The Inaugural NIHSS Annual Humanities and Social Sciences Awards for Book, Creative and Digital Collections were officially launched on 30 March 2016. The key aim of these Awards is to celebrate excellence in the humanities and social sciences, giving special recognition to, and celebrating outstanding, innovative and socially responsive works by those members of the HSS community who are undertaking the necessary labour of creating post-apartheid forms of scholarship, creative and digital humanities productions. They provide an opportunity to bring into the limelight those intellectual-creative workers whose contributions often go unnoticed both in the academy and society at large. These include the authors, playwrights, poets, artists, curators and publishers who ensure that we can enjoy these final products.
The submissions for the Awards were opened in 2015 for four categories: Non-Fiction (books), Fiction (books), Creative Collections and Digital Collections. The response from the academics and publishers was phenomenal; the number and quality of submissions was fantastic. More than 90 submissions were received in the four categories – representing 13 South African Universities and 20 Publishing Houses. Subsequently, over 30 esteemed academics were selected as panel of judges and reviewers. Chair Judges were nominated for each category and
added quite a unique, individualised brand experience to the NIHSS 2016 Inaugural Book, Creative and Digital Collections Awards, namely: Prof. Pumla Dineo Gqola for Fiction (Books);
Prof. Shireen Hassim for Non- Fiction (Books); Mr Thembinkosi Goniwe for Creative Collections; and Ms Joyce Myeza for Digital Collections.
The Awards were allocated within the following categories:
- Digital Humanities (DH): Best DH tool or suite of tools; and Best DH project for community engagement.
- Creative Collections: Best Public Performance; and Best Musical Composition/Arrangement.
- Books: Non-Fiction: Best Manuscript; and Best Edited Volume.
- Books: Fiction: Best Single Authored (novel, short stories, volume of poetry, play); and Best Edited Volume.