The National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) have kicked off with its first Virtual Annual Doctoral Conference running from the 3rd to the 5th of November. The opening address and keynote speech was done by Dr Rene Smith and Professor Pamela Maseko respectively.
The flagship programme under the auspices of the CEO’s office sustains the annual primary theme the Annual National Doctoral Conference ‘Building and dynamising the Humanities and Social Sciences’ complemented by the hash tag- Advancing Digital HSS/Human centred Digital HSS/Human-centred Digital HSS.
The ANDC provides a platform for second and third year NIHSS PhD scholarship recipients to present their doctoral work, as well as constructively engage with their peers, while exploring emerging critical discourses within HSS scholarship.
Dr Rene Smith, the President of the South African Humanities Deas Association (SAHUDA), acknowledged the extraordinary conditions under which the ANDC conference is happening. She endorsed that SAHUDA proud to be partnered with NIHSS. Dr Smith furthermore eludes to the fact that we are living in extraordinary times and even more so now than ever, we need more research, an example of this is, “what is it to be human in this century”.
Over 200 doctoral scholars have graduated, since the inception of the NIHSS scholarship programme, with 500 scholars still in the system. Keynote address was done by the Executive Dean for the Faculty of Humanities at North West University, Professor Pamela Maseko, who did a presentation on Education, Learning and Schooling. In the presentation she highlights the challenges for the revitalisation of the Humanities and Social Sciences where she states that: “There is need for Africa to assert its existence in the knowledge colony.”
The ANDC creates a unique space for students, mentors and researchers who collectively explore pertinent questions around the status and possible futures of HSS scholarship nationally, continentally and globally. Day one focused on the encounter session which is on Asymmetries exhibition with the HSS Award 2020, Best Visual Art Winner, Dr Nduka Mntambo.
“In its endeavour to promote HSS research while opening up new vistas in knowledge production and scholarship, the ANDC draws on the NIHSS network of mentors and researchers to create a space for critical engagement as well-structured intellectual support”, says Professor Sarah Mosoetsa, NIHSS CEO.