South African Literature after the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission

The role of literature is always to speak the truth to power (Nietzsche), and even if it cannot pretend to ameliorate material problems it appears to have impact on the way readers respond to reality and even perhaps behave in the real world. South African literature written during or after the TRC shows an increased … [Read more]

Battling homophobia in the bid to protect East Africa’s sexual minorities: A socio-legal analysis

Recent political and judicial battles over the rights of sexual minorities in East Africa have witnessed the introduction of new constricting legislation, judicial interventions and civil society action both in favour and against the expansion of the ‘right to love.’ In light of these developments, the proposed research takes only one of the sites of … [Read more]

51 Poets: an Anthology of World Poetry

For a Latin American publisher I have undertaken to compile an anthology of world poetry. Each poem will be presented in its original language and in Spanish translation, and will be prefaced with an introduction by myself setting the poem in its literary-historical context and elucidating details that the non-professional reader may find puzzling. The … [Read more]

The nature of randomness and fundamental physical limits of secrecy

People have always been fascinated by randomness and intrigued by the fundamental question – is any outcome that appears random to us only so by virtue of our ignorance, or do there exist experiments whose outcome is inherently unpredictable to any observers, no matter how powerful or omniscient they might be? Quantum theory, which rules … [Read more]

The Politics of the Human

To think of oneself primarily as a human being is to discount, in some way, the significance of the divisions we otherwise maintain between people. This is a powerful ethical ideal, and often deployed in challenging racism, xenophobia, misogyny, ultra- nationalism: the many hatreds of the ‘other’ that dwell obsessively on the differences between us, … [Read more]

The malaise of the human condition: Social diagnostics, human evolution and theological discourse on the contingency of “sin”

Social diagnostics gained some currency in the South African context through the Diagnostic Report (2011) produced by the National Planning Commission. It requires multi-disciplinary colla­boration to diagnose the root causes of the triple problem of poverty, unemployment and inequality. The malaise of the human condition is of course an age-old inquiry – addressed in literature, … [Read more]

The Impact of the Global Recession on Party Policy Preferences

The project continues and wants to bring to an end a project that has been started at STIAS in March 2013. The research question states: Have party policy preferences changed under the impact of the global recession that started in 2007/08? Two hypotheses are tested are prominent in the literature on globalization. They are modified … [Read more]

The Effects of Race

The STIAS Effects of Race project (EoR) project will address major gaps in our knowledge on race thinking and racialism. The project is informed by the need for further research and reflection on “race,” especially in the context of contesting visions for a democratic South Africa. EoR will catalyze innovative and imaginative approaches to ‘finding … [Read more]

Generating Knowledge: Conservation Sciences in South Africa’s National Parks

Over many years a considerable body of reliable scientific information has been generated in or about South Africa’s national parks, both by scientists employed by the organization and by outside researchers working with SANParks. Despite these books and other publications about the evidence-based environmental and ecological knowledge that has been generated in or about South … [Read more]

Health transition and injury care and prevention

Apart from making important contributions to morbidity and mortality world-wide (WHO), injuries as a health problem have special characteristics (Byass et al. 2013). Some mechanisms of injury, such as falls, are closely linked to increasing population proportions of elderly people. Others occur less specifically – reflected in the profile of pedestrians involved in road traffic … [Read more]