The humanities have long been vital to the creative and critical energies of societies in the throes of profound change. Launched in 2010, HUMA – the Institute for Humanities in Africa – intends to create a space of dynamic interdisciplinary community for scholars and students in the humanities at large. Fostering top-end academic research, HUMA draws on its work to nurture critical public debate, promoting UCT’s vision of itself as a civic and 'Afropolitan’ university contributing to the making of democratic citizenship.
Located in the Faculties of Humanities at the University of Cape Town (UCT), HUMA takes a broad view of the humanities, encompassing other scientific endeavours such as STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) that place the humanities at the core of their work.
HUMA is a hub of innovative research that opens up new areas of interdisciplinary inquiry and establishes strong connections between scholars in the institute, within UCT, nationally and with comparable institutes elsewhere.
HUMA's international connections
HUMA situates South Africa in Africa and looks to building intellectual and institutional links with researchers and knowledge communities on the continent and globally, in line with UCT’s ‘Afropolitan’ vision – that is, in the name of a cosmopolitan version of Africa’s worldliness, rather than an essentialised version of shared Africanness.
HUMA has an Afropolitan outlook with a Pan-African approach. This guides the Institute’s work on building Pan-African scholarship, research, collaborations and nurturing the next generation of African intellectuals. HUMA's work is informed by one central theme – On Being Human – organised around four research clusters: (1) Humanity and its limits, (2) Human/Non-human, (3) Humane/Inhumane, and (4) Humanist/Anti-humanist.
HUMA's activities include:
Research, research development, doctoral and post-doctoral training
Knowledge activism, publishing, science communication