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.


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

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.


Reading of play by Hans Pienaar

On Tuesday 22 May 2018, the journalist and author Hans Pienaar will stage a reading at JIAS of his latest play, ‘My Brother My Hero’. Hans is a 2018 JIAS Writing Fellow. All welcome. Read more

Seminar led by Niq Mhlongo

On Wednesday 23 May 2018, the acclaimed South African author Niq Mhlongo will lead a seminar at JIAS entitled ‘Paradise in Gaza: Exploring the themes of African myth by using the elements of magical realism’. All welcome. Read more

NTU conference in memory of Prof Ahmed Zewail

On 21-23 May 2018, NTU Singapore will host a conference in memory of the Nobel Laureate Prof Ahmed Hassan Zewail. Those interested in attending are invited to register. 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

Seminar led by Niq Mhlongo

JIAS is providing live video feeds of its seminars and workshops. The next event will be the seminar led by Niq Mhlongo on Wednesday 23 May 2018. The feed will start at 09h00.


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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