Projects

Gender and Work in Early Modern Sweden: The case of lower civil servant households

It is often believed that “in the past”, women were confined to the home and supported by their husbands (the “male breadwinner model”). While this may be true for nineteenth-century bourgeois society, it is a picture that misrepresents societies further back in time. In the early modern world, all people engaged in work, paid or … [Read more]

Complex microbial communities: application of supply-demand principles to advance the science from describing diversity to explaining diversity

This project will involve collaboration with Jannie Hofmeyr (SU) on, amongst others the principles of supply and demand as driving force of metabolic activity, and incorporating them: 1) into existing experimental data sets to explore adaptive behavior amongst bacteria as a basis for the maintenance of microbial community function in environmental processes, and 2) a … [Read more]

Understanding Emergence

Emergent behaviour seems to be characteristic of the `complex systems’ that currently feature in Mathematics, Computer Science, the Physical Sciences and Philosophy. The purpose of this project is firstly to explore the nature of complexity and emergence in each of those areas by exploiting STIAS’s close connections. The Centre for Studies in Complexity is an … [Read more]

Nelson Mandela – About Tolerance and Leadership (a biography)

The project will involve the final editing and fine-tuning of the main body of the book Nelson Mandela – Tolerance and Leadership. Key persons who can add value to the content of the book will be interviewed. Visits to the Eastern Cape are planned in order to explore Nelson Mandela’s childhood and upbringing (East London, … [Read more]

The Truth About Crime

Many African postcolonies are haunted by the spectre of: the waning efficacy of law enforcement, the ambiguity of authority, and the apparent abandonment of subjects by the state. The Truth About Crime, a book in progress, examines the problematic relation of law, theology, and sovereignty in contemporary African polities, especially in post-apartheid South Africa. It … [Read more]

Theory from the South

‘The Global South’ is rarely seen as a source of explanation for world historical events. Yet, as nation-states of the north experience increasing fiscal meltdown, privatization, corruption, ethnic conflict, and joblessness, it seems as though they are evolving southward, so to speak, in both positive and problematic ways. Is this so? How? In what measure? … [Read more]

Piety versus Orthodoxy

This project explores the relationship between two very different types of theology that have characterized theological thinking in the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa during the past 150 years: mystical theology reflecting on the assumptions underlying the personal piety of believers and confessionalism aimed at defending orthodox doctrine. The interaction between these two types … [Read more]

All too real: race thinking and thinking about race in post-1994 South Africa

The project is to work towards completion of a book under the working title of ‘All too real: race thinking and thinking about race in South Africa’. The data has been collected and the arguments developed and tested over years of teaching, researching and publishing, individually or in collaboration. While the transition to a democratic … [Read more]

Questions of Literature

This project will involve the further exploration of a number of issues treated briefly in the 2004 study ‘The Singularity of Literature’, a short book that examined the distinctive character of literary uses of language, emphasizing the interrelated trinity of inventiveness, singularity and alterity. The aim is to write a sequel to that book, discussing … [Read more]

Jurisprudence of the SA constitutional court – a comparative study

The project will analyse three factors in play: a national project of post-colonial recovery from distributive injustice, prominently including land reform; express constitutional protection for property rights; and a constitution whose other main features bring it recognisably within the broad historical tradition of liberal constitutionalism. To what extent does or must that constitution’s overall liberal affiliation … [Read more]