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Research at HUMA

HUMA’s research is informed by one central theme On Being Human.

If modern histories of racism and colonialism exposed the contradictions at the core of Enlightenment affirmations of a shared human nature, late modern identity politics – associated with violent, sometimes genocidal, assertions of irreducible difference – have also blighted efforts to establish peaceful, dignified and mutually respectful modes of living.

We aim to contribute to resurgent scholarly interest in questions of what we humans share, even if in recognition of profound differences – as the basis for grappling with the contours of ‘a good and dignified life’. 

Research Clusters

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Research Projects

  • Artificial Intelligence and the Ethics of Being
  • Feminist Alternatives for COVID Engagements (FACE)
  • Future Hospital Project
  • Scholarly Publishing in Africa
  • Everyday Authoritarianisms
  • Corona Times 
  • Circuits of Consumption
  • Queer in Africa

Strategic Programmes

  • Knowledge Activism
  • Lusophone Programme
  • Research Development Programme
  • HUMA Next Generation

Academic and thematic seminars

  • Ataya: HUMA Interdisciplinary Seminar Series
  • HUMA Book Lunch Series
  • Advanced Seminar Series
  • Ideas to Concepts Series
  • Ethical quandaries in the field of social research
  • Science and Scandal
  • Calligraphic Africa
  • Philology in Question 
  • Continental Connections
  • PhotoConversations
  • Thinking Film in Africa

Public debates and lectures

  • Cape Town Commons
  • Know Your City Lecture Series
  • Queer Africa: Public Symposia
  • The Great African Art Debate
  • The Pan-African Debate
  • Restitutions and Restorations

Publications and Dissemination Programme

HUMA's Publications and Dissemination Programme supports its mission to centre Pan-African research and thinking on the question of Being Human. This is done through providing innovative platforms for publishing and dissemination, collaboration and networking, and the nurturing of a new generation of humanities scholars and knowledge activists.

The programme disseminates original work whose thematic focus clearly falls within HUMA’s intellectual agenda. All publications are subjected to a rigorous academic editorial and peer review process. The programme publishes monographs, edited collections and curates several interdisciplinary academic journals and periodicals.

  • Palava Sauce: The HUMA Bulletin
  • Pepper Soup: Interdisciplinary Journal of Humanities in Africa
  • The HUMA Review
  • HUMA Working Paper Series
  • HUMA Policy Review
  • Humanities in Africa Book Series
  • Corona Times Series