The Department of Historical Studies at the University of Cape Town has entered a new phase of curriculum innovation and knowledge production, expressed in an innovative five-year programme, History Access, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Aimed at training a new generation of South African historians who are conceptually multilingual, technically competent, and academically rigorous, the projected key outcomes of this programme include the production of a critical multilingual conceptual lexicon, journal articles/ book chapters, innovative (new media) articulations of original research, and increased interface with public lives of the historical discipline.
We recognize that a significant number of the PhD and Master’s – and even some of the Honours – dissertations are often found by supervisors and external examiners of almost publishable quality which, with minor revisions, can find place in peer-reviewed journals. Unfortunately, after finishing the dissertations, the students often do not have a space to develop them into articles. As a result, most of these dissertations stay buried in the university library and out of the public domain. This programme is aimed at providing support for five PhD, Master’s and Honours students who have graduated from the UCT Humanities Faculty within the last two years to enable them finalizing publications based on their original research for appropriate peer-reviewed journals. Preference will be given to the students of the Department of Historical Studies, but students from a cognate discipline will also be seriously considered for any historically themed publication.
Congratulations to the recipients:
My research will be looking at the establishment of the Wesleyan Mission Station at Leliefontein in Little Namaqualand in the early 19th C. The impact of the settlement on the Little Namaqua Khoikhoi, who had themselves sought out the services of a missionary, will be considered. In doing so the article will focus on the ways in which the Namaqua Khoikhoi utilized the missionaries, as well as Christianity, to secure their access to land, better their status in society, foster ties with the government at the Cape and protect themselves from neighbouring farmers.
I am investigating the economic living standards of female African domestic workers in South Africa during apartheid. Wage data gathered through the Survey of Houses and Servants (SHS) is used to examine these living standards. The SHS was a national survey run annually by the Department of Statistics between 1950 and 1992. It gathered data on rent expenses and wages paid to domestic workers by white households. This wage data is used to construct real wages and compare how the economic living standards of domestic workers improved and declined during apartheid.
My research uses the frequently overlooked site of public toilets to explore the reciprocal relationship between social values and the built environment in Cape Town. Focusing on the period between 1880 and 1940, my paper explores how public toilets both reflected and operationalized shifting attitudes towards bodies and bodily waste, in ways that reinforced hierarchies of race, class and gender.
I was born in Moka, Mauritius. After completing my schooling in Mauritius I enrolled at the University of Cape Town where I graduated from the Humanities Faculty with Majors in History and Law. I recently completed my PhD in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Cape Town. My thesis analysed the various metropolitan representations of settler colonialism in the context of Tristan da Cunha. This work had a particular interest in the processes that led to the nativisation and racialisation of the island’s inhabitants. My previous work has looked at the elephant seal oil trade between Cape Town and the Crozet Islands, and the use of destitute children as a labour source in the Cape Colony during the nineteenth century. During his time at UCT I convened courses in environmental history, historical theory, genocide studies, and colonial histories of Africa.
Title: Towards a Sonology of Sensing
I'm writing paper that grapples with sound perspectives as a method for understanding African social formations, in the area now under the province of KwaZulu-Natal, from the 13thcentury and later, and how the turn to sound can offer crucial insights as we produce knowledge. The paper forms part of a larger creative project, that explores the sonic moments which characterized the fields of specialisation in skills such as metallurgy, stonemasonry and song composition. In these moments where sound was bound with power, a particular way of specialized listening emerged, which purported to a way of generating information through sensing, rather than through knowledge as a way of cognition.