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.


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

Visit to Cradle of Humankind

ON 18 May 2018, seven 2018 JIAS Writing Fellows visited the Cradle of Humankind, the World Heritage Site north west of Johannesburg in Gauteng province. This year, the excursion was led by Dr Ian McKay of the Evolutionary Studies Institute at Wits University. Read more

JIAS at Polokwane Literary Fair

On 17–20 April 2018, a JIAS team, including some of the 2018 Writing Fellows, took part in the Polokwane Literary Fair in Limpopo. The Fair is a flagship project of the Department of Cultural Services of the Polokwane Municipality, in the provincial capital of Limpopo. JIAS has participated in this event every year since 2016. Read more

JIAS at Science Forum South Africa 2017

JIAS staffed a booth at Science Forum South Africa 2017, held at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria on 7 – 8 December 2017. Read more

JIAS Annual Report 2016-2017

JIAS has released its annual report for 2016-2017. To download a desktop version, click here.


Minister to launch Swatuk book on water

On 26 July 2018, the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Gugile Nkwinti, will launch the book Water in Southern Africa by Prof Larry A Swatuk. All welcome, but seating will be limited. Read more

Launch of book by Vineet Thakur

On Friday 3 August 2018, the University of KwaZulu-Natal Press and JIAS will host the launch of a book entitled Jan Smuts and the Indian Question by Vineet Thakur. The launch will take the form of a lunchtime seminar, to be held at JIAS. All welcome, but seating will be limited. 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

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 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

Stbosch seeks to look the past in the eye

In 2018, South Africa’s Stellenbosch University will celebrate its centenary. In an article written for The Conversation, Prof Peter Vale reflects on a recent conference at which the humanities faculty explored ways of thinking and writing about its past. Read here

Interview with Charles van Onselen

Prof Peter Vale, director of JIAS, interviews the acclaimed South African historian Charles van Onselen about his recent book, Showdown at the Red Lion: The Life and Times of Jack McLoughlin, 1859-1910. Read here

Manganyi and the decolonial moment

Talk by Garth Stevens, professor of psychology at Wits University, entitled 'Mulling over Manganyi’s mind: brain, mind and subject in the decolonial moment’, based on Prof M Chabani Manganyi’s book Apartheid and the Making of a Black Psychologist (Wits University Press, 2016). Read 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

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