Wednesday Seminar

 Wednesday Seminar

Dear Colleagues and Members of the Public

You are cordially invited to attend the UJ Sociology, Anthropology & Development Studies Wednesday Seminar. The weekly seminar has been hosted by the Department of Sociology since 2000. It is supported by the UJ Faculty of Humanities and the UJ Department of Anthropology & Development Studies. Meetings are held on UJ's Auckland Park Kingsway campus, at 15h30 on every Wednesday afternoon during term time, unless otherwise indicated.

Please find the current programme below. A written paper is usually distributed on this website, to allow participants to read this in advance of the seminar. Confirmed presenters' appers should reach us in electronic format by two weeks prior to presentation. Papers should be sent both to the convenor and to e-mail address

Guests are asked to arrive at the venue by 15:25. Those coming from outside the UJ are advised to enter the campus through Gate 2 on the corner of Ditton and Ripley Streets and to park in Car Park B (scroll down for map). It may be helpful to show an invitation to the guard on duty. 

All prospective presenters are invited to contact Dr Tapiwa Chagonda at

Best wishes
The Convenors: Wednesday Seminar

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Third term 2015: Re-Imagining and Re-Thinking ‘Freedom’ 60 Years after the Freedom Charter

15 July: Presenter: Prof Jan Fritz (University of Cincinnati, USA): ‘Moving Past Hard Times: Improving the Status of Women and Girls’. Discussant: Dr Bronwyn Dworzanowski-Venter (Research Associate, UJ).

22 July: Presenter: Dr Ibrahim Steyn (Post-Doc, UCT): ‘Putting Social Movement Research in its Place: A Review of the Debate on Intellectuals and Social Movements in South Africa​’. Discussant: Bandile Mdlalose (Research Assistant, UKZN).

29 July: Presenter: Terblanche Delport (Philosophy, UNISA): ‘Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe's Social Imaginary: The Ethical Implications of an Africanist Critique​’. Discussant: Dr Mondli Hlatshwayo (Education Rights & Transformation, UJ).

5 August:  Presenter: Prof John Saul (York University, Canada): ‘South Africa’s Freedom Charter and Its Legacy: Reflections on Anti-Colonial Programmes, Post-Colonial Practices, And Possibilities for the Future’. Discussants: Prof Ben Turok (Institute for African Alternatives (IFAA), Cape Town); Judge Albie Sachs (Cape Town). *Co-hosted with the NRF Chair in Social Change, the Department of Historical Studies, and the Department of Politics and International Relations at UJ. Introduction​ by Prof David Moore (UJ Dept of Anthropology & Development Studies). *Venue: Auckland Park Kingsway (APK) Campus 6th Floor Library Auditorium.

12 August: Presenter: Prof Michael Yarbrough (Politics, John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY, USA). ‘By the Authority Vested: The Sociolegal Production of Marital Status in South Africa and Beyond’. Discussant: Dr Kezia Batisai (Sociology, UJ).

19 August: Presenter: Prof Raymond Suttner (Emeritus Prof, UNISA & Rhodes): ‘Re-Thinking Freedom: Re-Reading the Freedom Charter @60’. Discussant: Prof Michael Neocosmos (UHURU, Rhodes University).

26 August: Screening of ‘What Happened to Mbuyisa?’ [Mbuyisa is the young man carrying Hector Pieterson in the famous image of June 16]. Discussant: Feizel Mamdoo (Filmmaker). *Venue: Faculty of Humanities Common Room.

Background and archive

The UJ Sociology, Anthropology & Development Studies Wednesday Seminar is hosted by the UJ Department of Sociology, which has hosted a seminar since 1995, began meeting more regularly in 1999 and successfully launched the weekly seminar in 2000. By means of this seminar, the Department of Sociology has contributed vibrant and transformative intellectual debate linking both established and upcoming UJ human and social scientists with activists, trade unionists, scholars from other institutions, and members of the media. Alongside regular participation from within our own ranks, guests hosted by the department over the years include Proff Thabo Fako, Shula Marks and John Saul (2000), Proff William Beinart, Michael Burawoy, Dunbar Moodie and Rusty and Hilda Bernstein (2001), Proff Denis Brutus and Joanne Duffy (2002), Prof Iris Marion Young, Sasha Gear and Trevor Ngwane (2003), Proff Giovanni Arrighi, Fred Hendricks, Jonathan Jansen, and Gay Seidman (2004), Proff Simon Bekker, Bert Klandermans, Tom Lodge and Elinor Sisulu (2005), Dr Loraine Nencel and Proff John Higgins, Partha Mukherji, and Immanuel Wallerstein (2006), Proff Susan Parnell, Liz Stanley, Thomas Blom Hansen and Rehad Desai (2007) and Proff Jo Beall, Min-Chang Tsai and Michael Burawoy (2008).

From 2001 to 2006, the department promoted its in-house Centre for Sociological Research (CSR) as a co-host of the seminar. The seminar has enjoyed financial support from the UJ Faculty of Humanities and a venue and general support from the Department of Anthropology & Development Studies. The UJ Department of Sociology continues to anchor the Wednesday Seminar, the longest running and most regular of the University of Johannesburg's public lectures and seminars.

For our past seminar programmes and papers, click on the relevant annual links below.


2010 series​ 2011 series 2012 series 2013 series ​2​014 series​
2005 series 2006 series 2007 series 2008 series 2009 series
2000 series 2001 series 2002 series 2003 series 2004 series


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