45 episodes

Conversations, audio-essays and public talks for the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER).

The WISER Podcast WISER

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 11 Ratings

Conversations, audio-essays and public talks for the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER).

    Vampires: Pandemics & Politics

    Vampires: Pandemics & Politics

    In this episode, Timothy Wright discusses the graphic novel Rebirth (2012), which imagines a node of vampire culture in the striated and gritty space of Johannesburg. He reads the book’s terminally ill vampires as offering a surprising, generative vantage point from which to think through some urgent social and political issues of the contemporary moment: whiteness, entanglement, transformation, blood imaginaries, and the global politics of immunity and insulation around the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
     
    Timothy Wright is an Assistant Professor of English Literature at Bilkent University, Ankara and a former post-doctoral fellow at WISER who is spending his sabbatical at the Institute.

    The WiSER Podcast Team this year is convened by Sarah Nuttall, sound editing by Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh and designs by Bronwyn Kotzen.

    • 16 min
    Two Treasons, Two States, One Family

    Two Treasons, Two States, One Family

    In Episode One of Season Five of The WiSER Podcast, the Reverend Frank Chikane and his son Regotsofetse Chikane, recollect and discuss the moment – separated by 30 years – they were each arrested for treason – by the apartheid and post-apartheid states, successively. As prominent anti-apartheid activist and #FeesMustFall activist respectively, they retell their experiences  - and the conversation reflects on the state of a democratic South Africa, the current dangers it faces and what choosing to fight for a more democratic state has meant and will come to mean, then and now.

    • 37 min
    The Art of Meleko Mokgosi Part 2

    The Art of Meleko Mokgosi Part 2

    In this week’s episode, we present Part Two of our mini-series on the work of Botswanan artist Meleko Mokgosi by Hlonipha Mokoena of WISER. Last week, Mokoena offered an analysis of Mokgosi’s paintings from multiple perspectives. In today’s episode, she speaks to the artist himself, a wide-ranging and fascinating discussion that takes up many of the issues introduced last week.


    The members of The WISER Podcast Team are Sarah Nuttall, Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh, Tinashe Mushakavanhu, Isabel Hofmeyr and Achille Mbembe.   

    • 1 hr 1 min
    The Art of Meleko Mokgosi (Part 1)

    The Art of Meleko Mokgosi (Part 1)

    Today we release the first of a two-part podcast series that focuses on the work of Botswanan artist Meleko Mokgosi. In today’s episode, Hlonipha Mokoena, Associate Professor at WISER, discusses his work.


     


    “There seems to be no better time than the present for us to have a conversation about what it means to be a black artist who paints black subjects”, says Mokoena, as she draws on her recent writing about the artist. How can we think about the politics of the intimate in Mokgosi’s work? What Southern diasporas within diasporas are revealed? What is Mokgosi’s version of black internationalism? And what are the meanings of his incorporation of images of Frederick Douglas in his paintings? All this and more is opened up in what follows. In next week’s episode, Mokoena talks to the artist himself in a fascinating interview that takes up many of the themes she introduces to us today.


     


    Meleko Mokgosi was born in 1981 in Botswana. He is currently Associate Professor in Painting/Printmaking at the Yale School of Art. He is represented in South Africa by Stevenson Gallery and in the USA by Jack Shainman Gallery. His artwork may be viewed at these websites:


     


    https://www.stevenson.info/artist/meleko-mokgosi/biography


    https://jackshainman.com/artists/meleko_mokgosi


    https://www.melekomokgosi.com


     


    The members of The WISER Podcast Team are Sarah Nuttall, Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh, Tinashe Mushakavanhu, Isabel Hofmeyr and Achille Mbembe.   

    • 17 min
    Inside WISER

    Inside WISER

    Today we hear from Najibha Deshmukh, WISER’s Senior Administrator and Adila Deshmukh, WISER’s Financial Manager. Najibha and Adila, who are sisters, give us their take on life at WISER, offering an inside view of everyday life, from both the front desk and the Institute’s financial office. In a richly nuanced and finely observed  - and often very funny – set of observations, they reveal aspects of their own stories over the last two decades, of the pressures and pleasures of their jobs, and of the lives, minds and foibles of academics at work. They talk about the joys of seeing students graduate and become professors – and about some of the strangest requests they received over the years. It’s a wonderful listen and will give you a new perspective on the academy – enjoy!


    The members of The WiSER Podcast team are Sarah Nuttall, Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh, Isabel Hofmeyr, Tinashe Mushakavanhu and Achille Mbembe.

    • 19 min
    The End of Mugabe

    The End of Mugabe

    Dr Tinashe Mushakavanhu discusses the coup of November 2017 in Zimbabwe, the death of Robert Mugabe, and why it is necessary to build a new set of digital tools for re-reading the country’s history. The podcast grapples with the question: how do we read a country beyond an individual?




    The members of The WiSER Podcast team are Sarah Nuttall, Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh, Isabel Hofmeyr, Tinashe Mushakavanhu and Achille Mbembe.

    • 28 min

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