DST/NRF SOUTH AFRICAN RESEARCH CHAIRS INITIATIVE (SARChI)
THE SOCIOLOGY OF LAND, ENVIRONMENT & SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Cherryl Walker, Emeritus Professor of Sociology in the Department, currently holds the Research Chair in the Sociology of Land, Environment and Sustainable Development, awarded with effect from January 2016. The NRF has renewed the Chair for a second five-year term (2021 – 2025) and a process for appointing Prof Walker’s successor is now underway, with the new incumbent expected to be in place in the second half of 2022.
Social-ecological change in the arid Karoo region of South Africa is the Chair’s primary research site – the Karoo not as an isolated zone of enquiry but, rather, a nationally and globally networked arena that is rich in opportunities for comparative work. Hence the research programme’s byname: Cosmopolitan Karoo.
The Karoo is a compelling site through which to explore issues around land, environment and sustainability, given its history, its unique environment, and its contemporary social challenges. Currently several globally networked developments are also reshaping established relationships to land and place in significant ways; these include major investments in astronomy, notably SALT and the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope, and a host of renewable and non-renewable energy projects, conservation initiatives and more.
The research programme is organised around a set of individual, core-team and collaborative projects. The commitment is to research that is empirically grounded, theoretically informed and alert to the importance of cross-disciplinary and comparative work. Postdoctoral fellows and graduate students are core to the programme and a limited number of fellowships and postgraduate bursaries are offered every year to qualified and motivated applicants.
The Research Chair is funded by the Department of Science & Technology (DST), administered by the National Research Foundation (NRF), and based in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Stellenbosch University.
For more information go to the Research Chair’s website at cosmopolitankaroo.co.za/.
COSMOPOLITAN KAROO RESEARCH FORUM
This weekly Forum offers a collegial space for reflections on conceptual, empirical and comparative work related to the broad aims of the project. The programme inolves a mix of presentations on current research by team members or invited external speakers, along with regular reading groups, writing workshops and discussions on research-related issues. It meets in the Department of Sociology & Social Anthropology on a Thursday afternoon from 3 – 5 p.m. and is open to all interested persons.
FELLOWSHIPS AND POSTGRADUATE BURSARIES
Information about postdoctoral fellowships and postgraduate bursaries attached to the research programme is available on the Research Chair’s website or from Prof Walker.
For more information on the Research Chair, its active research programme, and opportunities for postgraduate students please visit its website:
You may also contact Prof Walker at email@example.com .