The National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences hosted another exciting and energised Annual National Doctoral Conference (ANDC) on 01-02 November 2017. Held at the Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng, the conference got off to an exciting start with Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), Executive Secretary - Dr Godwin Murunga's thought provoking keynote address - calling upon African academics to break boundaries and calling for greater collaboration.
At least 200 NIHSS PhD-supported fellows were on site sharing knowledge and networking, with at least 60 facilitated parallel sessions. The two-day conference saw a red carpet rolled out during a gala dinner on 01 November evening where a first cohort of NIHSS-supported graduates were honoured and celebrated. The event marked a significant milestone of a vision to build and dynamise the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS), with the establishment of the NIHSS to drive its cause. “We are extremely proud and humbled with the first PhD graduates of NIHSS. We will continue to deliver on our visionary mandate! NIHSS aims to build a great legacy of excellence, as well as produce excellent PhDs,” said NIHSS CEO Prof Sarah Mosoetsa.
Thanks to SAHUDA for being part of the NIHSS memorable journey. SAHUDA together with CODESRIA have been in collaboration with the Institute to build African HSS scholarships that will shift knowledge paradigms. Speaking at a gala dinner, SAHUDA founding member and mentor Prof Nhlanhla Mkhize, in his keynote address, reflected on the great progress achieved by the Institute and SAHUDA in advancing the HSS scholarship programme.
The last day of the ANDC 2017 started on a high note with a Writers Workshop, a surprise visit by award-winning novelist, poet and playwright Prof Zakes Mda who signed free copies handed to some of the PhD student candidates. Thanks to the exhibiting publishers namely: UKZN Press, HSRC Press, Unisa Press, Taylor and Francis for giving away free books and academic journals to our PhD fellows. Congratulations were also in order to the two ANDC 2017 Best Paper prize winners Tara Leverton and Nokubonga Mazibuko!