Archive | Forthcoming events

Seminar led by Prof Gerry Maré

On Wednesday 25 April 2018, Prof Gerhard (Gerry) Maré will present a seminar at JIAS on ‘Versions of a shared identity: mobilising ethnicity’. This will be the seventh in the 2018 JIAS Writing Fellow Seminar Series.

DATE: Wednesday 25 April 2018.

TIME: 09h00-12h00.

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

INVITATION: For a downloadable invitation, click here.


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


Ethnic and cultural distinctiveness, and associated social identities, have been employed towards inclusion and exclusion in South Africa, especially since state formation in 1910. Race, ethnicity, and notions of nation, have all served to maintain or struggle towards political and economic power.

My writing follows the continuation of these elements into the inclusive democracy that was established in 1994. I do this through historically contextualising the politics of what is now the province of KwaZulu-Natal, where violent clashes of ‘ethnic group’ and ‘nation’ resulted in the death of more than 15,000 people in the 1980s and 1990s.

I argue the continuing relevance of ethnic politics through sketching the careers of three central figures: Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, and Zwelithini Goodwill kaBhekuzulu. Each of these characters are located in meaningfully different ways within Zuluness, potentially providing insight into ethnicity as lived culture and ethnicity as nationalism; and, thus, the awkward co-existence of monarchy and a republican constitution, subject and citizen.

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Book launch for two Writing Fellows

On Wednesday 25 April 2018, JIAS will host a joint book launch for two of its 2018 Writing Fellows, Zukiswa Wanner and Niq Mhlongo. Zukiswa will launch her book entitled Hardly Working: A Travel Memoir of Sorts, and Niq will launch his book Soweto under the Apricot Tree, a collection of short stories. By invitation only.


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UJ seminar led by Dr David Huang

On Wednesday 25 April 2018, Dr David Huang of NTU Singapore will present a seminar hosted by the UJ Faculty of Education entitled ‘Developing future-research learners’. Dr Huang is a 2018 JIAS Writing Fellow.

Date: 25 April 2018

Time: 16h00-18h00

Venue: Council Chambers, Madibeng Building, UJ Kingsway Campus, Auckland Park



This talk covers two sections. The first section paints a broad picture of education and education research in Singapore. From the perspectives of historical discourse and futuristic orientation, it helps the audience to appreciate the importance of developing future-ready learners in Singapore. Besides other multifaceted dimensions, future-ready learners possess both content knowledge mastery and 21st-century skills and dispositions.

The second section presents the results of a concrete study in maths education that seeks to develop students’ deep understanding of maths knowledge as well as generative ability, and the ability to transfer beyond what they are directly prepared for. The Productive Failure research originated in Singapore has shown the benefits of allowing students to generate first, at the onset of learning, and afterwards receive direct instruction (i.e., delayed instruction).

In this study, we explore whether degrees of freedom of generation (e.g., more or less freedom) and levels of complexity (e.g., more or less complex) of a preparatory task influence the effect of delayed instruction. The findings delineate the boundary conditions of delayed instruction, and reveal an expertise reversal effect. The study has pedagogical implications in preparing students for future transfer.

About Dr David Huang

Dr Huang is Assistant Dean: Research Strategy in the Office of Education Research of the National Institute of Education (NIE) at NTU Singapore. His research areas include learning transfer and higher education research management.

He is the recipient of the ARMS-NCURA Global Fellowship hosted by Harvard University in 2016, and the Australian Government’s Endeavour Fellowship hosted by the University of Melbourne in 2017. He is also a 2018 JIAS Writing Fellow.

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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.

The conference is jointly organised by the Institute of Advanced Studies at NTU and the Centre for Ultrafast Science and Technology at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and will be held at the Nanyang Executive Centre.

Prof Ahmed Hassan Zewail was an Egyptian-American scientist, known as the ‘father of femtochemistry’. He was awarded the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on femtochemistry, and became the first Egyptian to win a Nobel Prize in a scientific field. He was the Linus Pauling Chair Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Physics, and the director of the Physical Biology Center for Ultrafast Science and Technology at the California Institute of Technology. He died in Californa in 2016.

The organisers have commented further as follows:

‘Prof Zewail was one of the greatest scientists of our time, contributing not only to science, but also to society. He won the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his pioneering development of Femtochemistry, leading to revolutionary contributions in chemistry and adjacent sciences.

‘More recently, Prof Zewail made the groundbreaking invention of four-dimensional electron microscopy by integrating photons and electrons, thereby enabling the direct observation of fundamental changes in complex systems of materials and biology. These methods have opened up new frontiers and led to exciting new discoveries in physics, chemistry and biology, thus shaping our understanding of their complexity and dynamics.

‘At this conference, we will bring together world leaders from these fields to celebrate Prof Zewail’s contributions to science, discuss new cutting-edge research, and look into future challenges.’

For more information on the NTU website, click here.

To register, click here.

For further enquiries, contact the Conference secretariat at

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Seminar led by Martijn van den Heuvel

On Tuesday 24 April 2018, Prof Martijn van den Heuvel of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam will lead a seminar on ‘Principles of Wiring of the Human Connectome’ at the Adler Museum of Medicine, Wits Faculty of Health Sciences.

The seminar will be hosted by the Wits Cortex Club. Prof Van Den Heuvel took part in the Colloquium on the Brain, held by JIAS in 2017.

DATE: Tuesday 24 April 2018.

TIME: 13h00.

VENUE: Adler Museum of Medicine, Wit University Medical School, 7 York Road, Parktown, Johannesburg.

INVITATION: For a downloadable invitation, click here.



‘Using network science as a general framework to study the network architecture of nervous system connectivity, more and more studies have highlighted that human and animal brains display features of an efficient communication network. In my talk, I will discuss potential general principles of wiring of connectome organization. These principles are conserved across species and are argued to play a fundamental role in nervous system functioning. I will highlight findings which show that connectomes display an efficient communication structure with pronounced community organization for specialized processing, together with global short communication relays and a central “rich club core”. I will discuss the evolutionary importance of the connectome, how the macroscale connectome may be related to the microanatomy of the brain, and how general themes of wiring may play a role in the aetiology of a wide range of psychiatric disorders.’

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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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