Biological Chemistry: Metal transport by proteins

While DNA contains the genetic information, a large number of different proteins are the ‘workhorses’ in living organisms executing the orders given through the DNA code. In order to function, most proteins (synthesised as long polypeptide chains) must fold into compact globular structures such that chemical groups are placed at the right positions for each … [Read more]

Legal Traditions and the New Logics

Over the last three centuries western legal thinking has been driven by notions of nation-states, national legal systems and classical forms of logic. The emphasis has been on consistency and uniformity within states and relations of conflict between states (‘the conflict of laws’). Globalisation and the mobility of human populations have, however, changed the background … [Read more]

Punishment and Legitimacy: A Kantian Perspective

This project seeks to contribute to our understanding of the moral values that underpin procedural rights in criminal trials, with a particular focus on the sentencing process. It is common to explain the moral significance of legal processes in instrumental terms, as a reliable means of arriving at correct outcomes. This research will explore the … [Read more]

Is there a future for the project of a clinical anthropology (‘patho-analysis of existence’)

Is it still possible and meaningful, as traditional psychoanalytic theory implies, to understand the relation between psychopathology and (philosophical) anthropology in a positive and structural way? This would imply that psychoanalysis is characterised by a primacy of the pathological, rather than a primacy of sexuality: studying psychopathology is crucial in order to understand what it … [Read more]


The target and at the same time the tool of the project is the conceptualisations and imaginations of the social and the economic in various African languages. The semantics of these two spheres are conventionally departing from Western conceptualisations with an origin in the Antique World. The project, part of a larger research team, will … [Read more]

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]