The Humanities and Social Sciences: Book, Creative and Digital Awards (2017) hosted by the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) in a ceremony held last night (29 March 2017) announced its winners. From the respective categories, the winners are Book: Non-Fiction Monograph: (joint-winners) “Declassified - Moving beyond the dead-end of race in South Africa” by Maré, Gerhard (Jacana Media), and “Regarding Muslims: From slavery to post-apartheid” by Baderoon, Gabeba (Wits University Press); Book: Non-Fiction Edited Volume: “Changing Space, Changing City: Johannesburg after Apartheid” by Harrison, Philip; Gotz, Graeme; Todes, Alison and Wray, Chris (Wits University Press); Book: Fiction Single Authored (Novel): “What Will People Say” by Rossouw, Rehana (Jacana Media); Book: Fiction Single Authored (Poetry): A Half Century Thing by Rampolokeng, Lesego (Black Ghost Books); Creative Collections: Best Pubic Performance: BodyTech - The Ar(t)chive: co-founded by Denyschen, Jessica and Sichel, Adrienne; Best Musical Composition: Explorations: South African flute music by Stoltz, Liesl; Best Visual Art: Penny Siopis Time and Again, edited and co-edited by Olivier, Gerrit and Siopis, Penny; and Digital Humanities Contributions: South African History Online Website by Badsha, Omar.
“Second year in their instalment, the Humanities and Social Sciences: Book, Creative and Digital Awards 2017 celebrate outstanding HSS scholars who are stimulating and contributing to serious critical work, while authentically telling South African stories that are shaping our new ways of knowing,” says NIHSS CEO, Prof Sarah Mosoetsa. “Indeed, much work needs to be done to identify, support and promote new South African voices, authors and stories in the humanities and social sciences (HSS). New partnerships also need to be developed to prioritise books and creative collections that promote African languages.”
The NIHSS, in partnership with individual scholars, publishers and universities; is undertaking the necessary work of transforming the HSS landscape and contribute towards building a truly post-apartheid South Africa.
The HSS Awards breathe life to the ideas expressed in the Humanities Charter to increase the recognition afforded to book and creative outputs; reposition these scholarly contributions as having public-value; and increase their appreciation and the role they play in building sustainable social cohesion and the re-imagining of the humanities and social sciences. “They are a catalyst designed to provide a necessary platform for the celebration, recognition and honour of outstanding, innovative and socially responsible scholarship that enhance and advance the fields of HSS,” explains Prof Mosoetsa.
Noting that “the 2017 HSS Awards entries expressed a diverse wealth of passionate, at times poignant, South African stories in all their varied artistic forms.” She thanked all the entrants, citing that the 2017 HSS Awards would not be possible without such submissions. “We are grateful that you continue to toil, helping to shape the new HSS landscape and casting a shining light on our very own South African stories. This is especially so during challenging times in higher education and the publishing world - as the HSS is also facing a decline in funding.”
“As the NIHSS, we remain committed to the cause of advancing the transformation of the HSS community, universities and greater society. The institute is enthused to be part of the collective HSS, from the tip of Southern Africa, to play a meaningful role that will see the humanities claiming its rightful space here at home, within the continent and the world at large.”
The Call for the HSS Awards 2017 opened in November 2016, covering works for the period of January 2014 to December 2015. The submissions received include 21 Books: Non- Fiction; 14 Books: Fiction; 14 Creative Collections and three (3) Digital Contribution.
Prof Mosoetsa pointed out that much more still needed to be done to encourage significant creative HSS outputs within the Creative Collections and Digital Contribution space, citing that the HSS Awards presents an opportunity for the entire HSS community, to learn and grow.”