Archive | Forthcoming events

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.

A panel comprising Prof Mcebisi Ndletyana, Associate Professor of Politics at UJ, and Prof Liz Gunner, a researcher at UJ, will discuss the book with Dr Willan, followed by an open discussion.

DATE: 21 August 2018.

TIME: 17h00 for 17h30.

VENUE: Chinua Achebe Auditorium, UJ Library, Auckland Park Kingsway (APK) Campus, UJ, Auckland Park.

INVITATION: for a printable invitation, click here.

RSVP by Monday 20 August 2018 to Theodorah Modise on licevents@uj.ac.za / 011 559 2264

Background

The book tells the story of Plaatje’s remarkable life, placing it in the context of the changes that overtook South Africa during his lifetime, and the huge obstacles he had to overcome. It draws upon extensive new research in archives in southern Africa, Europe and the United States, as well as an expanding scholarship on Plaatje and his writings.

Today, Sol Plaatje is celebrated as one of South Africa’s most accomplished political and literary figures. He was a pioneer in the history of the black press, the editor of several newspapers, and one of the founders, in 1912, of the African National Congress. He led the ANC’s campaign against the notorious Natives Land Act of 1913, and twice travelled overseas to represent the interests of his people.

Plaatje wrote several books, including – in English – Native Life in South Africa (1916), a powerful denunciation of the Land Act and the policies that led to it, and a pioneering novel, Mhudi (1930). Years after his death, his diary of the Siege of Mafeking was retrieved and published, providing a unique view of one of the best known episodes in the South African War of 1899–1902.

About the author

Brian Willan holds a doctorate from the School of Oriental and African Studies at London University, and is currently an Honorary Research Associate of the Institute for the Study of English in Africa at Rhodes University. He has written extensively on Sol Plaatje and other aspects of nineteenth and twentieth century South African history. Sol Plaatje’s Native Life in South Africa: Past and Present, a multi-author volume edited by Willan, Janet Remmington and Bheki Peterson, was published by Wits University Press in 2016.

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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.

After an introduction by the author, the book will be discussed by a panel comprising:

  • Prof Jonathan Jansen, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State;
  • Prof Tawane Kupe, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand; and
  • Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Johannesburg.

DATE: Wednesday 19 September 2018

TIME: 16h00–18h00

VENUE: JIAS, 1 Tolip Street, Westdene, Johannesburg

INVITATION: To download a printable invitation, click here.

RSVP: Reshmi Singh at reshmis@uj.ac.za

PARKING: Please park at the UJ AStro Hockey Club in nearby Radnor Street, Westdene. The parking is secure. A shuttle wil take you to JIAS, and return you to your vehicle.

Background

In this innovative book, Chris Brink offers the timely reminder that universities should have social purpose, as well as achieve academic excellence. They should focus not only on what they are good at, but also on what they are good for. He also argues that the current obsession with rankings and league tables has perpetuated inequality, and is preventing social mobility. This book shows how universities can – and should – respond to societal challenges, and promote positive social change. (Bristol University Press, 2018.)

More about Prof Brink

Chris Brink is a South African mathematician and academic, and a graduate of Rand Afrikaans University, forerunner to UJ. He served as Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University from 2007 until 2016. Previously, he was Rector and Vice-Chancellor of Stellenbosch University, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) of the University of Wollongong, and Head of Mathematics and Coordinator of Strategic Planning at the University of Cape Town. In the UK he served on the Boards of Universities UK, the Quality Assurance Agency, and the Equality Challenge Unit, and chaired the N8 Research Partnership, an association of eight major research-intensive universities in the North of England. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa.

‘Good books about universities are, alas, rare. This is a very good contribution, full of practical good sense and wisdom, all done with clarity and intellectual rigour.’ – Lord Patten of Barnes (Chris Patten), Chancellor of the University of Oxford, and the last Governor of Hong Kong

With deft clarity and deep humanity, Prof Brink casts a logician’s eye over the current state of higher education. He demonstrates how misguided attempts to improve accountability have led to the unmeasurable being measured and the valuable being devalued. This is a modern morality tale which deserves the widest readership.’ – Sir Howard Newby, former Vice-Chancellor of Liverpool University and former Chief Executive of HEFCE.

‘Chris Brink has a very special record of service to higher education and its social relevance. His scholarship and vision speak for themselves. His devastating demolition of the current preoccupation with league tables is brave and timely.’ — Lord Judd of Portsea (Frank Judd), former British Labour Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

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Panel discussions on the future of work

FROM 15 August to 12 September, JIAS will host four high-level panel discussions on the future of work. The 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.

Analysts and practitioners alike have increasingly come to realise that the technological changes driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution will profoundly affect the world of work, and therefore human societies in general. Societies which quickly grasp and come to terms with these changes will stand a better chance of adapting to them in the longer term.

In this series, representatives of government, business, organised labour and academia will share their views and experiences of the changing nature of work, and what the technological changes driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution hold for work and the future. Participants will include Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Johannesburg.

The panel discussions will be held at JIAS in Westdene, Johannesburg, on four Wednesdays from 15 August to 12 September 2018 at 16h30 in the afternoon. The discussions will last for 90 minutes, followed by informal discussions over refreshments. Details of each panel discussion appear below.

PANEL 1: WHAT’S FACT AND WHAT’S FANTASY ? (Wednesday 15 August 2018)

This opening panel will discuss the broad changes involved in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, their implications for the future of work, and whether South Africa is capable of addressing them. Panelists will include Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of UJ, and Enoch Godongwana, chairperson of the ANC NEC Economic Transformation Sub-committee.

PANEL 2: TRADE UNION PERSPECTIVES (Wednesday 22 August 2018)

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.

PANEL 3: BUSINESS PERSPECTIVES (Wednesday 5 September 2018)

Besides offering industry-specific views, business leaders on this panel will explore ways in which business and society can prepare for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Panelists will include Sipho Maseko, CEO of Telkom; M D Ramesh, President and Regional Head for Southern and Eastern Africa of Olam International; and Yolisa Kani, Head of Public Policy, Uber South Africa.

PANEL 4: PERSPECTIVES FROM HIGHER EDUCATION (Wednesday 12 September 2018)

This panel will consider the implications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for tertiary institutions. Panelists will discuss whether universites should only teach science and technology, whether the humanities have a future, and the extent to which universities should collaborate with industry. Panelists will include Prof Babu Paul of UJ, Prof Ruksana Osman of the University of the Witwatersrand, and Prof Robin Crewe of Pretoria University.

ATTENDANCE

The panel discussions are open to all, but seating will be limited. To secure your attendance at all or any of these discussions, please contact Emelia Kamena at emeliak@uj.ac.za. Attendance of the whole series is encouraged.

BACKGROUND DOCUMENT

To download a comprehensive background document with the full panel schedule, click here.

PARKING

Parking at JIAS is limited, and parking in Tolip Street is not secure. Therefore, please park at the UJ Astro Hockey Club in nearby Radnor Street, Westdene. This parking is secure. A shuttle will take you to JIAS, and return you to your vehicle. It will run for an hour before each panel discussion, and for three quarters of an hour thereafter. For directions and a map, click here.

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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.

DATE: Thursday 23 August 2018.

TIME: 13h00.

VENUE: JIAS, 1 Tolip Street, Westdene, Johannesburg.

INVITATION: For a downloadable invitation, click here.

RSVP: Reshmi Singh at reshmis@uj.ac.za by 14 August 2018.

PARKING: Please park at the UJ Astro Hockey Club in nearby Radnor Street, Westdene. A shuttle will take you to JIAS, and return you to your vehicle.

About Prof Diner

Steven J Diner is a Professor of History, former Chancellor, and former Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University-Newark.

About the seminar

Since the end of World War II, the vast majority of American college students have attended institutions located in cities and metropolitan areas. However, this represented a radical challenge to college leaders’ traditional negative view of cities in general, and their belief that cities were ill-suited locations in which to educate young men and women.

In this lecture, Prof Diner examines how the long history of collegiate anti-urbanism and the recent embrace of colleges in cities have shaped America’s extensive contemporary higher education system. He concludes that, despite higher education’s long ambivalence about cities, colleges in cities have profoundly shaped contemporary higher education.

While he will focus on higher education in the United States, this perspective contains clear parallels to higher education in South Africa, which will be explored in the course of the seminar.

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Conversation on gender and cartooning

On Thursday 19 October 2017, JIAS will host a conversation on ‘Gender and Cartooning in South Africa’.

The speakers will be Stacey Stent, South Africa’s only woman cartoonist, whose work is currently being exhibited at JIAS, and Brenda Schmahmann, NRF Research Professor in South African Art and Visual Culture at UJ.

The event will be chaired by Prof Sarah Gravett, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research at UJ. Drinks and snacks will be served.

DATE: Thursday 19 October 2017.
TIME: 17h00.
VENUE: The Cartoon Room, JIAS, 1 Tolip Street, Westdene.

This event is fully subscribed. If you are attending, 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 after the event. The shuttle will begin running  at 16h30, and return at 19h00. Parking at the Hockey Club is secure.

DIRECTIONS: For directions and a map, click here.

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Fourth Brain Matters Seminar

ON Thursday 26 October, JIAS will host a seminar by Dr Samantha Brooks, Senior lecturer in Psychiatry at the University of Cape Town, on ‘Working Memory for Cognitive Control in Anorexia vs Addiction: A Bayesian Brain Perspective’.

The seminar is the fourth in the Brain Matters Seminar Series, a joint initiative of JIAS and the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Human Development at the University of the Witwatersrand, with support from the Southern African Neuroscience Society and the Wits Cortex Club. Like the rest of the series, the seminar is open to members of the public.

DATE: Thursday 26 October 2017.

TIME: 13h00.

VENUE: JIAS, 1 Tolip Street, Westdene, Johannesburg.

INVITATION: For a printable invitation, click here.

RSVP to Sahba.Besharati@wits.ac.za or Tanya.Calvey@wits.ac.za by 15 October.

TRANSPORT FROM WITS: Transport will be available from the Wits School of Public Health at 12 noon on Thursday 26 October. Should you need transport, please contact Sahba.Besharati@wits.ac.za or Tanya.Calvey@wits.ac.za.

PARKING AT JIAS: Please park at the UJ Astro Hockey Club in Radnor Street, Westdene. A shuttle will take you to JIAS and back. The shuttle will run from 12h30 onwards. For directions and a map, click here.

Summary

We are living in a world that is extremely stimulating and impulse-driven.  It is perhaps no coincidence that we are experiencing huge crises in terms of social unrest in South Africa and across the globe, fueled by an abundance and instant availability of food, drugs, consumer goods, sex – all appetitive processes. This talk will highlight some of the neurobiological theory and evidence that explains how working memory enables cognitive control over appetitive processes such as eating and drug taking.

From the basis of the extremes of an impulse control spectrum model, Dr Brooks will describe brain imaging data from studies in anorexia nervosa versus substance use disorder to understand the neurocognitive basis of cognitive control.  Dr Brooks will touch on Bayesian Brain theory, particularly related to epistemic foraging versus jumping to conclusions, to help to explain a novel training adjunct to treatment for impulse control that Dr Brooks’s team has been developing. Working memory training may harness inherent neural plasticity in brain circuits underlying impulse control.

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Third Big Data Seminar

Due to unforeseen circumstances, this event has been cancelled.

On 5 October 2017, Prof Bhekisipho Twala, Director: Institute for Intelligent Systems, Faculty of Engineering and the Build Environment (FEBE) at UJ, will present a seminar at JIAS entitled ‘Smart African Cities: Does Data Quality Matter?’

This is the third in a four-part seminar series on ‘The Challenge of Big Data’, hosted by FEBE and JIAS. Attendance will be limited to 40 people.

DATE: Thursday 5 October 2017
TIME: 16h30–18h30
VENUE: JIAS, 1 Tolip Street, Westdene, Johannesburg
INVITATION: For a downloadable invitation, click here.
RSVP: jiasinfo@uj.ac.za

Parking

Please park at the UJ Astro Hockey Club in Radnor Street, Westdene (see map).
A shuttle will run to JIAS from 16h20 onwards, and back to the parking area from 19h00 onwards.
There is a permanent security guard at the parking site.

Directions

Enter Ayr Road from Main Road, Westdene (at the robot between the Melville Spar and Mays Chemist).
Turn second right into Radnor Street, and go down the road into the US Astro Hockey Grounds.
The GPS coordinates are: Latitude -26 10 25.09, Longitude -27 59 57.22

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Conference on ‘Prelude to Decolonisation: The Turning of the Tide’

On 28-30 August 2017, JIAS will host an interdisplinary conference entitled ‘The Prelude to Decolonisation: The Turning of the Tide’.

The conference will feature contributions by scholars from a range of South African and British universities.

JIAS is the main sponsor. Other participating institutions are the British Academy for the Humanities and Social Sciences, the University of the Witwatersrand, and the University of Cambridge.

The conference will run from 14h00 on Monday 28 August to 18h00 on Wednesday 30 August.

While seats are limited, members of the public are welcome.

For the final programme, click here.

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Workshop on Dark Matter at the NTU

On 13 to 15 November 2017, the Institute of Advanced Studies At Nanyang Technological University in Singapore will hold a Topical Workshop on Dark Matter. All those interested are invited to attend.

The organisers have provided the following background information:

‘One of the most intriguing problems in present-day physics, astrophysics and cosmology revolves around the nature of dark matter – the dominant form of matter in the universe. Discovered first by pioneers such as Lundmark and Zwicky in the early decades of the last century, the prominence of the dark matter problem has become more acute in recent years. Theoretical and observational evidence agree that dark matter outweighs visible matter by at least five to one, but the identity of dark matter remains a mystery even now.

‘This workshop will feature the most up-to-date research in this field and introduce various candidates for dark matter. The axion is one such candidate proposed by Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek, who will be at the workshop in person for discussion. The workshop will also cover the ongoing hunt for dark matter signatures at accelerators and in underground and space experiments, the verification of the existence of dark matter from studies of the cosmic microwave background, and new theoretical ideas about dark matter and dark energy paradigms.’

A registration website has been created. To access it, click here.

For enquiries, please email the conference secretariat at Darkmatter@ntu.edu.sg

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