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Research Fellowships

The Research Fellowships are open to scholars, creative writers and artists who are engaged on long-term research projects. Research Fellows either work on collaborative research projects or pursue their individual research projects. Participants in the Research Fellowship are resident at the JIAS campus at Westdene or pursue their research outside with occasional short-term visits to the campus.

Distinguished Visiting Professor

Professor Chris Brink

Chris Brink

Professor Chris Brink served as Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University in the UK from 2007 till 2016. He was a Board member of the Russell Group, as well as the N8, the partnership of eight research-intensive universities in the North of England, which he also chaired. Previously he had served as a Board member of Universities UK (where he chaired the Student Policy Network), the national Equality Challenge Unit (also as Co-Chair), the national Quality Assurance Agency, JISC (the national digital services provider), the Advisory Committee on Leadership, Governance and Management of HEFCE, the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, and various regional Boards. Currently he serves on the University Grants Committee in Hong Kong, where he chairs the implementation group for the 2020 Research Assessment Exercise. 

Senior Research Fellows

Victoria J. Collis-Buthelezi

Dr. Victoria J. Collis-Buthelezi is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Johannesburg. She is a research associate of the Institute of Research in African American Studies (IRAAS) at Columbia University (New York) and a senior research fellow at the Johannesburg Institute of Advanced Study (JIAS) at the University of Johannesburg where she leads the Research Initiative in Understanding Race in South Africa. Dr. Collis-Buthelezi has held posts in English at the University of Cape Town and as a Senior Researcher at the Wits Institute of Social and Economic Research (WiSER) at the University of the Witwatersrand. Her research interests include black intellectual history as well as Caribbean, African, and African American literatures. She has published in Small Axe, Callaloo, and The Black Scholar, in which she co-edited a special issue on “Black Studies in South Africa”.  Her current book project, Before Nation: Early 20th Century Black Globalism, excavates the print cultures of black migrants to Cape Town from the Caribbean, the US, West Africa and other parts of South Africa before the rise of anti-colonial nationalism


TV Maphai

Vincent Maphai is the chairman of Discovery Foundation and a non-executive Board member of the Discovery Holdings. Formerly he was Chairman of BHP Billiton, Southern Africa, and executive director of the South African Breweries. 

Dr. Maphai joined the private sector in 1998 after an academic career spanning more than two decades. He taught locally at the Universities of Transkei, Witwatersrand, Western Cape, Cape Town and Pretoria. He holds degrees from the Universities of Natal, UNISA and the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. He also participated in the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School. The University of Pretoria awarded him a degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Honoris Causa in 2007. He has held various teaching and research fellowships at institutions abroad, including Oxford, Harvard, Princeton and Stanford. Among various public policy roles, he chaired the Council of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, was appointed Chairman of the Presidential Review Commission by President Mandela, and served as Chairman of the South African Broadcasting Corporation by President Mbeki.

Mcebisi Ndletyana

Mcebisi Ndletyana holds a PhD in Political Studies from the University of the Witwatersrand. He’s Associate Professor of Politics at the Univ of Johannesburg. Before joining the Univ, Prof Ndletyana held research positions at several institutions, including the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA), Human Sciences Research Council and at the Centre for Policy Studies. Prof Ndletyana also taught at New York’s Marrymount Manhattan College and the City University of New York.   

Prof. Ndletyana has published three books, several book chapters and journal articles. His recent book is titled, “Institutionalising Democracy: The Story of the Electoral Commission of South Africa, 1993 – 2014” (HSRC Press, 2015). Prof. Ndletyana is a prominent political analyst and writes regularly for newspapers 


Research Fellows

Mxolisi Dlamuka pic

Mxolisi Dlamuka

Mxolisi Dlamuka is a trained historian with a MA in History from UKZN. He recently completed a PhD in History at the University of the Western Cape. His PhD dissertation, entitled ” Connectedness and Disconnectedness in Thembeyakhe Harry Gwala Biography, 1920- 1995: Rethinking Political Militancy, Mass Mobilisation and Grassroot Struggles in South Africa” reconstructed a life and politics of the “Lion of the Midlands”, Harry Gwala. Based on his PhD, he is in the process of writing a manuscript for a book to be published during the 2020/21 centenaries of Harry Gwala and the Communist Party of South Africa respectively. He is currently a Research Fellow at the Johannesburg Institute of Advanced Study, University of Johannesburg.

Mxolisi R. Mchunu

I have a Ph.D. in History completed in 2014 from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. My research interests lie on the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. I am the Deputy Chairperson of the Luthuli Museum Council, was a member of Natalia Journal Editorial Committee and a Research Associate by the University of Cape Town (Archives and Public Culture Research Initiative). I have worked for the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Voortrekker Museum and currently employed by the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature.

Buntu Siwisa Headshot

Buntu Siwisa

Dr Buntu Siwisa grew up in Port Elizabeth and Alice in the Eastern Cape. He obtained his D. Phil. in Politics from the University of Oxford, St. Peter’s College (2006), on a Rhodes Scholarship. His thesis examined the oeuvres of protests of anti-neoliberal social movements in the context of public-private partnerships of water delivery in Hammarsdale, Durban, 1998 – 2005. Prior that, he graduated for his M.A. (Economic History and Development Studies); B.A. (Hons), (Economic History) and B.A. (Economic History & Legal Studies) from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Durban.

He has a worked as a research fellow affiliated to the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), on the High-Level Panel on the Assessment of Key Legislation and the Acceleration of Fundamental Change. In the panel, chaired by former President Kgalema Motlanthe and reporting to parliament, he led on research and writing for the working group on Social Cohesion and Nation Building.

Previously, he has worked for government in international relations on Southern Africa and SADC; at ACCORD as Senior Researcher and Manager of the Knowledge Production Department. He also was Leader of the Masters Programme in South African Political Economy and Senior Lecturer in Politics at the Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth. He had also had a stint as a research associate with the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD-Ghana) in Accra, Ghana.

He is a member of the Peace and Security cluster of the BRICS Academic Forum since 2013, representing South Africa in the fora of 2013 (eThekwini, South Africa); 2015 (Moscow, Russia); 2016 (Goa, India), and 2018 (Johannesburg, South Africa).

His publications include:

  • BRICS: Funding the Nexus Between Peace, Security and Development, (book chapter to be published by HSRC in 2019).
  • Searching for Rural Women’s Development and Social Cohesion in South Africa’s Legislative Framework (1994 – 2017), (book chapter to be published by Springer Publishers in 2019).
  • New Security Threats, or Old Threats Gone New? (BRICS Journal, Issue 3, February / March 2017).
  • BRICS at Seven: Finding and Funding the Nexus between Peace, Security and Development in Africa, (published in 2015, as part of the BRICS VII Academic Forum proceedings, Moscow, Russia.)
  • Africa’s Peace and Security Challenges in the Context of BRICS (published in July 2014, as part of the BRICS VI South Africa Academic Forum during the Sixth BRICS Summit; Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO); Pretoria, South Africa).
  • Celebrating Nelson Mandela’s Legacy: A Colloquium on Diversity, Cohesion and Integration, in Conflict Trends, Issue 3, 2013, ACCORD, Durban.
  • Social Citizenship and the Emergence of the New Social Movements in Post-Apartheid South Africa, (2011), (Chapter 8) in, Development Dilemmas in Post-Apartheid South Africa, co-edited by Bill Freund and Harald Witt, (University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, Pietermaritzburg).
  • Crowd Renting or Struggling From Below?: The Concerned Citizens’ Forum in Mpumalanga Township, Durban, 1998 – 2005, Journal of Southern African Studies, December 2008, (34) 4.

Dr. Siwisa has also published some short stories. Who Shoved Humpty Dumpty? (1999), WriteAgain I ( The Big Bad Wolf was published in In the Rapids (2001) (Kwela Books, Cape Town), an anthology of South African short stories edited by Jakes Gerwel and Linda Rodes. Run, Afrika Run! was published in the magazine, Icarus, of Sommerville College, University of Oxford (2001). He is hoping to publish his novel, I Must Hide Him, whose manuscript he completed writing in November 2018

Bavusile Maaba

Dr Brown Bavusile Maaba was educated at the University of Fort Hare and the University of Cape Town. He was, until August 2016, a speech writer for the former Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, Cllr Parks Tau. Prior to that he was the speech writer for the Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande. Maaba has also worked as a Research Co-coordinator/Manager at the Govan Mbeki Research and Development Centre (University of Fort Hare), Freedom Park Trust and the Ifa Lethu Foundation (with blessings from the former Minister of Arts and Culture, Pallo Jordan). 

Maaba has written widely on liberation history, archives and education in South Africa. He is the co- author of the book, Education in Exile: SOMAFCO, the ANC School in Tanzania, 1978-1992. He is the author of another book, AISA: a Biography. He is presently working as a Heritage and Research Consultant.

Dr Brown Bavusile Maaba


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