UCT Chancellor Graça Machel was named as an honorary fellow of the British Academy on 20 July 2017.
The academy is seen as a home for some of the world’s leading minds, and this year, sixty-six new intellectual luminaries were elected to the fold. The scholars represent some of the crème of the social sciences crop, and this year’s fellows hold expertise in everything from feminist theory, economic development in Africa and ancient Platonic philosophy.
Machel, in addition to being UCT’s Chancellor, is president of the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, and is founder and chair of the Graça Machel Trust.
Professor Mahmood Mamdani, former professor of African Studies at UCT, was also elected to the academy. Mamdani, who will deliver this year’s TB Davie Memorial Lecture at UCT, is Herbert Lehman Professor of Government and Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University, and professor and executive director of the Makerere Institute of Social Research at Makerere University, Uganda.
Lord Stern, outgoing president of the British Academy, said: “Now more than ever, we need research, scholarship and evidence from the humanities and social sciences to inform our understanding and decision-making on the most pressing challenges of our time, from identity and democracy, to sustainable development and overcoming poverty, and managing climate change.
“This year’s cohort of leading fellows is a strong illustration,” said Stern. “Our academy is doing increasingly well at bringing the humanities and social sciences where they should be, at the centre of public life and discussion.”
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