At the Cut­ting Edge of Crit­i­cal Thought

Premier Magazine (South AFrica) - - Contents - Text: Dr Stephanie Ca­wood Im­age © Kru­a­tive Me­dia

The burn­ing ques­tion ad­dressed in the study of the Hu­man­i­ties at the Univer­sity of the Free State is: What does it mean to be hu­man in our im­me­di­ate and broader con­texts at this mo­ment in hu­man his­tory?

We grap­ple with the post­colo­nial hu­man con­di­tion at a time when many of the ills of the colo­nial era linger on in our so­ci­ety, al­beit in dif­fer­ent guises. We tend to for­get that the “post” in post­colo­nial is a de­cep­tive marker of time that masks per­sis­tent forms of in­jus­tice. In the words of the fa­mous nov­el­ist and play­wright Wil­liam Faulkner: “The past is never dead. It is not even past”.

In light of this, the Fac­ulty of the Hu­man­i­ties of­fers a num­ber of in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary post­grad­u­ate pro­grammes that pri­ori­tise knowl­edge pro­duc­tion and aca­demic con­tes­ta­tion tran­scend­ing mul­ti­ple dis­ci­plines per­tain­ing to our shared hu­man con­di­tion in di­rect re­sponse to the ma­te­rial and so­cial re­al­i­ties of our im­me­di­ate en­vi­ron­ment and tem­po­ral con­text.

While all dis­ci­plines un­der the um­brella of the Hu­man­i­ties of­fer post­grad­u­ate qual­i­fi­ca­tions, the fol­low­ing in­no­va­tive post­grad­u­ate pro­grammes aim to foster crit­i­cal thought at the cut­ting edge of hu­man and so­cial sciences:

• The Cen­tre for Gen­der and Africa Stud­ies of­fers post­grad­u­ate pro­grammes in Africa and Gen­der Stud­ies to deepen the in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary and in­ter­sec­tional un­der­stand­ing of the burn­ing is­sues re­lated to Africa, its peo­ple, and their gen­der(ed) dy­nam­ics and iden­tity pol­i­tics. Con­tact Mrs Ankia Brad­field at +27 51 401 9609 or brad­

• The Pro­gramme in Gov­er­nance and Po­lit­i­cal Trans­for­ma­tion in the De­part­ment of Po­lit­i­cal Stud­ies and Gov­er­nance sat­is­fies the need for in­sti­tu­tional ca­pac­ity-build­ing, lead­er­ship de­vel­op­ment, and the pro­mo­tion of a value sys­tem which com­ple­ments good demo­cratic gov­er­nance. Con­tact Dr Ta­nia Coet­zee at +27 51 401 2628 or co­et­

• The Cen­tre for Health Sys­tems Re­search & De­vel­op­ment of­fers the Mas­ter of Health Sys­tems Stud­ies that in­te­grates the­ory with in-depth knowl­edge of health and health sys­tems. Pri­or­ity pro­grammes in­clude tu­ber­cu­lo­sis (TB), HIV/AIDS, the TB-HIV co-epi­demic, and sex­ual and re­pro­duc­tive health. Con­tact Ms Belinda Jacobs at +27 51 401 2181 or bja­ For more in­for­ma­tion, please visit, or con­tact Mrs Mar­ica Coet­see at +27 51 401 2369.

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