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UJ launches The Steve Biko Lectures in Philosophy

“A first of its kind in South Africa, the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Steve Biko Lectures in Philosophy brings people together representing different disciplines, institutions and countries to create new connections between old ideas or between ideas from different parts of the globe, new ways of asking old questions and alternative critical approaches to address the social and political realities that assail us today,” said Associate Professor, Rafael Winkler from UJ.

On Thursday 12 March, UJ will host the launch event as well the inaugural lecture ‘Towards a New Historical Condition’ of The Steve Biko Lectures in Philosophy.

The lecture series is facilitated​​ by the Centre for Phenomenology in South Africa, the French Institute of South Africa, the Centre of Indian Studies in Africa with the support of the Steve Biko Foundation. Various sessions is scheduled to take place from March 2015 until November 2016.

The aim of this lecture series is to continue this interrogation and critique of modernity from the epistemic standpoint that Steve Biko’s life and thought represents and symbolises. This is a standpoint that is at once developed inside the hierarchy of the system, colonised by its norms, and yet formulates a perspective outside of it as the oppressed other.

The Steve Biko Lectures in Philosophy: 12th of March 2015

Theme: Towards a New Historical Condition

Francois Hartog (École des hautes études en sciences sociales)

Respondents: Dilip Menon (Centre for Indian Studies in Africa) and Achille Mbembe (Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research)

Venue: Madibeng Building, University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park Kingsway Campus (APK).

Time: 13.00PM-16.00PM

Towards a New Historical Condition:

During the last two centuries, the word History has been one of the “crossroad” terms around which belief crystalized itself. But what do we mean when we utter the word History today? What do we (still) believe in? We could look at the question both from inside the discipline and from outside. What are the challenges and the proposals? In any case, we must start by abandoning the prior meaning of the term: That modern notion of history written with a capital H which was launched and imposed by Europe and was charged with the progress of civilizations; which wanted to be, simultaneously, the locative of the modern world as well as its ultimate judge. That notion of history may still linger on, but it no longer holds sway on the world in the same way it once did. ​

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