Re-Centring AfroAsia: Musical and Human Migrations in the Pre-Colonial Period 700-1500AD
Re-centring AfroAsia is a multi-pronged research, mapping, and archiving project that aims to not only revolutionise Humanities research in South Africa but also create an AfroAsian community of scholarship. There are three dimensions to this: firstly, as the Charter for the Humanities and the Social Sciences observed, the scholarship on the pre-1652 period is scant and it was untenable to continue as if the history should start with the arrival of the Dutch in the Cape. Although work around Mapungubwe has started re-positioning of Southern Africa in World and African history, it is still a tentative first step. Secondly, as Mamdani argued, the “customary” is a very recent colonial ossification, trapping Africa into a “traditional” mush which is ahistorical, static and highly problematic. Thirdly, the aesthetic fields have remained particularly Eurocentric and at best limited to Transatlantic scholarship, with the opening up of Africa’s contribution to the North-East being largely ignored. Furthermore, scholarship has been “Anglocentric” with a vast archive that speaks to Africa’s social, political and cultural past remaining unexplored: Swahili, Farsi, Arabic, Sanskrit and Mandarin (although Farsi was the aristocratic language of the Tang dynasty) sources are as yet unavailable to Southern Africa.
Re-Centring AfroAsia is planned as a supra-institutional project, housed at the Centre for African Studies and the College of Music at the University of Cape Town, in cooperation with the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape, the Wits City Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand, and the School of Culture and Creative Expressions of the Ambedkar University, Delhi. A significant element of the project is the training of an emerging cohort of researchers through Honours, Masters, and Doctoral bursaries.
In order to apply for the Re-Centring AfroAsia Scholarship, you MUST first have applied for a postgraduate program that is able to support your research direction within this project. Students with a creative mind - whether historians, archaeologists, musicologists, anthropologists and sociologists - are welcome to apply. Please complete the application form in full. As this is funded by AW Mellon, preference will be given to black scholars who are committed to contributing to the creation of an endogenous and indigenous scholarship in the humanities.
All applications should be submitted to:
Re-Centring AfroAsia Research Project
Room 2.04, Centre for African Studies
Engineering Mall, Upper Campus, UCT
Closing date: 30 November 2016
Download the application form here.