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Programme on the Study of the Humanities in Africa of the Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape

Call for applications for masters, doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships in the Humanities and Social Sciences, 2013

The Programme on the Study of the Humanities in Africa (PSHA) at the University of the Western Cape invites suitably qualified candidates to apply for masters, doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships for the 2013 academic year. The PSHA is an exciting research platform based in the Centre for Humanities Research (CHR) dedicated to redefining Humanities research in and about the postcolonial world and making sense of the driving forces of globalization and nationalism. It is backed by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The PSHA encourages scholarship that rethinks foundational categories of culture, identity, nation and citizenship through critical reflection on the humanities and postcolonial modernities. The fellowship awards are aimed at fostering critical dialogue in an academically engaged and supportive environment on the key themes of the PSHA.

In 2013 the PSHA will be involved in discussions on the broad theme of the subject of the humanities. We invite applications working on questions of political subjectivity and the politics of the governed, the history and theory of the humanities and social sciences in the global south, aesthetics and politics, the humanities in the age of techné, cities in transition, critical heritage studies, and the anti-racisms of the university.


Selection of candidates will be based on the strength of academic achievement and commitment to the intellectual outlines of the PSHA and the CHR. Successful candidates will become Andrew W. Mellon Fellows of the CHR. Those selected to this prestigious fellowship programme will be required to participate in a reading programme with other recipients of the grant and faculty members.

Successful candidates will be required to be present on campus during the relevant academic semesters unless granted leave by the fellowship board. All Postdoctoral fellows will be required to produce at least one peer-reviewed journal article, which when published should contain appropriate acknowledgement of the University of the Western Cape. Postdoctoral Fellows are also required to show substantial progress towards publication of a monograph. The Centre for Humanities Research at UWC, to which fellows will be affiliated, offers a supportive scholarly environment for pursuing research and academic exchange. The centre hosts a weekly seminar series where prospective candidates can present their research and solicit feedback from an interdisciplinary forum of academic staff and graduate students. Fellows are required to participate fully in the seminar series. The centre also provides office accommodation and access to the UWC – Robben Island Museum Mayibuye Archive collection. Through participation in the Centre’s activities and programmes, postdoctoral fellows will contribute to the shape of graduate studies by making available, through participation in the Centre’s programmes and through publication, the most recent scholarly discussions and debates.


In 2013, the Programme will offer fellowships at the postdoctoral level in disciplines associated with the humanities. The post doctoral fellowship is valued at about R160 000 per annum. Masters approximately R84 000,00 over two years, and doctoral awards R270 000,00 over three years. The renewal of master’s and doctoral fellowships will be based upon a supervisor’s report of satisfactory progress. The awards cover a monthly stipend which can be used to cover travel costs, accommodation and basic research expenses. The awards may be supplemented with National Research Foundation research grants.


Postdoctoral applicants are required to submit a letter in which they provide a motivation, a plan of work should the fellowship be awarded, a two page statement on how the specific research project enhances the study of the humanities in Africa, a curriculum vitae, three letters of recommendation from academic referees (to be sent directly to the CHR), a writing sample consisting of an extensive research project or publication, preferably in a peer reviewed journal, and a copy of their academic transcript. They will be selected by a panel of core faculty associated with the PSHA and the Dean of the Faculty of Arts. Candidates applying for the master’s and doctoral fellowships should supply a three to four pages proposal on planned research, a chapter from a previously examined thesis, a letter of motivation, curriculum vitae, academic transcript, three academic letters of reference and a brief one page statement of interest in the broader study of the humanities.

The fellowship cannot be held concurrently with other fellowships without permission of the Director of the CHR and all recipients of grants will be required to fulfil the obligations of the programme.

Closing date: Applications and referees' letters must reach the Selection Panel on or before 15 October 2012. The Selection Committee may request an interview with applicants. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Applications must be posted to Ms. Lameez Lalkhen, Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape, Private Bag X17, Bellville, 7535. No electronic applications will be accepted. However enquiries and referees letters may be electronically sent to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Telephonic enquiries may be directed to (+27) (0)21-959-3162.



We are awarding one postdoctoral fellowship, based in the CHR, valued at R220 000,00 for the 2013 academic year. The postdoctoral application should be accompanied by a letter of motivation by the candidate, a writing sample (preferably a chapter from a thesis or a peer reviewed academic publication), three letters of recommendation to be sent independently to the Centre for Humanities Research, c/o Ms. Lameez Lalkhen This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and two page statement on how the doctoral research relates to the larger debates in the study of the humanities internationally. Applicants from South Africa and the African continent more broadly are especially encouraged to apply for the postdoctoral fellowship.

Applications should reach the Faculty of Arts, c/o Ms Sue Mcwatts This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 16 July 2012.