University of the Witwatersrand

Director

Noëleen Murray
Director Wits City Institute/ A. W. Mellon Chair in Critical Architecture and Urbanism

PROJECT MANAGER

Christine Bischoff
Academic Convener and Project Manager

The Wits City Institute leads an innovative research program in the interrelated fields of architecture, critical spatial practice, and inter-disciplinary urban studies with a focus on the history and practice of architecture, critical spatial practice, and urbanism in the city of Johannesburg and in the city-region of Gauteng.


Sample Projects

Conferences and Symposia

The Wits City Institute/Chair in Critical Architecture and Urbanism runs monthly seminars and will run annual colloquia from 2016.

Collaborations, Internal University

The Wits City Institute/Chair in Critical Architecture and Urbanism takes responsibility for outlining and driving a multidisciplinary research program on the city, both in local and in broader comparative terms and provides leadership for academics within Wits and affiliated to the Wits City Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Collaborations, University to University

The Wits City Institute/Chair in Critical Architecture and Urbanism affiliates academics at other universities to the Wits City Institute as Honorary Research Fellows.  The Chair also collaborates with other Universities on joint research projects in order to build adequate financial resources and services to support a network of sufficient critical mass of city-related researchers to undertake large-scale research projects both in South Africa and internationally.  Existing research collaborations include the City Institute, York University, Canada on the Global Suburbanisms Project as well as the Security at the Margins' (SeaM) project - ESRC/NRF International Partnership Centre (this partnership will build collaborative research capacity between the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Edinburgh to explore intersecting vulnerability and security on the urban fringe).

Exhibitions

The Wits City Institute/Chair in Critical Architecture and Urbanism holds an annual City Indaba where the research output of the Chair is show cased in the form of an exhibition.  Recent representations of the past, present and especially future visions of the city are exhibited at the facilities that exist at Wits University and outside of the University.

Fellowships, Visitors, and Postdocs

The Wits City Institute/Chair in Critical Architecture and Urbanism funds full scholarships for postgraduate PhD and masters students.  There is an acute need for the development of a PhD program particularly at the intersection between the spatial disciplines and the humanities at Wits University.  The Chair is engaged in developing this program across the complex and diverse disciplines that will make up these studies.

Resources

Each H+U+D graduate or undergraduate seminar examines a single city in a detailed, multidisciplinary way that includes humanities and design.

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Each H+U+D graduate or undergraduate seminar examines a single city in a detailed, multidisciplinary way that includes humanities and design.

Category:

Publications

Locations:

Cape Town, Lwandle,

 Noëleen Murray and Leslie Witz track the making and remaking of a museum in Lwandle, South Africa, some 40 kilometers from Cape Town.

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Glowfly Dance

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Glowfly Dance

Category:

Publications

Locations:

Cape Town, London,

From Mexico to Scotland to London to North Africa, the West Indies and back again, Jade Gibson's novel Glowfly Dance is a powerful and haunting story of migration, resilience and, ultimately, hope.

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Hostels, Homes, Musem : Memorialising Migrant Labour Pasts in Lwandle, South Africa

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Hostels, Homes, Musem : Memorialising Migrant Labour Pasts in Lwandle, South Africa

Category:

Publications

Locations:

Cape Town, Lwandle,

 Noëleen Murray and Leslie Witz track the making and remaking of a museum in Lwandle, South Africa, some 40 kilometers from Cape Town.

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Satellite Cities

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Satellite Cities

Category:

Exhibitions

Locations:

Johannesburg,

There are many places in South Africa that are connected through their names with sites of conflict around the world. Beirut in Alexandra, Johannesburg is just one example and was named when hostel violence erupted in the area in the early 1990s and references the Lebanese civil war. Svea Josephy presents photographic diptychs and triptychs accompanied by texts, which explore what these connections mean to the communities that adopted these names. 

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The Politics of Heritage in Africa: Economies, Histories, and Infrastructures

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The Politics of Heritage in Africa: Economies, Histories, and Infrastructures

Category:

Publications

This book--edited by Derek Peterson, Kodzo Gavua, and Ciraj Rassool--shows African heritage to be a mode of political organisation, a means by which the relics of the past are shored up, reconstructed and revalued as commodities, as tradition, as morality or as patrimony.

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All auh Resources  >