How did Homo sapiens become Homo docens? On the evolution of social learning and teaching during the Paleolithic

The purpose of the project is to analyse why teaching has evolved only in the line leading to Homo sapiens. This will be done by combining theoretical models with an analysis of archaeological material, primarily material from South Africa. The theoretical part of the work views teaching and language as two forms of cooperation. Current research … [Read more]

Modernity and Modernism in Everyday Life – South Africa and Australia in the Twentieth Century

How do we live? How does our immediate infrastructure work, as house, and home? The worlds we inhabit have older historic contours, but much of our lived world today is made by postwar modernism. We speak easily of Fordism, in public life, but there is also something parallel, like domestic modernism, in the home. In … [Read more]

Understanding Non-Contractual Obligations: Unjust Enrichment and the Law of Torts in Comparative and Historical Perspective

Whereas the European and South African law of contracts is today seen as normatively integrated part of the law of obligations that can be explained coherently on the basis of an overarching theory or a set of intellectually related principles, the rest of the law of obligations is apparently still understood as resulting from various … [Read more]

Multifunctionality in managed grassland systems: Biodiversity and ecosystem services

Grassland systems have been in focus for a long time due to their ecological, socioeconomic and cultural importance. If moderately managed, these grasslands may increase the multifunctionality of rural landscapes by harbouring extraordinary high biodiversity and at the same time providing numerous ecosystem services like meat production, carbon sequestration, and different cultural values. Grasslands are … [Read more]

Cape Town’s Creole Songs, Nederlandsliedjies and moppies

Following up on the publication of Sounding the Cape, Music, Identity and Politics in South Africa ( African Minds, Somerset West, 2013) researched and published with support by STIAS, this project will focus on two song repertoires emblematic of Cape Town’s music: the Moppies (or comic songs) and the Nederlandslierdjies. My 2015 STIAS fellowship will … [Read more]

In Pursuit of a Global Civics

We are the luckiest generation in human history. We lead longer, healthier, more capable and more peaceful lives than any other generation. At the same time, we are condemned to an unprecedented level of global interdependence. Ours is a world where we live with billions of others with whom we share a planet and increasingly … [Read more]

Fiction and Reality of Mobility in Africa

The aim of this project is to explore how to marry ethnography and fiction in understanding the intricacies, nuance and complexity of African mobility and mobile Africans as frontier beings. The project seeks to draw on rich ethnographies and ethnographic fiction depicting mobile Africans and their relationships to the places and people they encounter, to … [Read more]

Labour after Globalisation: new forms of organisation, new sources of power

In this book-length manuscript a puzzle will be dealt with, namely: the continuing decline of traditional trade unionism in advanced industrial countries, side by side with the growth of a new scholarship on global labour. A range of contemporary scholars will be challenged, most notably Manuel Castells in his three volume study of the Information … [Read more]

A comparative study of donor and state policies and operational approaches to addressing forced displacement due to armed conflict in the Horn of Africa

The global population of forcibly displaced persons due to armed conflict is about 44 million, comprising about 15.2 million refugees and 28.8 million internally displaced persons (IDPs). About one third of these displaced are found in Africa consisting of 10.5 million IDPs and 2.7 million refugees. The Horn of Africa contains over half of those … [Read more]

Ubuntu commercial nests in African indigenous markets in Nairobi: alternative business model for an emerging ‘African metropolis’

This research proposes that there is an ‘African metropolis’ that has been struggling for space and ascendancy in the City of Nairobi. It is made of the slum, urbanized villages, self-developed urban fringes and the African indigenous markets. The four spaces are inextricably bound to each other. African markets concentrate capital and labour in the … [Read more]