Page 139 - UCT Research Report 2011

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Migration, Language, and
Social Change
Rajend Mesthrie is Professor
of Linguistics at UCT and
the holder of the DST/NRF
Research Chair on Migration,
Language, and Social Change.
His work focuses on language
contact and variation in South
Africa, showing how languages
of the country have influenced each other in overt and
sometimes subtle ways. He is a past President of the
Linguistics Society of Southern Africa (2001-2009).
Among his recent publications are The Handbook of
Sociolinguistics (ed, CUP, 2012) and A Dictionary of
South African Indian English (UCT Press, 2010). He is
co-editor of the CUP journal English Today.
Islam, African Publics and
Religious Values
Pro fessor
Abdu l kader
Tayob obtained his doctoral
degree in 1989 from Temple
University in the USA. He is
an internationally recognised
scholar in the study of modern
Islam in general, and Islam
in Africa in par ticular. His
recent books on Education
(2011), Modern Islam (2009) and a collaborative
translation of an early historical text (2011), add
to his earlier books on Islam in South Africa. In
addition, he has published numerous ar ticles and
book chapters on the study of religion, Islam in
Africa, and modern Islamic thought. He continues
to hold a number of editorial positions in local and
international journals, and has edited and co-edited
a number of volumes, the largest such project
being the Macmillan reference Encyclopedia of
Islam and the Muslim World (2003).
Archive and Public Culture
Professor Carolyn Hamilton
was recruited to this position
as a consequence of the
strategic significance of the
country’s archival estate and
its interpretation in open and
critical ways, for the national
priority of developing social
cohesion. The appointment
was made in the light of UCT’s already significant
investments and achievements across a number of
disciplines, in critical archival engagements, archive
curation projects, and collaborations with public culture
institutions, including collaborations in heritage training
carried out in partnership with the University of the
Western Cape. Professor Hamilton took up the position
at UCT in mid-2008.
Land Reform and Democracy
in South Africa
Professor Lungisile Ntsebeza is profiled on page 160.
Chairs associated with this theme
puts the case eloquently. “Humanities are indispensible,
producing an essential set of analytical skills, along with
bodies of knowledge, without which our society and the
wider world would be inscrutable. It is the humanities that
nurture the intellectual lifeblood of a democratic project
through powers of informed analysis, judgment, and
creative critique,” it states.
According to the report, humanities studies perform
several critical functions to maintain a balanced and
stable society. Firstly, they interrogate ideas of what it
is to be human and to work and live with other humans
in society and in communities. Secondly, they foster
communication – the imperative of understanding and
interpreting messages in all their forms, from teaching the
basics of speech to the deepest appreciation of creative
and performing arts. Thirdly, they teach problem solving
and have historically played a key role in resolving social
and other challenges including, as Minister Nzimande
highlighted in the Charter on Humanities, the end of
“A vibrant humanities is essential if we want to build a
world that is sustainable, that is just and that provides
adequately for all,” says Professor Ensor.
“We must continue to ensure that UCT’s research is
playing its part in this regard.”
humanities footprint