Dear colleagues and students
The 2018 TB Davie Memorial Lecture will be presented by Professor Pumla Dineo Gqola, the Dean of Research at the University of Fort Hare. Professor Gqola, with her extensive work on women’s rights, is the perfect candidate to speak during Women’s Month.
Now in its 52nd year of existence, the TB Davie Memorial Lecture was established by students at the University of Cape Town (UCT) to commemorate the work of Professor Thomas Benjamin Davie, Vice-Chancellor of the university from 1948 to 1955 and a defender of the principles of academic freedom. The lecture is organised by the Academic Freedom Committee (AFC), who invite distinguished speakers to address a theme related to academic and human freedom.
The annual lecture is a space that honours dissent and the intelligent expression of different points of view, and I commend the members of the AFC for opening up this UCT platform to different voices.
Academic freedom, and the freedom of expression that is enshrined in the constitution, are intended to help us as South Africans to rebuild our country. They are about how we respond to power, and how we exercise our own power as responsible citizens. It is not only about hearing a new idea but also about considering the possible consequences of that idea, and the consequences of how we put that idea into action.
The title of this year’s lecture is “Between Academic Inheritance and the Urgency of Definitions”. The presenter, Professor Gqola, is a UCT alumnus. She holds a Master of English Literary Studies from UCT, with her thesis focusing on masculinities and femininities in black consciousness literature. She later earned a Master of Colonial and Postcolonial Literatures, with a focus on Caribbean and black British literature, from the University of Warwick in Britain, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Postcolonial Studies from the University of Munich in Germany.
She has held many academic and research positions across South African universities and other institutions. Her body of scholarly work, which includes over 40 journal articles, conference proceedings and book chapters, has been recognised with awards, prizes and invitations to present keynote addresses.
She is an advocate for the rights of women and has written books on racism and feminist perspectives. While her work reflects intellectual rigour, it is combined with accessible and relatable reading.
Her books include What is Slavery to me? Postcolonial/Slave memory in post-apartheid South Africa (Wits Press), A Renegade Called Simphiwe (MF Books / Jacana), Reflecting Rogue: Inside the mind of a feminist (MF Books / Jacana) and the 2016 Alan Paton award-winning Rape: A South African nightmare.
Professor Gqola is not only concerned with her own success but promotes education as a tool of excellence. She supervises master’s and PhD candidates and guides them as they examine the discourses around her topics of expertise.
Please join the AFC for the 52nd TB Davie Memorial Lecture with Professor Gqola.
When: Wednesday, 15 August 2018
Where: New Lecture Theatre, Upper Campus, UCT
Please RSVP by 14 August 2018.
For enquiries, please email or phone 021 650 4847 or 021 650 3730.
Please note: Due to limited space, seats will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng
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