Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Public Lecture & Post-Graduate Master Class with Gillian Hart

Rhodes University Unit for the Humanities (UHURU)

Public Lecture & Post-Graduate Master Class with Gillian Hart

Gillian Hart, a leading geographer on the global stage, a key protagonist in the revival of scholarship on Antonio Gramsci and a leading political theorist of the South African crisis will offer a public lecture and post-graduate master class next week.

Public Lecture

Title: “Political Society” & Its Discontents: South African Reflections on Indian Debates

Date: Tuesday 7 October

Venue: Humanities Seminar Room

Time: 5:00 p.m.


In writing Rethinking the South African Crisis (2013), I was struck by the similarities and differences between India and South Africa since the early 1990s – a moment that marked key turning points in both countries and around the world.  I also found Indian debates over these processes incredibly stimulating and “good to think with”.  As the first step in a new comparative project, this talk will engage by far the most influential conceptual import from India in South Africa today – Partha Chatterjee’s distinction between “political society” and “civil society” which, he argues, applies not just in India but most of the rest of the postcolonial world.  How adequate is this distinction, I will ask, in confronting a key challenge: how to understand the entwining of neoliberal capitalism, liberal and popular expressions of democracy, and amplifying nationalisms in the two countries in relation to one another?

Post-Graduate Master Class

Title: Rethinking the South African Crisis

Date: Wednesday 8 October

Time: 10:30 – 14:30 (lunch will be provided)

Venue: Humanities Seminar Room

Please note that a maximum of twenty students can be accommodated in the Master Class. Some required reading will be circulated beforehand. To secure a place in the Master Class please write to

Gillian Hart is Professor of Geography and co-chair of Development Studies at the University of California Berkeley, and Honorary Professor at UKZN.  Her books include Disabling Globalization: Places of Power in Post-Apartheid South Africa (2002); Gramsci: Space, Nature, Politics (co-edited) (2013); and Rethinking the South African Crisis: Nationalism, Populism, Hegemony (2013).