Programme for the Study of the Humanities in Africa

Postdoctoral Award Announcement

The Programme for the Study of the Humanities in Africa (PSHA) at the University of the Western Cape invites suitably qualified candidates to apply for postdoctoral fellowships for the 2012 academic year. The PSHA is an exciting research platform based in the Centre for Humanities Research dedicated to redefining Humanities research in and about Africa and making sense of the driving forces of globalization. It is backed by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The PSHA encourages scholarship that rethinks foundational categories of culture, identity and nation through exploring contestations surrounding notions of multiculturalism, postcoloniality, and cultural sovereignty in Africa. As such, the programme emphasises critical reflection on the humanities and African modernities. The postdoctoral awards are aimed at fostering critical dialogue in an academically engaged and supportive environment on the key themes of the PSHA.

Selection of candidates will be based on the strength of academic achievement and commitment to the intellectual outlines of the PSHA. Successful candidates will become 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. The weekly topical workshop for 2012 will be dedicated to exploring a broad range of conceptual issues in African studies and postcolonial theory.

Successful candidates will be required to be present on campus during the relevant academic semesters unless granted leave by the fellowship board. All fellows will be required to produce two peer-reviewed journal articles over two years, credited to the University of the Western Cape, and at least show significant progress towards completing a monograph, which when published should contain appropriate acknowledgement of the University. The Centre for Humanities Research at UWC, to which Postdoctoral fellows will be affiliated, offers a supportive scholarly environment for pursuing research. The centre hosts a weekly seminar series where prospective candidates can present their research and solicit valuable 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 2012, the Programme may make three doctoral and two postdoctoral fellowship awards in disciplines associated with the humanities. The awards cover a monthly stipend, travel costs, accommodation and basic research expenses.


Applicants are required to submit a letter in which they provide a motivation, a TEN page description of their research project, a plan of work on the project, a curriculum vitae, three letters of recommendation from academic referees (to be sent directly to the PSHA), 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.

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

All inquiries to be directed to Ms. Lameez Lalkhen, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

(+27) (0)21-959-3162.

Please send completed applications to:

Professor Premesh Lalu

Convening Committee, Programme for the Study of the Humanities in Africa

Department of History

University of the Western Cape

Private Bag X17

Bellville 7535

South Africa

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Phone: 021-9592225 (from outside SA: 27+21+9592225)

Fax:   021-9593598 (from outside SA: 27+21+9593598)