Call for applications

Masters, Doctoral and Post-Doctoral fellowships 2016

Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape,, Bellville, South Africa
Deadline: 30 October 2015

Masters, Doctoral and Post-Doctoral fellowships 2016

Under the auspices of the DST-NRF Flagship on Critical Thought in African Humanities and the SARChI Chair in Visual History and Theory, the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape announces the 2016 Fellowship competition for Masters, Doctoral, and Post-doctoral awards.

Invited are emerging scholars in the humanities and interpretive social sciences eager to pursue academic or research careers to join a team of twenty-three scholars and artists who continue to contribute significantly to redefining the study of the humanities and social sciences locally and internationally. For 2016, prospective candidates will be selected in accordance with the research priorities of the National Flagship Project in the Humanities funded through the National Research Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. These include interests in the broad themes of citizenship, migration and political violence, the human and technology, aesthetic education and museum and heritage studies.

In addition to the awards made through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the DST-NRF Flagship, the CHR is also home to the National Research Foundation SARChI Chair in Visual History and Theory. The Chair is offering a number of Doctoral, Masters and Honours scholarships to be taken up in 2016 for full-time postgraduate study, as well as one Post-Doctoral Fellowship. The categories in which awards will be made are:

 Migrating Violence
The popular nature of xenophobia, the violence involved in labour disputes on the mines, and the violence of citizenship regarding who belongs, are vivid reminders of how migrancy continues to pose a challenge for critical thought, and provides insights into the nature of political practice and democratic promise in Africa. Through the figure of the “migrant” we wish to understand how instances of violence in South Africa remain embedded in the legacies of colonial citizenship. We invite applications that address themselves centrally to more general dilemmas of citizenship in postcolonial Africa, from a Southern African vantage point.

 Aesthetic Education and the Becoming Technical of the Human
What are the outlines of an aesthetic education that constitutes an “aesthetic field” which may open onto other understandings of the concept of the postapartheid and the postcolonial both in and beyond South Africa? What are the shifting dynamics of the relationship between the human and technology in contemporary times that impinge on the debate on aesthetic education? Research projects that explore these questions in relation to arts practice and humanities scholarship and to performance, film, music and puppetry are particularly encouraged.

One masters and one doctoral fellowship in this research area are allocated to candidates working on puppetry, performance and theatre studies specifically. Candidates applying for one of these fellowships should be a practitioner available to mentor emerging artists in these disciplines associated with the Factory of the Arts initiative of the flagship whilst pursuing their research/studies.

 NRF SARChI Chair in Visual History and Theory
The Chair in Visual History and Theory promotes innovative research that brings images into larger questions of history and the humanities, and supports new critical directions that engage with visual archives and contemporary theory in the arts and media. A range of fellowships are available that are intended to promote research and build a postgraduate community in this field. These include one post-doctoral fellowship, three doctoral fellowships, two masters, and a number of honours fellowships.

 Museum and Heritage Studies
The African Programme in Museum and Heritage Studies (APMHS), which has been offered since 1988, is the leading training and education programme in the field for professionals and scholars in Africa. It is offered at the level of Postgraduate Diploma and as a MA (History) with a specialisation in museum and heritage studies. What makes the APMHS unique is that it emphasises a conceptual understanding of the terrain of public culture, of the challenges of transformation and of the work of representation. The study of museums and the worlds of heritage is approached and conceptualised in a manner that consistently, critically and practically engages with and challenges the dominant ways in which heritage is presented. This enables possibilities of developing an independent and critical public scholarship, and of fostering the emergence of a significant layer of public intellectuals. For further information on requirements for Museum and Heritage Studies Fellowship please contact Vanessa Mitchell via her email address:

All those selected to these prestigious fellowship research groups will be required to participate in reading programmes with other recipients of the grant and faculty members. Successful candidates will be required to be present on campus during the relevant academic semesters unless granted leave by the fellowship board. All Postdoctoral fellows will be required to produce at least one peer- reviewed journal article, which when published should contain appropriate acknowledgement of the University of the Western Cape. Postdoctoral Fellows are also required to show substantial progress towards publication of a monograph. The CHR together with the History Department hosts a weekly seminar series where prospective candidates can present their research and solicit valuable feedback from an interdisciplinary forum of academic staff and graduate students. The CHR also convenes regular reading groups, an annual Winter School and colloquia. Fellows are required to actively participate in the seminar series, reading groups, winter school and colloquia. The centre provides office accommodation and access to the UWC – Robben Island Museum Mayibuye Archive collection.


In 2016, fellowships will be offered at masters, doctoral and postdoctoral level in disciplines associated with the humanities. The fellowships are valued at R90 000, R120 000 and R180 000 respectively. The awards cover a monthly stipend, travel costs, accommodation and basic research expenses.

The SARChI Chair in Visual History and Theory offers one postdoctoral fellowship, three doctoral fellowships, two masters fellowships, and a number of honours bursaries. The value of the fellowships will be determined by guidelines set by the NRF and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


Candidates must identify the research thematic best suited to their respective research interests. They should provide a brief two-page statement on how the research and study to be undertaken will contribute to the larger national and international debates on the humanities, especially, albeit not exclusively, as these relate to advancing its study in Africa.

All applications should include a CV, a letter of motivation on why the Flagship is the best fit for the study, name the academic department beyond the CHR through which the degree will be pursued, provide an academic writing sample or published journal article, an academic transcript and three independent academic references. Referees’ reports need to be sent directly to the CHR.

Doctoral and postdoctoral applicants are also required to submit a three page description of their research project and a plan of work on the project.

Candidates applying for the master’s fellowship are also required to supply a three page proposal on planned research and a chapter from an honours long paper.

Prospective candidates are invited to browse the flagship’s website for clarification on the CHR’s programmes, offerings, research focus and requirements of the award:

The fellowship cannot be held concurrently with other fellowships without permission of the Director of the CHR and all recipients of grants will be required to fulfill the obligations of the programme.

The selection process will prioritize the applications of South Africans of historically disadvantaged groups.

All masters and doctoral fellows (including applicants for Museum and Heritage Studies) must make independent application to the relevant academic departments in which the degree will be conferred. The application process is available:

Selections are made by a selection committee comprising affiliated faculty with the CHR. The final decision rests with the Advisory Board of the CHR which is chaired by the Dean of the Faculty of ARTS.

Closing date: Applications and referees’ letters must reach the Selection Panel on or before 30 October 2015. The Selection Committee may interview applicants. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Applications must be posted to Ms. Lameez Lalkhen, Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape, Private Bag X17, Bellville, 7535. No electronic applications will be accepted. However enquiries and referees letters may be electronically sent to

Telephonic enquiries may be directed to (+27) (0)21-959-3162.

Professor Premesh Lalu
Centre for Humanities Research
University of the Western Cape, Private Bag X17, Bellville, 7535, South Africa Phone: 021-9593162
(from outside SA: 27+21+9592225)
Fax: 021-9591282 (from outside SA: 27+21+9593598)


All content © 2024 Contemporary And. All Rights Reserved. Website by SHIFT