B. Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) Events

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This community contains non-peer reviewed slide sets (PDF format) and audio/video recordings (MP4 format) from events and presentations during those events, and in which ASSAf participated or where ASSAf was represented. The content of the collections listed have not been peer-reviewed, but it is believed that it can contribute to the academic discourse, and be used in the advancement of science and discussions/decisions around science.

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    Crisis and catastrophe: the motor of South African history?
    (Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), 2021) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
    Annual Humanities Lecture Webinar hosted by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) on 5 October 2021. Presented by Assistant Prof Jacob Dlamini, Princeton University, United States of America. In 1977, R.W. Johnson published How Long will South Africa Survive?, a book that sought to examine the resilience of what the author called South Africa’s ‘White Establishment.’ Johnson challenged the tendency among left-wing thinkers and Afrikaner nationalists to see change in South Africa as being driven solely by the internal dynamics of the country’s history. As Johnson elaborated in a 2015 sequel to How Long will South Africa Survive?the ‘iron law’ of South African history was that international developments have always been more responsible for change in the country; that crises generated by South Africa’s position in the global economy have always been the key driver of political transformation in the country. In my presentation, the presenter built on Johnson’s claim that crisis (and catastrophe) is the motor of South African history. He used his claim to position South Africa as a vantage point from which to imagine a national history not burdened by race, and to tell a South African story that is at the same time a global history of the 20th-century. What happens to conventional accounts of South African history (not to mention global history) when we treat the country as the standpoint from which to examine some of the major crises and catastrophes of the 20th century? That is the question at the centre of this presentation.
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    Humanities Book Award Ceremony 2021
    (Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), 2021) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
    Prof Charles van Onselen was awarded the 2021 ASSAf Humanities Book Award for his book titled The Night Trains: Moving Mozambican Miners to and from South Africa, circa 1902-1955. For more than 50 years, privately operated trains travelled by night between Ressano Garcia, on the Mozambique border, and Booysens station, Johannesburg. Their ‘cargo’: human beings, Mozambican migrant workers in their thousands. The Night Trains examines the largely neglected social and political economy of these workers, bringing into focus the human suffering involved in the economic partnership between the mining houses and the railways. This was a partnership in which the brutal logic of industrial capitalism is fully exposed, working to maximise profit at the expense of the health, well-being and the very lives of its immigrant workers. The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) awards this prize bi-annually to a scholarly publication that made a noteworthy contribution to developing a new understanding and insight of a topic in the Humanities, Social Sciences or the Performing Arts. This year ASSAf received 35 nominations with the publication dates limited to 2017, 2018 and 2019. Van Onselen is a Research Professor in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Pretoria (UP). He holds a B.Sc. and University Education Diploma (UED) from Rhodes University, a B.A. Hons. (Wits), a D.Phil. from Oxford University and a D.Lit. (Honoris Causa) from Rhodes University. Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf (you can add more than one here)
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