Monday, August 8, 2011

PSHA Activities from April 14 2011

Many things have happened. Forgive me for failing to update you. And permit me to enumerate these activities in  very modest form that will enable you follow. I will intervene in some texts, only when I feel provoked, to emphasize my own reading of the texts.

1. On April 14. There was a seminar presentation by Dr Pauline E.Peters from Center for International Development at Harvard University and currently at the Institute for Advanced Studies (STIAS) at Stellenbosch University. The title of his paper is "Contestations over 'culture' in a time of AIDS in Malawi".

2. On April 21 we read Timothy Mitchell's "Rule of Experts".

3. Tuesday May 10, Noeleen Murray and Leslie Witz of UWC presented a seminar titled, "Dislocation: Making the Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum".

4. May 12. Our reading group reconvened with Colette Guillaumin's "Racism, Sexism, Power and Ideology" and Etienne Balibar's "Masses, Classes, Ideas".

5. May 24. Seminar presentation by Prof Ciraj Rassool of UWC, title of paper is "Bone memory and the discipline of the dead: human remains, transitional justice and heritage transformation in South Africa".

6. May 26. Our reading group took place with Edward Said's "The Word, the Text and the Critics" and "Reflections on Exile".

7.June 10. Official welcoming of doctoral and postdoctoral fellows and faculty at Center for Humanities Research (CHR).

8. On Monday June 13. Prof John Mowitt delivered the 2011 Annual Dean's Distinguished Lecture on the topic, "The Humanities and the University in Ruin".

9. June 15. Discussion on new directions in the humanities with Premesh Lalu, Maurits van Bever Donker and John Mowitt at CHR

10. June 21. Reading Group with John Mowitt on his text: "Text: the Genealogy of an Antidisciplianry Object"  at CHR

11. June 28. We had a workshop with John Mowitt, Quadri Ismail and Adam Sitze from Amherst College on the theme, "The Humanities After Postcolonial Theory" at CHR. Adam Sitze's paper was "On Crisis", Quadri Ismail's "On Imaginations", while John Mowitt's was "On Sociography".

12. June 12.  There was a visit to National Gallery and District Six Museum

13. Between July 1 - 5 we had a joint colloquium on the Humanities and its futures with fellows at CHR and Forte Hare fellows in East London. We departed from Cape Town on June 30, by bus, and arrived East London very late at night. Professor Gary Minkley was our host. We escaped to a place known as Chintsa where we had a whole five day marathon conference. It was, however, serious business mingled with some good pleasure. It was really a remarkable and unforgettable experience and it would be overstating the obvious to say that Gary and his team pampered us. Even as we read, we also ate, such that both our reading and eating flowed with the rhythm of the joyous moments at Chintsa seaside. If  intellectual pursuit was anything close to what we experienced at Chintsa seaside then in my next life I will become an academic.

At the East London Colloquium, L-R Prof Quadri Ismail (University of Minnesota), Prof Premesh Lalu (University of the Western Cape), Prof John Mowitt (University of Minnesota).
Photo: Okechukwu Nwafor

                                          During a presentation by Prof Gary Minkley during the colloquium.
                                          Photo: Okechukwu Nwafor

                                          Return from East London. Stop over at Port Elizabeth.
                                          Photo: Okechukwu Nwafor

                                          Photo: Okechukwu Nwafor

                                          Photo: Okechukwu Nwafor

14. July 6. Visit to Robben Island.

15. July 12.  We had a workshop with Quadri Ismail with a reading of Chatterjee's "Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World: A Derivative Discourse".

16. July 19.   At 2 pm there was a seminar presentation by Catherine Cole of University of California Berkeley, title of paper: "Wole Soyinka's The Beatification of Area Boy as Neoliberal Kaleidoscope".

17.  July 21 "A series of conversation and Public lecture" with Judith Butler and Wendy Brown was organized by the Center for Humanities Research of UWC, Center for African Studies University of Cape Town and English Department, Sociology and Social Anthropology Department and Transitions Research Theme of Stellenbosch University.

18. July 26. Another workshop with Quadri on Derrida's "Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences".

19. July 28. We had another workshop with Quadri Ismail on Spivak and Deconstruction with a reading of Spivak's "Can the Subaltern Speak?"

19. August 2. Quadri Ismail  delivers a seminar titled, "Reading the Itinerary of Culture in the Modern Anglo-U.S. Episteme", with discussant Paolo Isreal.

20. August 5 -6. A conference convened by Christian Williams, a fellow of the Center for Humanities Research took place. Title of conference is "Camps, Liberation Movements, Politics".