Archive | Notable analyses

Colony, crime and chronicle: an interview with Charles van Onselen

By Peter Vale, Director, Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study
Thesis Eleven, 2016, Vol. 136(1) 35–48

In this interview, published in the academic journal Thesis Eleven, the renowned historian Charles van Onselen discusses his recent book, Showdown at the Red Lion: The Life and Times of Jack McLoughlin, 1959–1910 (Jonathan Ball, 2015) against the backdrop of his previous work. He explores social formation and the consolidation of state power in southern Africa through the empirical optic of social banditry and the role of individual outliers. The theoretical framing is drawn from historical sociology. The role of political authority across the Indian Ocean, particularly in Australia, is also considered, as is the rise of technology, the role of the Irish and the place of masculinity in the project of Empire building. The exchange also touches briefly on civil-military relations in contemporary Africa and on interdisciplinarity in graduate studies. Download the interview here.

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Garth Stevens: Manganyi and the decolonial moment

On 24 November 2016, Garth Stevens, professor of psychology at Wits University, delivered a talk entitled ‘Mulling over Manganyi’s mind: brain, mind and subject in the decolonial moment’ to the JIAS Colloquium on ‘Why the Brain Matters’. Based on Prof Manganyi’s book Apartheid and the Making of a Black Psychologist (Wits University Press, 2016), the talk developed into a significant exploration of the ‘decolonial moment’ in South African intellectual history.

Stevens concludes: ‘Manganyi’s intellectual autobiography amply illustrates that a decolonial praxis which involves a refiguring of subjectivity has to take into account that we cannot simply extricate ourselves from a history of knowledges, that knowledges are fluid across time and contexts, and that such a praxis must also involve the ongoing interrogation of the relationship between science and society as we generate new knowledges, uncover subordinated knowledges, and appropriate old knowledges.’

For a printable version of the presentation, click here.

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