About the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study

The Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study (JIAS) is a joint initiative of the University of Johannesburg (UJ), South Africa, and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. Its purpose is to promote advanced research in the humanities and natural sciences, beyond the regular teaching and research activities at institutions of higher learning. JIAS is the first fully fledged institute of advanced learning in Gauteng, South Africa’s political and economic heartland.



FROM 15 August to 12 September, JIAS will host four high-level panel discussions on the future of work. This series is aimed at providing South African role players with an opportunity to discuss the nature and implications of the far-reaching technological changes under way in the workplace in South Africa as well as globally. The panelists will include Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of UJ. The series is open to  all, but seating will be limited. If you wish to attend any or all of these discussions, please contact Emelia Kamena at emeliak@uj.ac.za. Attendance of the whole series is encouraged. Read more

JIAS Writing Fellowships 2019: Call for Applications

The Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study (JIAS) invites applications for its Fourth Writing Semester, which will run from 4 February to 31 May 2019. Fellowships are open to any field of expertise. Applications need to be received by 14 September 2018. Read more

JIAS Deputy Director wins Alan Paton Award

Dr Bongani Ngqulunga, newly appointed Deputy Director of JIAS, has won the Alan Paton Award for non-fiction for his book The Man Who Founded the ANC: A Biography of Pixley ka Isaka Seme. Read more

Dr Bongani Ngqulunga appointed as JIAS Deputy Director

Dr Bongani Ngqulunga, academic, public sector administrator and author, has been appointed as Deputy Director of JIAS, effective June 2018. Read more

Book edited by Melissa Tandiwe Myambo

Routledge has released a book entitled Reversing Urban Inequality in Johannesburg, edited by former JIAS Writing Fellow Melissa Tandiwe Myambo. Read more

Month-long residencies: Call for applications

JIAS is offering month-long residencies, effective November 2018, to academics, writers, journalists, playwrights and independent researchers. Applications need to be submitted by 31 August 2018. Read more

Leadership changes at UJ and NTU Singapore

CHANGES in leadership have taken place at the University of Johannesburg and NTU Singapore, which have jointly established JIAS. At NTU Singapore, Professor Subra Suresh has succeeded Professor Bertil Andersson as President, and at UJ, Professor Tshildzi Marwala has succeeded Professor Ihron Rensburg as Vice-Chancellor and Principal. These appointments hold important implications for these universities and for JIAS as well. Read more


Second panel discussion on work and the future

The second of four JIAS panel discussions on 'Work and the Future' will take place on Wednesday 22 August 2018. Entitled ‘Trade Union Perspectives', this panel will consider the views of workers on the implications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for the future of work, and what trade unions are doing to secure their members’ futures. Panelists will include representatives of COSATU, FEDUSA, NACTU and SAFTU. All welcome. Read more

Discussion of new book on Sol Plaatje

On Tuesday 21 August 2018, JIAS and Jacana Media, in partnership with the UJ Library, will host a discussion of Sol Plaatje: A Life of Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje, 1876–1932, by Brian Willan. All welcome. Read more

Seminar led by Prof Steven J Diner

On Thursday 23 August 2018, JIAS, the Ali Mazrui Centre for Higher Education Studies at UJ, and the Wits City Institute will host a seminar on ‘Cities and Contemporary Higher Education: A Historical Perspective’, led by Prof Steven J Diner of Rutgers University-Newark in the United States. All welcome. Read more

Launch of book by Prof Chris Brink

On Wednesday 19 September 2018, JIAS, the Ali Mazrui Centre for Higher Education at UJ, and the UJ Postgraduate School will host the Gauteng launch of a book by Prof Chris Brink entitled The Soul of a University: Why excellence is not enough. Chris Brink is Emeritus Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, and a former Rector and Vice-Chancellor of Stellenbosch University. Read more

Parking for all JIAS events

Please park at the UJ Astro Hockey Club in Radnor Street, Westdene. A shuttle will take you to JIAS, and return you to your vehicle. The shuttle run for half an hour before the event, and half an hour thereafter. The parking area at the Hockey Club is secure. For directions and a map, click here.


JIAS live stream video

Live video feeds

JIAS is providing live video feeds of its seminars and workshops. For our next live event, watch this space.


Interview with Craig Calhoun

Prof Peter Vale, Director of JIAS, interviews Prof Craig Calhoun, former Director and President of the London School of Economics (LSE), and current President of the Berggruen Institute in Los Angeles. Read more

Computational history and big data

On 14-16 November 2017, JIAS hosted a workshop on ‘Understanding the pre-colonial world through computational history’, aimed at assessing the scope for southern African input into the Interactive Global Histories (1205-1533) Project at the NTU. The project leader, Dr Andrea Nanetti, presented the workshop with two publications which cast light on this project as well as the growing field of computational social science. Read more

Interview with Gregory F Treverton

PROF Peter Vale, Director of JIAS, interviews Prof Gregory F Treverton, who directed the US National Intelligence Council in the Obama Administration, on the Trump presidency and its implications for Africa. Read more


Colloquium on multilingualism

On 28-30 June 2018, JIAS hosted a Colloquium on the Future of Multilingualism, organised in collaboration with the Department of Linguistics and Multilingual Studies in the School of Humanities of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. To download the Colloquium Report, click here.

Water in Southern Africa: Larry A Swatuk

The first volume in a series called Off-Centre: New Perspectives on Public Issues (UKZN Press), edited by John Higgins, Professor of English Literature at the University of Cape Town; Kole Omotoso, academic and writer; and Prof Peter Vale, JIAS Director. Read more

The politics of urban life: social activism in Johannesburg

Proceedings of a workshop held in April 2016 by JIAS and the Wits City Institute in partnership with the editors of the international journal Thesis Eleven: Critical Theory and Historical Sociology; the Thesis Eleven Centre for Cultural Sociology at La Trobe University in Melbourne; and the Chair of Culture and Society at Curtin University in Perth. Download

Science Diplomacy in Africa: Concepts, praxis, prospects

Proceedings of a workshop held in collaboration with the University of the Witwatersrand; the Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship at the University of Pretoria; and the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy at University College London (UCL STEaPP), April 2016. Download

Revisiting the history of capitalism

Proceedings of a workshop held by IAS and the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa (CISA) at the University of the Witwatersrand, June 2016. Download

Why The Brain Matters

A comprehensive report on the colloquium entitled ‘Why The Brain Matters’ hosted by JIAS in the latter half of 2016 has been completed and is available to the public. Download


Cartoon Room

The main seminar room at JIAS is called the ‘Cartoon Room’. As its name suggests, it is decorated with cartoons by South African cartoonists, in a dynamic display that will change several times a year. Read more

Invisible Borders

In June 2017, JIAS and the Wits City Institute sponsored an art and photo exhibition entitled 'Invisible Borders: Cultural Time Zones in Johannesburg and New Delhi' which hung at the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa (CISA) in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. Read more