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The PSHA is an exciting research platform for postgraduate students, visiting scholars and faculty dedicated to redefining Humanities research in and about Africa and making sense of the effects of globalization. It is supported by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The programme offers opportunities for international exchange and critical dialogue in an academically engaged and supportive environment. Given the longstanding alignment of UWC's academic mission with the plight of marginal communities in and around Cape Town, the PSHA is committed to making intellectual resources available to deepening understandings of democracy and society. More specifically, the PSHA was established to rethink the foundational categories of culture, identity and nation through exploring contestations surrounding notions of multiculturalism, nationalism postcoloniality, and cultural sovereignty in Africa. As such, the programme emphasises critical reflection on the humanities and African modernities with a view to redefining transnational relations of knowledge production.

The PSHA serves as a platform for academic exchange through reading groups, study circles, seminars and informal meetings. In 2006, the programme explored the debates and contestations surrounding the concept of the postcolonial. In 2007, the focus has been on visuality in the humanities. In future, the programme will undertake to work through specific concepts that have defined the humanities in Africa and inquire into its potential for tackling larger questions of social change on the continent.

Participating Faculty

There are ten faculty members associated with the PSHA and who have volunteered to participate in the selection process, reading groups, symposia and in supporting individual fellows in preparing to undertake research. The faculty committee members are Profs Premesh Lalu (CHR), Leslie Witz, Ciraj Rassool, Patricia Hayes (History), Gordon Pirie (Geography), Tammy Shefer (Women's and Gender Studies), Drs Lionel Thaver (Sociology and Anthropology), Suren Pillay (Centre for Humanities Research), Ms Cheryl-Ann Michael (English and Cultural Studies). The programme administrator is Ms Lameez Lalkhen.