The “Dark Side”: Popular Politics and the Question of Democratic Violence

Wed, 2017-06-07 13:00
Dr Ruchi Chaturvedi, Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, will present the Department of Religious Studies seminar with a talk entitled, "The “Dark Side”: Popular Politics and the Question of Democratic Violence".   Ruchi Chaturvedi received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Columbia University and an M. Phil in Sociology from University of Delhi. She has taught at the City University of New York and Makerere Institute of Social Research. Ruchi’s research focuses on questions of political violence, popular politics and its contentious relationship with the ideology and institutions of liberal democracy. Her writings have revolved around a long-running violent conflict between local level political workers of the Marxist Left and Hindu Right in Kerala, South India.  This presentation revolves around community protests and violent contests between members of various political groups in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya. Central to it is what Partha Chatterjee as well as Karl von Holdt, Langa et al. describe as the “dark side” of political society and insurgent citizenship: namely, the often-times collective and sometimes individualized violence that has characterized popular and party politics in various postcolonial states. I read this violence through critiques of liberal equality and democracy articulated especially in the Nigerian political theorist Claude Ake’s work, and in the historian Ajay Skaria’s analysis of Gandhi’s writings. Seen through these lenses, the violent dark side of political society and insurgent citizenship comes into view as an aspect of a shared postcolonial democratic inheritance. I describe the relationship between this modern democratic inheritance, the modes of enacting and organizing power that have emerged in its wake, and collective and inter-party violence. I conclude with the problem of recasting this democratic bequest that haunts Ake’s analysis as much as it does Gandhi’s.

Lineages of Revolt: Issues of Contemporary Capitalism in the Middle East

Wed, 2017-05-24 18:00
Adam Hanieh, from the school of African Studies, University of London, will present a talk for the Centre for Contemporary Islam (CCI) in collaboration with the Afro-Middle East Centre (AMEC), entitled, "Lineages of Revolt:  Issues of Contemporary Capitalism in the Middle East". In his book, Adam explores neoliberal policies, dynamics of class and state formation, imperialism and the nature of regional accumulation, the significance of Palestine and the Gulf Arab states, and the ramifications of the global economic crisis. By mapping the complex and contested nature of capitalism in the Middle East, the book demonstrates that a full understanding of the uprisings needs to go beyond a simple focus on “dictators and democracy.” Adam Hanieh is a Senior Lecturer in Development Studies at the school of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Prior to joining SOAS, Adam taught at Zayed University, United Arab Emirates. From 1997-2003, he worked in the NGO and public sectors in Ramallah, Palestine, where he completed an MA in Regional Studies at Al Quds University. He holds a PhD in Political Science from York University, Canada (2009). Adam is an editorial board member of the journal Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory, a founding member of the SOAS Centre for Palestine Studies, and a member of the committee of Management for the Council for British Research in the Levant. His most recent book is Capitalism and class in the Gulf Arab States 

New book from APC challenges colonial archival categories in productive ways

Thu, 2017-05-18 14:44 -- 01401867

The Archive and Pubic Culture Research Initiative's (APC) two-volume book, Tribing and Untribing the Archive:  Identity and the Material Record in Southern KwaZulu Natal in the Late Independent and Colonial Periods (2016), edited by Carolyn Hamilton and Nessa Leibhammer, challenges the pernicious combination of "tribe" and "tradition" that tethers modern South Africans to ideas about the region's remote past as primitive, timeless and unchanging. 

The prospects of and constraints to peace journalism in Africa: Reflections on Zimbabwe and South Africa”.

Tue, 2017-05-23 13:00
Wallace Chuma will  The prospects of and constraints to peace journalism in Africa: Reflections on Zimbabwe and South Africa”.  

Strike a Rock film to premier at prestigious film festivals

Tue, 2017-05-16 14:49 -- 01401867

Strike a Rock, the feature length film made by Humanities alumnus Aliki Saragas, has been selected to premier at two prestigious festivals:  it will be the opening night film at Encounters International Documentary Film Festival locally and for its international premier it will screen at the Sheffield International Documentary Film Festival. 

Book Lunch: The Art of Life in South Africa

Wed, 2017-05-17 12:30
This year’s first book lunch will be in collaboration with the Department of Historical Studies (UCT) and will be of Daniel Magaziner’s The Art of Life in South Africa (Ohio University/KZN Press 2016). Daniel (Department of History, Yale University) will be in conversation with Sean Field (Department of Historical Studies, UCT) and Khwezi Mkhize (Department of English Literature, UCT) From 1952 to 1981, South Africa’s apartheid government ran a school for the training of African art teachers at Indaleni. The Art of Life in South Africa is about the students, teachers, art, ideas and politics that led to the school’s founding, and which circulated during the years of its existence at a remote former mission station. It is a story of creativity, beauty, and community in 20th Century South Africa. Daniel Magaziner radically reframes apartheid-era South African history. Against the dominant narrative of apartheid oppression and black resistance, The Art of Life in South Africa focuses instead on a small group’s efforts to fashion more fulfilling lives through the ironic medium of an apartheid-era art school. Lushly illustrated with almost 100 images, this book gives us fully formed lives and remarkable insights into life under segregation and apartheid

“Conceptual Isomerism”: The Nexus of Edmund Husserl’s Phenomenology and Orunmila Theory of Epistemic Reproduction in Biyi Bandele’s Film, Half of Yellow Sun

Tue, 2017-05-16 13:00
Both Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel and the film adaptation directed by Biyi Bandele have been widely acclaimed, so, in this month where we celebrate Africa, it is a special delight to welcome Saheed Bello from the University of Lagos, who will talk about his doctoral research in which he brings together science, philosophy and adaptation studies. He will focus particularly on Half of a Yellow Sun.  His talk is entitled, “Conceptual Isomerism”: The Nexus of Edmund Husserl’s Phenomenology and Orunmila Theory of Epistemic Reproduction in Biyi Bandele’s Film, Half of  Yellow Sun

African-Brazilian connections: exploring the art of Jongo in Cape Town

Mon, 2017-05-15 14:00 to Wed, 2017-05-24 21:00
During the month of May, UCT will host Alessandra Ribeiro Martins (Brazilian Jongo Master and PhD in Urban Studies) for a talk, workshops and a performance. Public Talk: African Diasporic Trajectories: the configuration of the African Matrix in the urban space of Campinas, SP, Brazil (In Portuguese, with translation) on 18th of May, Thursday, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. (Huma Seminar Room, Neville Alexander Building, Upper Campus, UCT) Jongo Open Workshop (UCT Community) 15th and 18th of May, Monday and Thursday, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. (UCT Sports Centre - 3) For more information ( Show: Participation as special guest in the annual Show of Students in the World Music Ensemble (SACM): 24th of May, Wednesday, at 7:30 p.m.  (Baxter Theatre)