Archive | Forthcoming events

Workshop on ‘Teaching IR globally’

On 22-25 January 2018, JIAS, in collaboration with the World International Studies Committee (WISC), will host a workshop on ‘Teaching IR Globally’. IR scholars from various countries will discuss how International Relations (IR) as an academic discipline is being taught and should be taught globally.

Is IR necessarily biased towards a ‘national’ perspective, or could and should it break free from the ‘methodological nationalism’ in which so many academics in the social sciences and humanities seem trapped? If a ‘view from nowhere’ is impossible, how should the discipline reflect on this (potentially) inevitable perspectivity?

WISC ( seeks to bring together academics from all over the world – but especially from the Global South — to explore different aspects of international studies from multple perspectives. To this end, WISC has already funded a variety of ‘Exploratory Workshops’ in the Global South.

It will co-sponsor two international workshops for Early Career Researchers on the theme ‘World Order and Peace:  International Politics in the 21st Century in a Global Perspective’ in December 2017 and later in 2018. Its collaboration with JIAS forms part of this endeavour of reaching out beyond the Northern hemisphere.

The participants are:

Alexander Astrov (Hungary)
Navnita Behera (India)
Pinar Bilgin (Turkey)
Siba N Grovogui (Guinea/USA)
Stefano Guzzini (Italy/Germany/Denmark)
Gunther Hellmann (Germany)
Benjamin Herborth (Germany/ Netherlands)
Amy Niang (South Africa)
Meera Sabaratnam (India/UK)
Karen Smith (South Africa/ Netherlands)
Vineet Thakur (India/Netherlands/South Africa)
Arlene B. Tickner (Colombia/USA)
Ole Weaver (Denmark)
Heloise Weber (India/Australia)
Martin Weber (Australia)
Peter Vale (South Africa)


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Lecture by Prof Morten Kringelbach

On 6 December 2017, the NRF Science for Society will host a lecture entitled ‘The Parental Brain: New Insights from Brain Imaging’, by Professor Morten Kringelbach. It will be held at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in Johannesburg.

The lecture is the last in the Brain Matters Seminar Series, funded by the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Human Development and the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study (JIAS), and supported by the Wits Cortex Club and the Southern African Neuroscience Society. The lecture will be presented in partnership with SAfm and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.

DATE: Wednesday 6 December 2017
TIME: 17h30 for refreshments, 18h30 for the lecture
VENUE: Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, 6 Jubilee Road, Parktown, Johannesburg
INVITATION: For a downloadable invitation, click here.
RSVP: by 30 November to


For many people, becoming a parent is one of life’s most rewarding and transformative experiences, yet until recently little was known about how this experience changes the brain.

In this lecture, Professor Kringelbach of Aarhus and Oxford Universities will share new insights into how fast brain signatures (the rapid spread of neural activity) are evoked by the sight and sounds of babies.

He will talk about how the cuteness of infants – as a protective survival mechanism – shapes human lives. Lastly, he will talk about cutting-edge research using new technologies in brain imaging that reveal specific areas in the brain that control the caregiving instinct.

Professor Kringelbach’s prize-winning research uses neuroimaging and whole-brain computational models of, for example, responses to infants, taste, sex, drugs and music to find ways to increase eudaimonia (well-being).

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Focus on financial services and entrepreneurship in Africa

On 27 and 28 November 2017, JIAS and the UJ College of Business and Economics will host two events focusing on financial services and entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa.

The first is the launch of a book entitled Developing Africa’s Financial Services: The Importance of High Impact Entrepreneurship, edited by Dr Dana T Redford, and published by Emerald Press.

The second event is an all-day workshop on the same subject. Both the launch and workshop will be addressed by Dr Redford, founder and president of the Policy Experimentation and Evaluation Platform (PEEP), and an international expert on entrepreneurship and public policy.

Details of both events are as follows:

Book launch

DATE: Monday 27 November 2017.
TIME: 17h00.
VENUE: Cartoon Room, JIAS, 1 Tolip Street, Westdene, Johannesburg.
INVITATION: For a printable invitation, click here.
RSVP: By 20 November 2017.


DATE: Tuesday 27 November 2017.
TIME: 09h00 to 16h00.
VENUE: Cartoon Room, JIAS, 1 Tolip Street, Westdene, Johannesburg.
INVITATION: For a printable invitation, click here.
RSVP: by 20 November 2017.


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 will begin to run half an hour before each event. The parking area is secure. For directions and a map, click here.

More about the book

The book contains a chapter by Grietjie Verhoef, Professor of Economic, Business and Accounting History at the UJ College of Business and Economics entitled ‘The rise of financial services in Africa – an historical perspective’.

The backtext reads as follows: ‘An in-depth portrait of the financial services sector and high-impact entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa, this book reveals a region that, despite many challenges, saw tremendous growth over the last decade and is rapidly becoming a global powerhouse.

‘It features a detailed economic history of the region, case studies focused on its entrepreneurial banks, and a closer look at development trrends, such as impact investing, which are redefining Africa’s financial services. Comprehensive and insightful, it is an invaluable reference for students, practitioners and policymakers with an interest in the future of Africa’s financial services.’

Dana T Redford is the founder and president of the Policy Experimentation and Evaluation Platform (PEEP) and has taught at UC-Berkeley and Universidade Catolica Portuguesa. He is an internationally recognised expert on entrepreneurship and public policy, and has worked with the US Department of Commerce, the European Commission, the  OECD, the UN, and various European and African governments.

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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 or 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 or

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.


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.


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.


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

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