics offer new theoretical insights for explaining economic inequality, specifically the unique role that intersectionality (the existence of multiple social identities) might play. Whilst relational social identities derive from interpersonal relationships, categorical identities (such as race and gender) are socially constructed and often suffer stigmatisation. In role … [Read more]

Adaptation of mosquito vectors to insecticides used in the Southwest area of the Indian Ocean: implications for vector control

Mortality caused by mosquito vectors still higher in African countries. Vector control contributes significantly to the reduction of malaria and arboviruses diseases. However, vector control is much dependent of the use of chemical insecticides in the most parts of tropical countries. In addition, a very limited insecticide family was authorized to use. Despite their effectiveness, … [Read more]

A Study of the Interplay of Taboo Subjects and Censorship in Determining the Limits of Humour/Insult in the Four Regions of Africa (North, South, West and East) and their Standup Jokes

Ancient humour arts exemplify how satire creates a sense of community from shared laughter.  They ridiculed behavioural eccentricities ranging from the humdrum to the hallowed. Offence was not an option then, but in recent times, a growing sense of irritationfor “distasteful” jests has emerged sometimes instigating deadly imbroglios. While stand-up comedy has not stirred up … [Read more]

Cryptography in the quantum age

Even though we have some basic understanding of the power of quantum computation, and its impact on cryptography and cryptanalysis, there are many open problems, some of them purely technical and some more fundamental. During our residency at STIAS we propose to investigate the weakness of the existing cryptographic schemes and propose some counter-measures. Our … [Read more]