Human solutions

In a final consultation before producing a landmark charter on the humanities in South Africa, University of Cape Town sociologist Ari Sitas’s ministerially appointed task team will convene an international workshop in Johannesburg next week.

The team is due to submit its charter to Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande by the end of June.

“The charter will attempt to re-address the importance of human and social forms of scholarship in South Africa — areas that have increasingly been downplayed as a result of the priority focus on hard and business sciences during the last 15 years,” Sitas said in his invitation to the Mail & Guardian to attend the workshop, which will be held at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) on June 2 and 3.

“It is widely recognised now that this has had a serious effect on the academic enterprise itself and has, more broadly, impacted on the quality of leadership in government and non-governmental institutions, in the university system and in many key social responsibility areas,” Sitas continued.

‘Humanities have taken a back seat’
Nzimande appointed Sitas’s team in October last year to consider how to “rejuvenate and strengthen the humanities and social sciences”, the M&G reported the minister saying at the time.

“In the past two decades the social sciences and humanities have taken a back seat,” Nzimande said then. “Now is the time for the teaching of and research in the social sciences and the humanities to take their place again at the leading edge of our struggle for transformation and development. They must play a leading role in helping our people understand and tackle the scourges of poverty, unemployment, racism, discrimination and HIV/Aids.”

Sitas’s invitation to next week’s workshop at UJ said the gathering would “discuss successes and failures of humanities and social sciences initiatives internationally”. This would give experts the opportunity “to refine the preamble, the principles and the recommendations for the charter for the humanities and social sciences in South Africa”.

Keep the powerful accountable

Subscribe for R30/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

David Macfarlane
Guest Author

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

New era of health science for Africa as NantSA launches...

The first locally manufactured Covid-19 vaccine from the new facility, which is based in Cape Town, is expected within the next year

SAA to revive Durban route

The beleaguered national carrier resumed flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town last September after exiting business rescue

‘Partygate’: A timeline of Boris Johnson’s latest scandal

The UK Prime Minister defended some of the events — quickly dubbed "partygate" since they were reported in newspapers from late last year —  as work gatherings.

Freedom of speech wins over right to privacy in court...

The supreme court of appeal says an animal rights activist had the right to ‘out’ a farmer on Facebook.
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×