Humanities Book Award Ceremony 2021

Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) (2021)

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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)

Author and contributor ORCIDs: Van Onselen, Charles ORCID; Jansen, Jonathan ORCID; Soudien, Crain ORCID; Roos, Nei ORCID
Publisher: Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
Sponsorship: Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
Peer review status: Non-Peer Reviewed
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