JIAS is an ongoing conversation...
JIAS IS A JOINT INITIATIVE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF JOHANNESBURG (UJ) IN SOUTH AFRICA, AND NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY (NTU) IN SINGAPORE
and donate books. And they also visited a prison, where the Writing Fellows engaged with more than 100 inmates. JIAS gave readings and talked about how to produce written texts and poems. “It was incredible what came out”, says Prof Vale, “it was agreed that an anthology of poetry written by the inmates would be published.” JIAS and individual writers donated books to the Correctional Services Library. Apart from the Writing Fellowship, JIAS also hosts a series of workshops, conferences and colloquia throughout the year. “We host visiting lecturers and academics, we do book launches, we have conferences on everything from the decolonisation of thought to artificial intelligence”, says Prof Vale. “JIAS is an ongoing conversation”. The annual JIAS work program- me is divided into three terms of equal length, the summer term (mid-February to mid-May); winter term (from the start of June to end August); and spring term (from mid-September to mid-December). In the summer term, JIAS has its open session for students from any discipline, encouraging them to pursue intensive reading, research or writing. In the winter term, JIAS has university sessions, which are open to departments and faculties within UJ. These sessions aim to encourage UJ staff to broaden the scope of their research and to
connect with leading scholars in their fields. These sessions feature intense collaboration with scholars at the NTU, as well as with Nobel Laureates. In the spring term, JIAS has topic sessions, which include colloquia – the jewel in the crown of JIAS events – in which international experts in the public and professional sectors gather for intense debate about a specialist subject. In 2016, for example, JIAS hosted a hugely successful colloquium on Why the Brain Matters, which was attended by more than 50 participants from more than 27 countries. The colloquium led by Prof Willem Hendrik Gispen, Professor Emeritus of Neuroscience and former VC of Utrecht University in the Netherlands, and a range of global experts made presentations. On 22 October 2018, JIAS is hosting a colloquium on Digital Finance in Africa’s Future: Innovations and Implications. Trevor Manual will deliver the keynote address at the opening session. With some 50 experts participating in panels and workshops, the colloquium seeks to map out developments in the fields of digital finance and try to understand the social and political implications. For more information visit the JIAS website www.jias.joburg
Delhi and Johannesburg. In 2016, she did research in India while based at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi, enabled by Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Research Award. Pamela Maseko, an associate professor at Rhodes University in the Eastern Cape, was researching language policy and planning in education, language development, and the historiography of isiXhosa literature. The Writing Fellows host a series of weekly seminars during their stay at JIAS, and one gets a sense that there is real academic and critical thinking across an incredible range of subjects here. “As you can imagine”, says Prof Vale, “the lunch conversation at JIAS is totally dynamic and can include from poetry and dark matter to the nature of the universe. There is real multi- disciplinary thinking here. JIAS is a wonderful experiment”. JIAS also works in the field and within communities, says Prof Vale. In April this year, for example, a team of the new Writing Fellows went to the Polokwane Literary Fair in Limpopo. The Fair is held by the Polokwane Cultural Services Department and JIAS has attended for the last few years. This time the JIAS team went to three high schools in Mankweng township to engage with learners
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