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Archive for the ‘Non-fiction’ Category

Mandisi Majavu Highlights the Importance of Acknowledging White Privilege

Visual Century“Instead of doing away with affirmative action, white South Africans ought to acknowledge the fact that one of the legacies of apartheid that hinders the economic progress of many black people in this country is the history of unearned advantage that whites have over everybody else,” Mandisi Majavu writes on The South African Civil Society Information Service.

Majavu, co-editor of Visual Century, discusses some of the reasons that people feel affirmative action should be phased out and highlights the importance of acknowledging the impact that white priviledge has in South Africa.

Instead of doing away with affirmative action, white South Africans ought to acknowledge the fact that one of the legacies of apartheid that hinders the economic progress of many black people in this country is the history of unearned advantage that whites have over everybody else.

Academics who research white privilege point out that the advantage that whites enjoy might take the form of having access to community resources, whites receiving the benefit of the doubt in many areas of their lives, whites receiving strong recommendation for jobs, and being part of the socio-economic network that provide one with valuable “inside” information on how to take tests and present oneself for the job.

Book details

  • Visual Century: South African Art in Context 1907-2007 edited by Gavin Jantjes, Jillian Carman, Lize van Robbroeck, Mandisi Majavu, Mario Pissarra, Thembinkosi Goniwe
    Book homepage
    EAN: 9781868145478
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Adekeye Adebajo Suggests Reforms for the ACP-EU Trade Relationships

The EU and Africa“The Lomé Convention of 1975, which established the ACP-EU relationship, was about Europe’s quest for a secure source of energy and minerals,” Adekeye Adebajo, editor of The EU and Africa: From Eurafrique to Afro-Europa explains in a column for Business Day.

Adebajo discusses the nature of the agreement between the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group and the European Union (EU), writing that “If reforms are not urgently undertaken, the ACP could become extinct.”

Read the column for his suggestions on what measures should be taken to reform the relationships:

The 79-member African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group — to which South Africa belongs — recently celebrated its founding in Brussels. The group was established in 1975 with nonreciprocal access to the market of the then European Economic Community — now the 28-member European Union (EU). The Lomé Convention of 1975, which established the ACP-EU relationship, was about Europe’s quest for a secure source of energy and minerals, following the “oil crisis” of two years earlier.

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New: An Updated Edition of Percival Kirby’s Musical Instruments of the Native People of South Africa

Musical Instruments of the Native People of South AfricaNew from Wits Press, the third edition of Percival Kirby’s definitive work, Musical Instruments of the Native People of South Africa, with an introduction by Mike Nixon:

Kirby was one of the greatest South African musicologists and ethnomusicologists. Born in Scotland in 1887, after completing his studies at the Royal College of Music in London he came out to South Africa as the Music Organiser to the Natal Education Department. In 1920 he moved to Johannesburg as acting Professor of Music at the then University College. He was soon appointed Professor of Music and stayed at the University of the Witwatersrand for 30 years. Kirby was a conductor, timpanist, flautist, composer, teacher, musicologist, scientist and artist. As well as researching and writing on African music, he wrote the definitive book on the wreck of the Grosvenor.

Kirby was concerned about the demise of traditional cultural practices of African people. While at Wits, he was encouraged by his colleagues, people like Raymond Dart and Louis Maingard, to make a comprehensive study of the musical practices of the indigenous peoples of southern Africa. Between 1923 and 1933, supported by several study grants, he travelled thousands of miles, undertook more than nine special expeditions as well as many shorter excursions in his ancient Model T Ford to places like Pietersburg and Potgietersrus, to the area then known as Sekhukhuneland, Transvaal, and to Swaziland and Botswana. He was hosted by local chiefs and taught to play the instruments he encountered. He managed to purchase many of them, and this collection is now known as the Kirby Collection and is housed at the South African College of Music, University of Cape Town.

The book Musical Instruments of the Native Races of South Africa, first published in 1934, was the culmination of these research trips. It has become the standard reference on indigenous South African musical instruments, but has been out of print for many years. This third edition, with a revised title, contains an introduction by Mike Nixon, Head of the Ethnomusicology and African Music programme at the South African College of Music, and new reproductions of the valuable historic photographs by Paff and others, but leaves Kirby’s original text unchanged.

Contents

Chapter 1. Rattles and Clappers

Chapter 2. Drums

Chapter 3. Xylophones and ‘Sansas’

Chapter 4. Bull-roarers and Spinning-disks

Chapter 5. Horns and Trumpets

Chapter 6. Whistles, Flutes, and Vibrating Reeds

Chapter 7. Reed-flute Ensembles

Chapter 8. The ‘Gora’, a Stringed-wind Instrument

Chapter 9. Stringed Instruments

Chapter 10. Bushman and Hottentot Violins and the ‘Ramkie’

Chapter 11. Some European Instruments Played by ‘Raw’ Natives

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Video: Adam Habib Explains Why He Believes Afrikaans Universities are a Bad Idea

An interview and follow-up article (featured in the Afrikaans newspaper Beeld) by Adam Habib, rector and vice-chancellor of University of the Witwatersrand, proposed a new angle to the transformation and language debates currently surrounding South African universities.

Rewolusie op ysSouth Africa's Suspended RevolutionInguqukombuso YeNingizimu Afrika Eyabondwa YashiywaNtwa ya Boitseko e Fanyehuweng ya Afrika Borwa

 
In the article Habib explained that he believes that Afrikaans institutions, like Stellenbosch University and the Potchefstroom campus of North-West University, are unconstitutional. KykNet’s breakfast show Dagbreek TV invited Habib to expand on this idea.

Habib starts the interview by saying that the current discourse around the transformation of South African universities is not at all productive, “but it should be,” and notes that emotions should be removed from this debate in order to see that nobody is “attacking Afrikaans”, but that they are simply trying to answer the question: How are we approaching education in a democratic, 21st century South Africa.

“We have to, all of us, myself included, understand that the 21st century, whether we like it or not, is a period and a context of integration. The question is how are you Afrikaner, how are you South African, how are you African and how are you human, simultaneously? That’s what Braam Fischer was. That’s what Beyers Naudé was. That’s what Nelson Mandela was.”

Habib notes that readers of his article misunderstood what he is trying to say, forcing their own agenda on the discourse: “What I am saying is don’t use language as a code for race, or a code for ethnicity.”

Watch the video for his interview with Rozanne McKenzie. There is a short introduction in Afrikaans before the English interview:

YouTube Preview Image

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Join Mandla Langa and David Goldblatt for the Launch of A Long Way Home at Wits Art Museum

A Long Way Home: Migrant Worker Worlds 1800 – 2014Wits Art Museum and Wits University Press would like to invite you to the launch of A Long Way Home: Migrant Worker Worlds 1800 – 2014 edited by Peter Delius, Fiona Rankin-Smith and Laura Phillips.

The event takes place on Thursday, 17 July, at 6 for 6:30 PM. There will be a panel discussion at the launch with David Goldblatt and Mandla Langa. Furthermore, there will be a special musical performance featuring Mandonsini on the traditional bow and Bham Ntabeni playing traditional maskandi music.

Parking will be available for the book launch. Entrance left off Jorissen Street just after Station Street intersection

See you there!

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 17 July 2014
  • Time: 6:00 PM for 6:30 PM
  • Venue: Wits Art Museum
    Corner of Bertha (extension of Jan Smuts Avenue), and Jorissen Streets
    Braamfontein,
    Johannesburg | Map
  • Guest Speakers: David Goldblatt and Mandla Langa
  • RSVP: corina.vanderspoel@wits.ac.za

Book Details

  • A Long Way Home: Migrant Worker Worlds 1800 – 2014 edited by Peter Delius, Fiona Rankin-Smith, Laura Phillips
    EAN: 9871868147670
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Essays and Visual Materials Collected in A Long Way Home: Migrant Worker Worlds 1800 – 2014

A Long Way HomeIn no other society in the world have urbanisation and industrialisation been as comprehensively based on migrant labour as in South Africa. Rather than focusing on the well-documented narrative of displacement and oppression, A Long Way Home captures the humanity, agency and creative modes of self-expression of the millions of workers who helped to build and shape modern South Africa. The book spans a three-hundred-year history beginning with the exportation of slave labour from Mozambique in the eighteenth century and ending with the strikes and tensions on the platinum belt in recent years. It shows not only the age-old mobility of African migrants across the continent but also, with the growing demand for labour in the mining industry, the importation of Chinese indentured migrant workers. The essays and visual materials traverse homesteads, chiefdoms and mining hostels in their portrayal of migrant workers’ and their families’ attempts to maintain contact across large distances and uphold their rural customs, traditions and rituals in new spaces and locations. Together, they provide multiple perspectives on the lived experience of migrant labourers and celebrate their extraordinary journeys.

A Long Way Home was conceived during the planning of an art exhibition entitled “Ngezinyawo: Migrant Journeys” at Wits Art Museum. The interdisciplinary nature of the contributions and the extraordinary collection of images selected to complement and expand on the text make this a unique collection.

“The build-up to the Marikana massacre (together with the dismaying incidents of xenophobia) has brought the perils of migrancy squarely into contemporary post-apartheid South Africa. This book displays a thoughtful and knowledgeable understanding of the roots of the migrant labour system; it is sorely needed.” — Luli Callinicos, author of A People’s History of South Africa: Gold and Workers and Who Built Jozi?

About the editors

Peter Delius is professor of History at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He has published a number of books, including A Lion Amongst the Cattle and Mpumalanga: An Illustrated History.

Fiona Rankin-Smith is special projects curator at the Wits Art Museum, Johannesburg. She is the editor of Figuring Faith: Images of Belief in Africa and Halakasha!

Laura Phillips is a researcher at the Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI) based at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Book details

  • A Long Way Home: Migrant Worker Worlds 1800 – 2014 edited by Peter Delius, Fiona Rankin-Smith and Laura Phillips
    EAN: 9871868147670
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Adam Habib: Afrikaanse universiteite druis in teen die beginsels van ons Grondwet

Rewolusie op ysSouth Africa's Suspended RevolutionAdam Habib, outeur van Rewolusie op ys: Suid-Afrika se vooruitsigte en rektor en visekanselier van die Universiteit van die Witwatersrand, het onlangs die volgende kwellende vraag prontuit beantwoord: “Is dit nog gepas dat ons vandag, 20 jaar ná demokrasiewording, universiteite het wat grotendeels wit, Afrikaanssprekende studente verteenwoordig?”

“Afrikaanse universiteite is ’n slegte idee,” sê Habib en verduidelik waarom hy so voel. Hy noem ook dat hy ook ‘n probleem het met historiese swart universiteite en sê dat homogene gemeenskappe wat op hierdie kampusse verteenwoordig en bevorder word teen die beginsels van ons Grondwet druis.

“Jy kry Afrikaanse universiteite waarvan 70% van die studente wit is 20 jaar ná demokrasie … hoe gepas is dit? Dit druis nie net teen die beginsels van ons Grondwet in nie, maar ook teen die beginsel om ’n diverse, kosmopolitiese omgewing te skep.”

Is dit nog gepas dat ons vandag, 20 jaar ná demokrasiewording, universiteite het wat grotendeels wit, Afrikaanssprekende studente verteenwoordig?

Prof. Adam Habib, rektor en visekanselier van die Universiteit van die Witwatersrand, het gister in ’n onderhoud oor uitdagings in die hoër onderwys nie doekies omgedraai nie oor hoe hy voel oor “Afrikaanse universiteite”.

“Ons moet onsself vra: Hoe deelnemend is ons as ’n nasie?” het hy gesê.

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Susan Booysen: State of the Nation Address Does Not Generate Excitement

The African National Congress and the Regeneration of Political PowerSusan Booysen, author of The African National Congress and the Regeneration of Political Power, says President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation speeches all sound the same.

In an interview with The Times, Booysen says Zuma is under pressure to show more convincing leadership abilities as he goes into his second term as president.

Political analyst and professor Susan Booysen said time was running out for Zuma, in his second term as president, and he now needed to show leadership.

All of the State of the Nation speeches delivered by Zuma had sounded the same, she said.

“There is very little excitement that we have come to associate with the State of the Nation statements. I have never walked away with a sense that this is a government in charge. I never felt assured that Zuma was completely in charge,” said Booysen.

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Achille Mbembe to Speak at the Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism

Johannesburg: The elusive metropolisAchille Mbembe, co-editor of Johannesburg: The elusive metropolis, will be speaking at the Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism (JWTC) on Sunday 29 June and Monday 30 June.

On Sunday Mbembe will be in conversation with Ahmed Kathrada about the “History of Non-Racialism in South Africa” and on Monday Mbembe will be discussing “Raceless Futures in Critical Black Thought”.

Both talks will be held in the Wits Institute for Social & Economic Research (WiSER) seminar room.

Don’t miss them!

Sunday

  • Date: Sunday, 29 June 2014
  • Time: 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
  • Venue: WiSER,
    6th Floor
    Richard Ward Building
    East Campus | Map

Monday

  • Date: Monday, 30 June 2014
  • Time: 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
  • Venue: WiSER,
    6th Floor
    Richard Ward Building
    East Campus | Map

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Susan Booysen Speculates on the Presidential Succession Plan that Sidelines Cyril Ramaphosa

The African National Congress and the Regeneration of Political PowerSusan Booysen, author of The African National Congress and the Regeneration of Political Power, has written an article for The Sunday Independent commenting on the curious fact that Jacob Zuma had not appointed an acting president while he had recently been ill. Booysen speculates that this has to do with a succession plan in the works that excludes the current deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa.

She points out that the Constitution states that there should be an acting president when the current president is absent from the country or unable to perform his duties. However, while Ramaphosa had been mandated to handle several of the high-profile presidential functions during Zuma’s “rest”, he was not appointed as acting president.

“When Ramaphosa delivered the eulogy at the MaMbeki funeral, Jeff Radebe (in his capacity as ‘chairperson of the Interministerial Committee on State Funerals’) went along, possibly to ensure that Ramaphosa does not grow presidential wings,” Booysen muses.

According to Booysen, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma “is leading the pack” in the current succession plan, “followed by ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize”.

Carefully laid presidential succession plans came precariously close to derailment this week, courtesy of President Jacob Zuma undergoing his “health checks” and “rests”.

President Zuma was not well, certainly not well enough to perform meaningful duties. The presidency of South Africa, and the president’s spin doctors, nevertheless, spawned a virtual president.

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