The Early Career Scholars Program (ECSP) Colloquium brings together four teams of early career scholars that were awarded research grants in December 2018.
As part of celebrating 30 years of grant-making in South Africa in 2018, the International Higher Education & Strategic Projects (IHESP) program of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation called for proposals from its African and Middle East partner universities for an ECSP in the arts, humanities, and humanistic social sciences.
The ECSP sought to support teams of early career scholars to collaboratively pursue important scholarly themes. Each team was to be led by a scholar or scholars based at one of IHESP’s grantee universities, had to include early career scholars from IHESP grantee universities in other countries, and could include early career scholars from other countries in the Global South. For the purpose of the ECSP, an early career scholar was defined as a scholar who is employed at a university (preferably in a full-time tenured/permanent post), has a record of research and publishing and supervision, and has a PhD that was acquired less than 10 years ago.
The ECSP seeks to support early career scholars to develop and undertake programs of research, writing, and publishing in a way that enhances their individual capabilities, builds wider institutional capacities, and forges robust scholarly networks among scholars and institutions in the Global South.
The proposed team research, writing, and publishing was to focus on historical and contemporary topics of scholarly significance. Grant support was intended to provide opportunities for imaginative, rigorous, theoretical and empirical research, largely though not exclusively from an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary and comparative perspective. The research projects should seek to advance epistemological, theoretical, methodological, and empirical work from the Global South. The team research was encouraged to have a public arts and humanities dimension, and to be linked to postgraduate education in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
Over the course of five days, the colloquium is intended to provide an opportunity for the four teams of a total of some 25 early career scholars to:
· Meet one another, and discuss their expectations of the overall ECSP;
· Share with each other their respective research projects, goals, and activities, the progress made to date, and any challenges that have been experienced;
· Consider larger questions and issues related to the current context, higher education, universities, the arts, humanities, and humanistic social sciences, epistemology, theory and methodology, and the Global South;
· Be introduced to dynamics and skills related to writing for popular audiences, grounded by a discussion on the question of public intellectuals in the Global South; and
· Participate in cultural activities in the vicinity of Cape Town and surrounds.