Faculty of Humanities


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Faculty of Humanities​​

The New BA Degree

One programme. Infinite possibilies.  (Click here for more information)

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With a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree you will learn to communicate, to solve problems and to think critically and analytically. BA graduates are highly skilled and able to work in almost any ​field.

The private sector is constantly on the look-out for successful graduates to take up positions in middle management because it values the proficiency in problem-solving and communications that a student develops while studying for a BA. The ability to think critically and imaginatively and to convey ideas clearly is valued in any profession. 

The Faculty of Humanities strives to:

  • ​train high-level Humanities students by ensuring that the teaching programmes are internationally competitive and locally relevant

  • produce outstanding teaching and research outputs in the Humanities by employing the best possible academics and supporting staff and developing and utilising them to their full potential;

  • ​apply management principles, guidelines, processes and practices to maintain and improve excellent academic achievements in the field of teaching and research;

  • ensure by our achievements and services that values are strived at to the benefit of the individual, the University and the community we serve;​

  • significantly enrich students with the unique added values offered by studies in the Humanities  


Exciting New Degrees on Offer in 2019

·         Structured Masters Programme in Community Development (click here for more information)

·         Master of Philosophy in Social Policy and Development (click here for more information)


Upcoming events:

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Call for abstracts (MISTRA & UJ Conference)

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MISTRA & UJ Conference

Democracy in South Africa: The Next Twenty-Five Years

Call for Abstracts

An Extended Deadline: 18 April 2019

Click here to access all necessary information




Call for papers (SAHUDA-NIHSS Conference 2019) 

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Call for Papers

'Time, Thought and Materiality and the Fourth Industrial Revolution'

2019 SAHUDA-NIHSS Conference 2019

3-4 September 2019

University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Organized by the UJ Faculty of Humanities

Across global society a diversity of new technologies – disruptive, constraining and enabling in complex ways - are changing not only the ways that we live, love and work, but the very conceptual tools through which we understand human (co) existence in and with the world. For many the culmination of the diverse political and socio-economic implications of these technological changes, and the epistemological and even ontological implications they carry, amount to something greater; that we are entering a Fourth Industrial Revolution, or 4IR. For many, this revolution is potentially 'time defining'. That is, its transformative potential may come to define an age of human existence, much like the notion of the 'anthropocene' has come to constitute a particular temporal epoch (one that is perhaps the other side of the 4IR coin and is certainly not an unrelated phenomena or concept). Like this sibling notion, 4IR has begun to acquire wider cultural and political capital, and intellectual traction, beyond the niche circles of engineers, technicians and policy buffs from where it first came. In 2016, the World Economic Forum defined 4IR as consisting of those "technological developments that blur the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres…it integrates cyber-physical systems and the Internet of Things, big data and cloud computing, robotics and artificial intelligence-based systems". It is still too early to judge whether we are indeed in the early phases of yet another industrial revolution, although something like a consensus is emerging. But what is clear is that new technologies, and the apparent accelerating pace of technological change, is reshaping our political, ecological, and social environments in profound ways; shaping new ways of living, working and dying, and new forms of knowing, thinking and existence. These changes at once inspire both techno-optimism and techno-pessimism. They create both opportunities for better lives, governance and equality, and risk deepening existing exclusions, inequalities and precarity. Just as the any consensus about 4IR remains contested and emergent, so these verdicts remain uncertain: full of danger and opportunity in equal, undecided, measures.

In this context it becomes particularly urgent for the humanities to become part of the conversation around the 4IR. The stakes are simply to high – for good or for ill (and everything in between) – for this discussion to be left to the natural sciences. More to the point, the new frames of knowing and being that the 4IR provokes, collapse conventional distinctions between different arms of the intellectual activity in academy. The humanities are already involved in 4IR, like it or not, and so this conference seeks to explore what forms that involvement in 4IR can and should be, and has already taken. We ask how the humanities are already part of this revolution, if that is what it is, and what roles they should play to shape it in a way that avoid the pitfalls of extreme inequality, exclusion and precarity that previous industrial revolutions engendered. The theme for this 2019 SAHUDA conference is therefore "Time, Thought and Materiality in the Fourth Industrial Revolution' to reflect, firstly, how 4IR embodies profound temporal propositions, even as it is also often understood to effect a speeding up of time and a compression of space. And secondly, because at its conceptual core lies an attempt to reconceptualise how thinking and doing, meaning and matter, existence and understanding are relationally constituted and mutually dependent. Our focus on the "Fourth Industrial Revolution" is therefore not intended to constrain intellectual engagement, but rather, interpreted imaginatively, to foster new forms of analysis and scholarly collaboration around what the consequences might be of the self-evident acceleration of 'technologically advancement' on human conditions and existence in and with the world.

The conference will cover the following seven themes:


Student Panel

If you are interested in submitting a paper for one of these themes, please contact Dr Dawn Nagar (dawnn@uj.ac.za) the conference coordinator directly.

The deadline for the submission of paper proposals is Monday 20 May 2019. All proposals should include: 1) Proposed paper title, 2) Author name(s) and contact information, 3) Author affiliation(s) and position(s), 3) A 100-200 word abstract and 4) The name of the panel for which the paper is being proposed.


2017 Annual Report


2020 Strategic Plan and Marketing Prospectus

Please click here or the link below to view or download



Faculty of Humanities Ranked Among the Top 400 Worldwide

The Faculty of Humanities is proud to announce that it has been ranked among the top 400 universities worldwide, according to the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings by Subject: Arts and Humanities.

This is UJ's first-time entry in this prestigious edition. UJ has been ranked in the 301-400 rank band globally, thus in the Top 400 for Arts and Humanities and joint fourth in South Africa along with University of KwaZulu-Natal and University of the Western Cape. The 1 000 universities that form part of the rankings represent 5% of the 20 000 or so higher education institutions in the world. These universities were selected for analysis, based on the strength of their record in international research and on their global academic reputation.

The performance metrics used cover the full range of a university's core activities: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. Universities have all been evaluated by their academic peers through THE's annual Academic Reputation Survey, which draws on more than 20 000 survey responses from senior scholars from more than 140 countries.

Universities are under pressure to show their relevance and impact in society. The Faculty has incorporated this call to action into its 2020 strategy. Research projects within the Faculty aim to demonstrate how the Faculty is being innovative and what the impact of being innovative is on our environment and the community we serve. Teaching and learning activities are also a big priority for the Faculty. Various interventions and support offered by the Faculty has enabled us to consistently maintain a high undergraduate success rate of 87%.

The Faculty would like to thank all its academic and support staff for getting us onto this prestigious list. Click here for more information.


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