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Centre for Humanities Research

University of the Western Cape

In a rapidly shifting social context of a post-apartheid society, the study of the humanities offers creative possibilities for dealing with the challenges of globalisation, rapid technological change, and the legacies of colonialism and apartheid. To this end, the Center for Humanities Research (CHR) is unique in developing partnerships across and between institutions, particularly universities, schools, public arts projects, museums, archives and art galleries, and nurturing future generations of humanities graduates, educators and cultural practitioners. A humanities inquiry informed by location and history lends itself to asking pertinent questions from the South that will have significant impact for locating intellectual traditions in Africa in a global discourse on the contemporary human condition. The CHR builds a humanities discourse that is responsive to nurturing a discourse on the concept of the post-apartheid, and explores the relationship between the human and technology in our contemporary world, especially as this relates to transforming notions of society and politics. It also develops synergy between academic scholarship and cultural production and extends the reach of local and international humanities scholarship, as well as opportunities for arts education and cultural production, into communities on the Cape Flats. The CHR’s three research platforms are Aesthetics and Politics, Migrating Violence, and On the Becoming Technical of the Human. It is also host to the recently awarded NRF SARChI Chair in Visual History and Theory, held by Professor Patricia Hayes. The Flagship on Critical Thought in African Humanities, a project of the CHR, constitutes an arena for scholarly exchange, artistic creation and public inquiry into African political subjectivity, art and society, and technology and the human. Specifically, the Flagship works in a unique approach towards an idea of the “post-apartheid” that marks a departure from apartheid’s constructions of difference, while opening a space to re-imagine a future beyond the race, class, and gender cleavages that continue to bedevil South African society.

Contact Information
Premesh Lalu, Director
Michelle Smith, Convener of National and International Partnerships

University of the Western Cape
Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape
Private Bag X17 Bellville 7535
Cape Town, Western Cape
South Africa
+2721 959 3162

Southern Africa

Year Established

Fellowships and Potential Scholarly Affiliations
Centre for Humanities Research Fellowship