Image credit: NIHSS Awards
(Published - 20 March 2019)
The Centre for Humanities Research at UWC produced inspiring results and attained significant achievements at this year’s National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) award ceremony, which took place last week. The Centre is a Department of Science and Technology and National Research Foundation Flagship institute.
The Awards are open to South African publishers and scholars based at South African universities, and to independent artists linked to universities. Award winners take home R65 000.
Centre for Humanities Research (CHR) post doctoral student and video artist, Kitso Lelliot, won the Best Visual Artist award for her work entitled, Abénaa / Alzire / Dandara / Tsholofelo. The centre’s doctoral candidate and artist in residence in jazz, Reza Khota - along with the Insurrections Ensemble - won the award for Best Musical Production for The Storming.
Another proud moment for UWC was when Professor Heidi Grunebaum and Dr Kurt Campbell won the award for the Best Exhibition Catalogue for Athlone in Mind.
Prof Grunebaum said, “Receiving these prestigious awards is a significant achievement for UWC and a testament to the University's recognition of the importance of the creative arts for Humanities scholarship. We are proud to represent UWC in this way.”
Prof Premesh Lalu, who is the director of the Centre for Humanities Research at UWC, said he is extremely proud of the achievements of faculty and artists in the Centre. “Many of the works recognised through the NIHSS awards were featured at the international CHCI meeting in 2017 that drew more than 350 delegates from around the world. The awards affirm the CHR’s deep commitment to relating humanities research to arts practices in an overarching initiative on aesthetic education. This is work for which the CHR has become internationally renowned. It has also resulted in substantial partnership opportunities for UWC with institutions across the world. We are appreciative of the recognition by the NIHSS which we consider an important partner in building a future for the study of the humanities in South Africa.”
The CHR aims to contribute significantly to ensuring the standing of the Humanities and interpretive Social Sciences through its core functions of enhancing, supporting and coordinating scholarship, research and arts practice that bring into view new iterations of the co-evolution of the human and technology in our times. .
It also engages the question of post-apartheid freedom that brings together public and scholarly approaches in the HSS disciplines that may enable neglected arena’s of research, study and performance amongst graduate students and faculty at UWC and beyond.
The Centre has developed partnerships in the arts that cut across the rural-urban divides of South African society as it works strenuously to breakup the racial geographies of apartheid city planning. The partnership established with the community of Barrydale’s Magpie Art Collective and Net vir Pret, and the partnership with Handspring Puppet Company, are exemplary in this regard. The Centre has also worked to foster humanities initiatives between Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean, while encouraging trans-hemispheric exchanges that deepen our understanding of and sharpen our interventions in the present.
UWC has committed itself to forging a global humanities that draws on perspectives of the south. The pursuit of a global humanities that brings together the arts and humanities is one of UWC’s strategic goals. It shares this goal with the Centre’s focus on defining the idea of post-apartheid freedom in a world overwhelmed by unprecedented crises of climate change, mass migration and increasing racial, gender and class divisions.
At this year’s National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) award ceremony held last week, UWC representatives from the Centre for Humanities Research (CHR) walked away with several awards. Post doctoral student and video artist, Kitso Lelliot won Best Visual Artist for her work entitled, Abénaa / Alzire / Dandara / Tsholofelo.
CHR doctoral candidate and artist in residence in jazz, Reza Khota, who, with the Insurrections Ensemble, won the award for Best Musical Production for The Storming.
Another proud moment for UWC was when Prof Heidi Grunebaum and Dr Kurt Campbell won the award for the Best Exhibition Catalogue for Athlone in Mind.