The Importance of Being Modern: A Chronicle of Contemporary India

This project involves the writing of a rather particular anthropological history of contemporary India. The focus is principally (but far from exclusively) on the author’s own high school cohort of around 200 women and men from Modern School, an elite day and residential institution in New Delhi. On the one hand, issues of affect, friendship, … [Read more]

The Early History of Astronomy at the Cape of Good Hope

The project involves the writing of a major monograph, commissioned by the Brenthurst Press in Johannesburg, on the history of astronomy and navigation at the Cape of Good Hope from the late fifteenth century until the middle of the nineteenth century – encompassing times when European expeditions came to the Cape to study the southern … [Read more]

Conjuring majorities: Life, infrastructure, and relational politics in the urban South

A joint book manuscript ‘Conjuring majorities: life, infrastructure, and relational politics in the urban South’ (with AbdouMaliq Simone) will be completed. The book will seek to recast debates on cities in the global South by offering a conceptual diagram of the ways in which the incommensurable worlds of everyday urban practices, popular economies and figurations … [Read more]

Reinstating the “Literary” in South African Literary Studie

South African literary studies has, in a sense, lost its intellectual project. The post-apartheid literary scene is flourishing, but the scholarship is falling behind. There are various reasons for this, for example, since at least the mid-80s, it appears that South African literary criticism, partly under the influence of Marxism and post-structuralism, has retreated from … [Read more]

On Our Own

This is a writing project that would examine South African politics in exile and how that had an impact on the relationship of political parties inside the country. The work will rely on interviews with various participants, archival documents, past newspaper articles and the experience of the writer. An exploration will then be made of … [Read more]

“Making up people”

Work on the ways in which classifications of people affect the people classified, in particular the ways that individuals think of themselves, and how this affects their actions, and open up or close off possible futures will be continued. Further arguments will be made for a “looping effect”, so that the criteria for classification change … [Read more]

The role of international law in the settlement of conflict: Apartheid South Africa, Namibia and Palestine

This study concerns the question whether the manner in which international law informed political consensus in South Africa and Namibia is of relevance to the settlement of the Israel/Palestine conflict. First, it will examine the competing rules of international law invoked by parties in respect of apartheid South Africa and Namibia and the attainment of … [Read more]

Nietzsche’s ‘Christian virtues’

Although Nietzsche is admittedly one of the most anti-Christian thinkers in the history of philosophy, this does certainly not mean that Christianity has not left traces in his thinking. Quite the contrary. The relation between Nietzsche and the Christian tradition with regard to the role of the virtues has, however, not yet been investigated. This … [Read more]

South African social policies from a human rights perspective

The apartheid regime of South Africa persistently abstained from ratifying any of the major human rights treaties elaborated under the aegis of the United Nations after 1948. The new South Africa of the 1990s quickly joined the human rights community, yet made one exception. The government signed the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural … [Read more]

Garment of Destiny

Work on a new single-author book with a working title of “Garment of Destiny” will be started. The title is derived from Martin Luther King: “It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects … [Read more]