The Emerging Scholars Initiative (ESI) is a platform dedicated to encouraging younger scholars generate a wider interest in their research.

The Emerging Scholars Initiative (ESI) is a platform dedicated to encouraging younger scholars generate a wider interest in their research.

The Emerging Scholars Initiative (ESI) is a platform dedicated to encouraging younger scholars generate a wider interest in their research.

The Emerging Scholars Initiative (ESI) is a platform dedicated to encouraging younger scholars generate a wider interest in their research.

ESI Press

Our ESI Press aims to support inter-disciplinary research through a range of peer-reviewed publications. Our goal is to develop different perspectives that explore what we as humans can become.

Our peer review panel is drawn from institutions across the globe and they work alongside a team of professional editors to help produce quality and accredited publications.

ESI Press New Publication: SOUTH AFRICA’S EASY ELECTION GUIDE: WHO TO VOTE FOR IN 2024? © Konrad Adenauer Stiftung

South Africa’s most important election since 1994 may deliver the first coalition government in a democratic South Africa. However, as political parties vie for the votes of South Africans: How do citizens make the choice of where to put their mark? Who can they trust to give voice to their aspirations and help rebuild and grow Africa’s most developed economy to benefit more people in the world’s most unequal society?

Introduction

A large proportion of South Africans surprisingly claim to have no interest in politics, or to be bored or frustrated by the country’s politics that their choice of approach is subtle or plain ignorance. However, conversations in taxis, at the workplace, in cafes, at the salon, in taverns, at places of worship or even around the braai are often dominated by politics anyway with every South African unlikely not to have at the very least an opinion on the prevailing political news of the day.

Politics affects every aspect of our lives in South Africa whether we know it or not and regardless of our feelings towards it. These informal discussions happening across the country are no different in substance to the debates happening in national parliament, provincial legislatures, or local councils. With the crux being the aspirations, complaints and ultimately the will of the South African people taking centre stage.

Political parties are meant to be the custodians of the South African people’s wishes and desires. It would therefore make sense that all South Africans are eligible to choose a political party at election time to carry their personal mandate. Unfortunately, South Africa’s democracy is suffering from a growing apathy with fewer eligible voters wanting to express themselves at the ballot box. The regression is clear with a voter turnout of almost 90% at South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994 dropping down to just 65% in 2019 (1).

Although this corresponds with a growing global political apathy in both developed and developing nations, it should never be accepted. The aim of this book is to provide an easily accessible reference for all South Africa’s eligible voters to refer to in finding the political party that best represents their aspirations for the country they call home. In a simple and accessible way, this book summarises the major political parties’ standpoints on key issues in South African society, providing the reader with key insight into where they should leave their mark come election day. Reading this book will not solve the problems you experience as a citizen; however, it will empower you to make an informed decision if you exercise your democratic right to vote in the upcoming 2024 general election.

Source: (1) IEC results dashboard – https://results.elections.org.za/dashboards/npe/app/dashboard.html

“The views expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.”

ESI Press New Publication: Does Distance Education in the Developing Context Need More Research? Building Practice into Theory (Volume 1)
Edited by: Folake Ruth Aluko and Daniella Coetzee

This book focuses on distance education research, a dire need in the field, especially in Africa and other developing contexts. Distance education in this book has been used as an umbrella term for any form of education in which there is separation between the teacher and the learner, which necessitates the use of media. The authors from a range of African countries and international experts who have had a stint of their career in the developing contexts, borrowing from their wealth of experience, discuss research trends in distance education in their milieu, identifying the gaps and how this mode of delivery can be strengthened. By so doing, their passion for quality which has been a major area of concern in the field was brought to the fore. They have reiterated the fact that it is possible to enhance quality in this mode of delivery by not only conducting research but also applying its findings to theory, practice, and policy.

The content of the book has not been published elsewhere; it is the original work of the authors.This book will be of great value primarily to academics, researchers, and specialists in the field of distance education, especially considering the fact that the mode is no longer regarded as a second-best option.

ESI Press New Publication: Does Distance Education in the Developing Context Need More Research? Building Practice into Theory (Volume 2)
Edited by: Folake Ruth Aluko and Daniella Coetzee

This book focuses on distance education research, a dire need in the field, especially in Africa and other developing contexts. Distance education in this book has been used as an umbrella term for any form of education in which there is separation between the teacher and the learner, which necessitates the use of media. The authors from a range of African countries and international experts who have had a stint of their career in the developing contexts, borrowing from their wealth of experience, discuss research trends in distance education in their milieu, identifying the gaps and how this mode of delivery can be strengthened. By so doing, their passion for quality which has been a major area of concern in the field was brought to the fore. They have reiterated the fact that it is possible to enhance quality in this mode of delivery by not only conducting research but also applying its findings to theory, practice, and policy.

The content of the book has not been published elsewhere; it is the original work of the authors.This book will be of great value primarily to academics, researchers, and specialists in the field of distance education, especially considering the fact that the mode is no longer regarded as a second-best option.

ESI Press New Publication: Reimagining Writing Centre Practices: A South African Perspective
Edited by: Avasha Rambiritch and Laura Drennan

As we take the first small steps in our journey to transforming our writing centres, we carry with us the burden of the past, and the future of our students. For what is a writing centre, if not a place crafted from the mistakes of yesterday, and the dreams of tomorrow?

This book is a celebration of practices; for reimagined, sustainable practices open up the possibility of embracing diversity, and embodies the writing centre as a global village. It paves the way for discussions that acknowledge alternate and multiple forms of knowledge and knowledge production, a space welcoming a widely diverse and international student body, the proverbial melting pot – a colourful tapestry of tongues, histories and nationalities!


In light of the changing face and internationalisation of our student body and their concomitant needs, this book attempts to foreground both the strides made in the field, as well as the important questions and debates confronting writing centre practitioners in the South African higher education arena. The latter demands that we review and reimagine the support we currently provide. Reimaging, however, forces us to wrestle with the challenges that are inherent in work of this nature and to be vocal about the difficult questions that must be asked and answered if we want to provide socially just solutions to our students’ writing challenges. The onset of Covid-19 also imposed on our daily practices and required a hasty re-evaluation of our service provision.

The aim of this volume is to further conversations and research on the notion of the internationalisation of writing centres and the necessity to focus on the key issues of multilingualism, discipline-based writing, social justice, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as specialised consultant/tutor training. Writing centres at South African universities have established themselves as fundamental to the support and development of our students. Thus, the time is ripe for us as writing centre practitioners in the South African context to continue writing our own writing centre narrative, to grapple with context-specific issues and questions, and to provide context-specific answers and solutions that speak to the lived realities of our students. We hope to achieve this through this book.

ESI Press New Publication: Fiction and Fable: Tales of Time-Series
Edited by: Johan Ferreira and Seite Makgai

Embark on a captivating journey through the enchanting world of time-series analyses with Fiction and Fable: Tales of Time-Series. This extraordinary collection of short stories, penned by undergraduate students from the prestigious Department of Statistics at the University of Pretoria, brings to life the fascinating concepts taught in the time-series analysis syllabus. What began as a mere optional assignment evolved into a remarkable book of stories that blend the realms of creativity and statistics. Stories such as The Shepherd and the Wolf or The Tale of the ARMA Warriors transport readers to the moments of comfort and delight that fables and fairytales hold for all. The fusion of imagination and analytical thinking invites readers to explore a magical realm where mathematical models intertwine with storytelling. Join us on a literary adventure where Fiction and Fable meet the captivating world of time-series, proving that the magic of storytelling knows no bounds.

ESI Press New Publication: I See You: A Photo Album of People with Intellectual Disability
Author: Rory du Plessis

The casebook for the Institute for Imbecile Children, and the casebooks of the Grahamstown Lunatic Asylum constitutes one of South Africa’s largest archived records for people with intellectual disability (PWID) who were institutionalised from 1890 to 1920. In I See You I testify how the viewing of the casebooks’ content and photographs gave rise to a personal recognition of the personhood of the PWID. My testimony takes the form of poetry that is composed to honour and memorialise each individual person who is included in this album.

Rory du Plessis is a Senior Lecturer in Visual Studies at the School of the Arts, University of Pretoria. He is a NRF-rated scholar, the co-editor of the academic journal, Image & Text, and author of Pathways of Patients at the Grahamstown Lunatic Asylum, 1890 to 1907 (Pretoria University Law Press 2020).

ESI Press New Publication: THE PUBLIC ART OF COMMEMORATING THE WARS OF RESISTANCE: A BRIEF LIMPOPO CHAPTER
Author: Mahunele Thotse

This book examines sites in Limpopo Province where the history of the Wars of Resistance is represented on the landscape through public art that celebrates the traditional leaders who fought those wars. The Public Art of Commemorating the Wars of Resistance: A Brief Limpopo Chapter explores the overlapping and oftentimes complex relationships between identity, memory, heritage and the cultural landscape. The book draws particular attention to the powerful role that statues, honouring traditional leaders who fought wars of resistance, have played to save their peoples’ land from colonial conquerors. This book is a welcome addition to the growing literature on the memorialisation of the Wars of Resistance in South Africa. The book further provides a stimulating introduction to the issue of how South Africans commemorate the Wars of Resistance.

Mahunele Thotse’s book is the first to document so thoroughly and so persuasively the process by which the Limpopo Province came to narrate the wars of resistance through public art. The documents and photographs discussed in the book make for an essential text for those interested in cultural studies, and historical and heritage studies, including tourist guides.

ESI Press New Publication: Thetha Sizwe: Contemporary South African Debates on African Languages and the Politics of Gender and Sexualities

Editors: Nompumelelo Zondi, Gabi Mkhize, Evangeline B. Zungu, Siseko H. Kumalo and Vasu Reddy

Amina Mama
University of California (Davis)

‘Thetha Sizwe,’ or ‘Let your voice be heard’ is an audacious and timely scholarly intervention. It presents a rich collection of philosophical reflections that celebrates the resistive, subversive and creative role of cultural workers in critiquing heteronormative colonially and patriarchy. It begins by exploring African cultural expressions which contribute aesthetic forms and cultural tools for the critical interrogation of coloniality, demonstrating the resistive potential of indigenous ideas of gender and sexuality characterised by fluidity. The material examples, include Yoruba oriki praise singing, Zulu philosophy of umsamo, and Izingane zoMa’s Zulu women’s songs, among others, which provide the basis for theoretical advances in cultural decolonisation and expand the terrain for radical inventiveness. Taken as a whole, this collection opens new political and philosophical spaces for the ongoing engagement with the challenges of creating theories and intellectual practices that can respond to the enmeshed realities in which African people find themselves.

Mogomme A Masoga
Dean: Faculty of Humanities (UFS)

This is a fresh and tantalising offering! One likes how all three areas – African languages, gender and sexualities – have been drawn together to address our understanding of the present. The collection boasts enormous scope; the deftly written chapters offering vital insights and timely takes. To address issues of gender and sexuality is no easy task and gets even tougher when one looks exclusively at African languages. Yet the present volume pulls it off with aplomb. The editors and authors should be congratulated for presenting a forceful, brave, and beautiful plethora of influences and perspectives. They are unflinching and undaunted in tackling a variety of topics: African languages and languaging, history, meaning, decoloniality and a compelling mix of lived experiences, both personal and shared. What a delicious miscellany!

ESI Press New Publication: De Aar: Lines of Architecture in the Making of a South African Town (1902–1977) by Giorgio Miescher

“De Aar: Lines of Architecture in the Making of a South African Town (1902–1977) reconstructs the history of a former railway town located in, what is today, the Northern Cape province of South Africa. This town is a remarkably early example of modern urban planning in South Africa, which was at heart an exercise in spatial segregation. The book investigates historical maps, plans, and blueprints to narrate De Aar’s urban development and discuss how state offcials, politicians, and town planners imagined, conceptualised, ordered, and regulated the town of De Aar and its inhabitants. The close-up view reveals the specific process of establishing both ‘White’ and ‘non-White’ neighbourhoods that—while heavily regulated and subjected to recurrent forced removals—saw the emergence of complex systems of land tenure, property rights, and differential access to housing. By highlighting Black residents’ role in shaping the built environment and social fabric of De Aar, the book expands and enlivens the graphic archive of Northern Cape urban planning.”

De Aar: Argitekture in die Vorming van ’n Suid-Afrikaanse Dorp (1902–1977) rekonstrueer die geskiedenis van ’n toenmalige spoorwegdorp, geleë in die huidige Noord-Kaap provinsie in Suid-Afrika. Die dorp is ’n vroeë voorbeeld van moderne dorpsbeplanning in Suid-Afrika wat ten diepste ’n oefening in ruimtelike segregasie was. Die boek neem historiese kaarte, planne en bloudrukke onder die loep om sodoende De Aar se dorpsontwikkeling en die wyse waarop stadsbeplanners die dorp en sy inwoners gekonsepsualiseer, georden en gereguleer het, te beskryf. Hierdie gefokusde benadering ontbloot die spesi eke proses waardeur beide ‘Wit’ en ‘nie-Wit’ woongebiede gevestig is. Hierdie woongebiede was—terwyl dit streng gereguleer en gereeld aan gedwonge verskuiwings onderworpe was—blootgestel aan die ontstaan van komplekse sisteme met betrekking tot grondbesit, eiendomsreg en gedifferensieerde toegang tot behuising. Deur Swart inwoners se rol in die vorming van die bou omgewing en in die sosiale verweefdheid van De Aar te beklemtoon, gee die boek lewe en verskaf dit ’n spesi eke konteks aan die gra ese argief van Noord-Kaapse dorpsbeplanning.”

ESI Press New Publication: HumanEATies – 100 Recipes by the Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria

INTRODUCTION

by Prof Vasu Reddy, Dean: Faculty of Humanities

Why a cookbook, and why does it matter to a Faculty of Humanities?

Food represents our edible world. It is a concept, an idea and a practice. It is because food is more than a micronutrient and a science. Food represents what Appadurai describes as the social lives of things. It is deeply sociocultural and fundamentally associative and relational.

Food is about its potentialities and multiple meanings: it is comforting, energising, and restorative. It plays a special role in our personal lives and sense of self-definition and shapes our well-being. Food speaks to the sensorial and the affective: taste, smell, sight and the various pleasures and emotions it induces when combining ingredients, flavours, aromas, tools and techniques. It becomes even more meaningful when it is shared and exchanged. But food also turns our attention to wicked challenges that must matter to us: hunger, starvation, global capitalism and much more. Let us not forget the latter in the visceral and embodied pleasures of eating.

In this cookbook, we are in celebration mode, flavoured with bits of nostalgia and memory-making. If food opens up mediated relationships, then a Faculty of Humanities is possibly also best placed to showcase our engagement with food and its resonance with some other markers of our collective selves: identity, memory, culture, race, class, gender, national origin, community and heritage. Food, in some ways, opens up bonds of mediated intimacies, what Pratt labels a ‘contact zone’ and the entanglement of various things that induce social attachments. Food represents how we share our histories and heritage. It represents how we learn and how we collectively celebrate. This is because food travels in mysterious and circuitous ways. It lacks a distinctive authenticity inasmuch as we may think it does because it takes on new meanings in the associations it opens up.

The gestation of HumanEATies may be traced to a food ritual and act of eating in one of our departments in 2019 when the Faculty celebrated its centenary. When the idea was mooted, I thought this was an ideal way to make sense of our ‘food selves’ in a Faculty deeply dedicated to a liberal arts education. And so began this book’s journey. We invited all our staff and some students to submit recipes they wanted to share that had meaning in their lives.

Of course, life happened in 2020 when things came to a grinding halt with lockdowns and physical, social distancing in a pandemic world. Yet, in our lives, food, cooking and eating were a welcome constant beyond life and work. Food was embraced and became even more comforting with renewed fervour. Our culinary behaviours and habits shifted during the pandemic and we created communities of foodies too! Food and recipe exchanges were rich in variety, opportunities and flavours. As many of us experienced, we might have even flouted healthy eating in favour of comfort

Assembled here is a selection of recipes in a traditional template of a cookbook that challenges Appadurai’s view that cookbooks belong to “the humble literature”. Morris contends that cookbooks contribute significantly to broader national issues, including the formation of national cuisine and identity. I believe HumanEATies represents a particular variant of a UP Humanities-specific foodscape that tells “cultural tales” and some of which have travelled beyond the written word. What we have packaged represents distinctive food cultures from our faculty.

These recipes also provide personal memories of our staff and students. They were also tested repeatedly during the COVID-19 lockdowns to confirm their broader therapeutic and health benefits that stretch beyond the comfort they provide.  

We were also delighted when Dr Hennie Fisher and his final-year Hospitality and Consumer Food Sciences students in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences teamed up with us. This cookbook is a truly transdisciplinary project between the two Faculties, and we are delighted to present you with a feast of flavours and aromas. Of course, my thanks and appreciation go to our incredible staff and students who generously contributed their recipes, my team led by Heather Thuynsma and Danolien van den Berg, Mariki and Lourens Uitenweerde from Eyescape for the elegant photography, and colleagues who kindly endorsed the book.

I hope that these recipes will provide you with joy and pleasure, indeed memorable cooking and eating for you too!

ESI Press News: Improve your Visibility & Publication Impact

On the 16 November 2021, the ESI Press held its first workshop, as part of the 2021 Open Publishing Festival. The Open Publishing Festival, hosted by the Coko Foundation, is a “decentralised public event that brings together communities supporting open-source software, open content, and open publishing models”.

ESI Press was invited to participate in this event after being nominated for an Open Publishing Award. The festival was held over two weeks in November and several interesting discussions, demos and workshops formed part of the agenda, including a workshop on using DocMaps and the launch of a Grant-Funded Open Textbook Program.

The ESI Press Workshop introduced postgraduate students to book publishing and the Open Journal System that is run by the press. The workshop also provided students with practical guidelines to improve the visibility and accessibility of their research and took students through the process of creating ORCiDs and Google Scholar profiles. Using social media platforms to share research was also discussed, as were the different methods of sharing research. Research is not only shared through journal articles and books but it can also be shared through opinion articles, newspaper articles and reports.

You can see the entire presentation on YouTube here and even download the slides here.

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