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Current Fellows

The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellows

CHR Post Doctoral and Visiting Fellows 2012


Dr Sarah Namulondo

-          Post-Doctoral Fellow at the CHR

-          Makerere University, Uganda : English

-          Imagined Realities, Defying Subjects: Voice, Sexuality and Subversion in African Women’s Writing

Dr Samuel Olaoluwa

-          Post-Doctoral Fellow at CHR

-          Osun State University, Nigeria: Literary Studies; Cultural Studies

-          Enchantments from the Wizard: Ngugi wa Thiongó and Postcolonial Imaginaries in Wizard of the Crow

Dr Ray Wazi Apoh

-          Post-Doctoral Fellow at CHR

-          University of Ghana, Ghana: Archaeology; Anthropology

-          The Archaeology and Histories of the Akpinis, the Germans and the British at Kpando

Dr Stella Nyanzi

-          Post-Doctoral Fellow at the CHR

-          Makerere University, Uganda :Medical Anthropology; Human Sexualities

-          Politicising ‘the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah’: Examining Christian Rights’ war against homosexuality in Uganda

Dr Abubakar Aliyu

-          Post-Doctoral Fellow at the CHR

-          Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria : Literary Studies-Popular Culture and Cultural Studies

-          Islam, Power and Mass-mediated Culture in Northern Nigeria

Visting Fellows

Dr Teena Purohit

-          Post-Doctoral Fellow at the CHR

-          Dept. Of Religion, Boston University

-          history of Islam in South Asia, religion and colonialism, and South Asian history and historiography.

Dr Sanjay Krishnan

-            Post-Doctoral Fellow at the CHR

-          Dept. Of English, Boston University

-          Postcolonial theory and world literatures,  globalization

Dr Giorgio Miescher

-          Post-Doctoral Fellow at the CHR

-          Marie Curie research fellow in the project Empires of the Visual

Dr Lorena Rizzo

-          Post-Doctoral Fellow at the CHR

-           Gender, Colonialism, Namibia

Dr Nina Sylvanus

-          Post-Doctoral Fellow at the CHR

-          Northeastern University, USA : Anthropology

-          Urban anthropology, West Africa,  gender, globalization, political economy, economic governance

Dr Giacomo Loperfido

-          Post-Doctoral Fellow at the CHR

-          Ecole des Hautes en Sciences Sociales, France; Social Anthropology

-          Political radicalisation, social-cultural identities, social transformation, violence, social anthropology,

Dr. Ruchi Chaturvedi

-Visiting Fellow

-City College of New York, Anthropology

-Political Anthropology, South Asia, law and society, political violence



Yomi Okunowo, Ph.D (CU-B, USA)is a  lecturer at Tai Solarin University of Education, Ogun State, Nigeria.I have taught at the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA. Research interests include: Stylistics, Bilingualism in African Literature. Discourse, Semantics and Pragmatics.


Musa Sadock is an Assistant Lecturer of History and PhD student at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. His dissertation working title is “History of Sexually Transmitted Diseases in  Mbozi District, Tanzania, 1905-2005". He is also a ACLS fellow at UWC 2011.


Dr. Victor Kwabena Yankah attended the University of Cape Coast where he read for a degree in English and a diploma in Education. He had  a masters degree in Theatre and Film, as well as a M Phil in African Drama from The University of Sheffield, and a PhD in Theatre for Development in Ghana. He is a senior lecturer in Drama and head of the Department of Theatre and Film Studies at the University of Cape Coast. His publications are in the drama of Wole Soyinka, African Film and Theatre. He has also co-authored a number of modules (6 in all) that are being used for distance education in Ghana. His plays include ‘Sikaman’ (performed at the University of Cape Coast, April 2006), ‘Dear Blood’ (an adaptation of Sophocles’ Antigone’) and ‘Demoncrazy’ ( First stage-read at the Stillwell Theatre, Kennesaw and performed at the International Festival of Theatre for Development, Ouagadougou. (February18th -28, 2006). He has attended a number of conferences including the following: African Film Conference, University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign (November2007);  ‘Performing Africa’ Leeds University – International conference on theatre for development in Africa (May 2004);  International conference on the coexistence of languages in West Africa, September 2006, Afican Literature Association (ALA) conferences, Accra (2006), Vermont, USA (2009), Applied Drama Conference, Wits, (2009, 2010). He was an exchange faculty at Kennesaw State University, USA. Fall 2004.  He is married with five sons.


Programme on the Study of the Humanities in Africa (PSHA) Fellows


Bianca van Laun completed her Bachelor of Arts in 2008 which she graduated Suma Cum Laude. She then went on to do her Honours degree in history for which she investigated the role of the youth in the Rwandan genocide in 1994 and argued for a reassessment of the use of the concept ‘youth’ especially in terms of those involved in violence. She graduated Cum Laude. Bianca is currently busy with her Masters Thesis which deals with questions of violence and historiography in relation to a PAC/Poqo uprising in the town of Paarl, South Africa, in 1962.   Bianca has earned a spot on the Deans Merit List every semester since her first year at the University of the Western Cape. She was the recipient of an Abe Bailey Travel fellowship which meant spending three weeks in the UK. She was also a guest at the University of Tuebingen in Germany as a member of the Tuebingen/South Africa program in January 2009.  Bianca spent a semester as an exchange student at the University of Basel this year.


Tyrone August

I am currently a PhD student in UWC’s Department of English and a doctoral fellow at the Centre for Humanities Research. I hold the following degrees: Bachelor of Social Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal (Durban); Honours BA (Social Science), University of South Africa; and Master of Arts, University of London (Institute of Commonwealth Studies/School of Oriental and African Studies).

I have previously worked as a journalist, and was Deputy Editor and Editor of the daily newspaper Cape Times from 2003 to the beginning of 2009. I am still a member of the South African National Editors’ Forum and a judge for the Mondi Shanduka Newspaper Awards.

My PhD is on the life and writing of the South African poet Dennis Brutus (1924-2009). The main aim of my research is to provide a re-evaluation of his poetry. He has written a substantial body of work over a period of several decades, which is often characterised by a highly original use of language and a continual experimentation with new writing styles. However, his poetry has not earned the critical attention which such a generally distinguished body of work deserves (particularly in South Africa).My project can be regarded as part of a broader re-reading of South African literature, in which there is a shift away from a narrow focus on the political towards a broader appreciation of the aesthetic characteristics of the writing.


Nina Sylvanus is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Northeastern University in Boston.  She currently holds a Mellon writing fellowship at the Center for Humanities Research to complete her book manuscript, entitled Print Value: Aesthetic Repertoires and Gendered Performances in a West African Marketplace.  Her work is concerned with the materiality of social regimes of value and political economies in the small West African entrepot nation of Togo.  She has published fragments of this work in Anthropological Theory, Les Temps Modernes and Politique Africaine.


Okechukwu Nwafor is a PhD student at the Department of History and PSHA Doctoral fellow at the Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa. He holds BA (Fine and Applied Arts) of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and MFA (Fine Arts) of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria. He studied Post graduate Diploma in Museum and Heritage Studies in the Department of History and Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape, graduating in Cum Laude.  He has been an active member of the Pan African Circle of Artists since 2000. He has participated in both the Insaka International Artists Workshop in Zambia and The Politics of Culture Workshop in Graz, Austria. He is presently engaged with the archival and ethnographic research of the Visual Culture of Lagos with major concentration on the intersections of popular photography and the practice of what is known as aso ebi in urban Lagos and how this practice has given impetus to the dress culture of the city and the emergence of what is known as ‘fashion’ magazines in Lagos.  He has also published a number of articles on the Visual Arts of Nigeria. He is presently a visiting scholar at the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change (ICGC), University of Minnesota, U.S.A. Research interests include Visual Arts and Visual History and Visual Culture of Lagos. Selected Publication, Journal Article is Nwafor, Okechukwu (2011), “Culture, Corruption, Politics, National Museum of Unity Enugu and the struggle for the survival of cultural institutions in Nigeria,” Critical Interventions, Vol.7 Fall. Selected Book chapter contribution is,  Nwafor, Okechukwu (2011),“Dele Jegede: On Flower Power and witty distortions of Nigeria’s Power and System Failure” in Toyin Falola, (ed), Dele Jegede: Artist, Cartoonist and Scholar (Durham NC: Carolina Academic Press). Books include;  Ikwuemesi, Chu Krydz  and Okechukwu  Nwafor  (2010),  (eds), All Things Will Die: poems in honour of Peter Dubem Areh (Enugu: The Pan African Circle of Artists Press).

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Tinashe Mawere

Tinashe Mawere is a Zimbabwean national, who joined the Centre for Humanities Research (CHR), University of the Western Cape in 2011. He is a Doctoral Fellow in the Programme on the Study of the Humanities in Africa (PSHA) and his thesis is entitled “Decentring  Nationalism: An Analysis of Gender and Sexuality in the Crafting of Zimbabwean Nationalism.”  Tinashe holds an MA in African and Diasporan Literature in English and a BA Honors in English and Communication from Midlands State University (MSU), Zimbabwe. He taught Communication Skills and English as a Foreign Language at MSU.

Research interests include; The constructions of nationalisms, The politics of gender and sexuality, and African and Diasporan Literature

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Jeremiah O. Arowosegbe (PhD) is an Andrew W. Mellon Research Fellow at the Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa. He obtained a PhD in Politics at the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria, in 2010. His major areas of research and teaching interest are African intellectual history, African history, Indian and South–Asian histories; African politics, African political thought, political theory and political thought. His other areas of research/teaching interest are critical theory, development studies, postcolonial studies and subaltern studies. His publications have appeared in Africa Spectrum, Development and Change, International Affairs and Review of African Political Economy.


Christian Williams is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape. His doctoral thesis, completed at the University of Michigan in 2009, examines the camps which SWAPO administered for Namibians living in exile during the 1960s, '70s and '80s and the histories of exile which circulate in Namibia today. Williams continues to conduct research on camps and exile, examining how liberation movements governed particular sites in Tanzania, Zambia and Angola and how these sites have been incorporated into different national histories and humanitarian/human rights discourses. His most recent publication is 'National History in Southern Africa: Reflections on the “Remember Cassinga?” Exhibition,' Kronos 36 (2010) 207-250 and his article 'Ordering the Nation: SWAPO in Zambia, 1974-1976' will appear in 2011 in the Journal of Southern African Studies.


Violence in Transition Project (VTP) Fellows 


Godfrey Maringira

Has a Masters Degree in Forced Migration Studies from the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Currently he is doing his PhD in Sociology with the Department of Soical Anthropology and Sociology in the Research in Anthropology and Sociology of Medicine Project (RASH). His own PhD thesis looks on the Life of exiled Zimbabwean Soldiers living in South Africa: Coping with the Repressed Memories of War and Political Violence.

Godfrey is also a Fellow and Researcher in the Center for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape doing the Violence and Transition Project which seeks to understand how South African ex-combatants have understood violence overtime and different responses to it.

He is also interested in understanding the lives of survivors and perpetrators in the aftermath of war and political violence. How healing is achieved and what really constitutes healing in the aftermath of war and political violence in Africa today? Much more interesting to him is also how traditional healers and healing has been defined and constituted in postcolonial Africa.


Chiedza Chagutah is a Masters Fellow on the Violence and Transition Project. Her research interest is on how constructions of masculinity intersect with gender based violence. Her other research interests include sexuality and violence and the development of African feminisims.