The central brief of the Centre for Multilingualism and Diversities Research (CMDR) is to embark on a project of intellectual reorientation, namely a significant rethinking of multilingualism and the development of a new discourse with which to approach interdisciplinary work in the humanities and the education sciences. The brief involves interrogating contemporary and historical African intellectual heritage through a critical review of the role of language and multilingualism in the colonial archive and in the light of critical framings of multilingualism and diversity. 

Such an endeavour requires new modes of theoretical engagement, which in turn involves engaging with linguistic diversity in it multiple manifestations, local representations and practices by providing careful historiography of linguistic diversity and a critical analysis of contemporary deliberation on multilingualism across academia and society at large. 

To this end, the centre seeks to provide an intellectual space to further a critical rethinking of what kinds of questions we should be asking of language, literary and cultural study, strengthening existing interdisciplinary projects or leading to new ones, and enabling challenging questions to be asked of the disciplines themselves in the reconstitution of a post-apartheid humanities.