Conversations, audio-essays and public talks for the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER).
Travelling Technology: Big Infrastructure, Small Devices (Part 2)
Today we release Part Two of our next mini-series of The WISER Podcast. This two-part series takes as its theme Travelling Technology. It draws on research led by Prof Richard Rottenburg at WISER spanning 15 African countries and focusing on large technical systems as well as stand-alone devices to reflect on the amalgamation of techno-science with social, political, juridical and cultural elements in concrete African contexts beyond the modernist binary of nature and culture.
In this podcast, after a brief introduction by Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh (WISER) we hear from Katrien Pype (KU Leuven) on “radio phonie” in Kinshasa, and then Sara Geenen with Simon Marijse (U Antwerp) tell the story of the “scaphandre” on the Congolese Shabunda river. The two detailed studies show moments of translation in the circulation of technologies and challenge the difference between innovation, tweaking and improvisation.
The members of the WISER Podcast team are Sarah Nuttall, Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh, Isabel Hofmeyr, Tinashe Mushakavanhu, Mpho Matsipa, Achille Mbembe and Bronwyn Kotzen.
Travelling Technology: Big Infrastructures, Small Devices (Part 1)
This two-part series addresses Travelling Technology. It draws on research spanning 15 African countries and focusing on various technical assemblages to reflect on the amalgamation of techno-science with social, political, juridical and cultural elements in concrete African contexts beyond the modernist binary of nature and culture.
In today's podcast, we hear from Richard Rottenburg (WISER) on the key intellectual dimensions of this ongoing project, followed by Faeeza Ballim (UJ) on Eskom and Medupi power stations in South Africa, and Iginio Gagliadone (Wits) on the politics of the Internet in Ethiopa. The members of the WISER Podcast team are Sarah Nuttall, Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh, Mpho Matsipa, Tinashe Mushakavanhu, Achille Mbembe, Bronwyn Kotzen and Isabel Hofmeyr.
8 Ways to Think About Unsettlement (Part 2)
Part 2 of our mini-series on Unsettlement explores the predicament of those who are stranded in states of indefinite displacement, deferred arrival and recurrent departure around the world today. It has emerged from a collaboration between The Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University, Africana Studies at Barnard College in New York and WISER.
In this episode, we hear four further interventions on how we might think about unsettlement. Listen to Rosalind Morris (Columbia), Johannes Machinya (WISER), Sarah Nuttall (WISER) and Achille Mbembe (WISER).
The members of the WISER Podcast team are Sarah Nuttall, Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh, Mpho Matsipa, Tinashe Mushakavanhu, Achille Mbembe, Bronwyn Kotzen and Isabel Hofmeyr.
8 Ways to Think About Unsettlement (Part 1)
Today we launch our 2021 Season of The WISER Podcast. This year, from March to September, we will run concept-based podcasts, each in two parts over two weeks. Our first edition of The WISER Podcast features the theme of Unsettlement, and we approach our topic from 8 different angles.
The topic is born of a collaboration between The Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University, Africana Studies at Barnard College in New York and WISER.
Listen in to find out what the term Unsettlement draws into focus in an original way. Speakers in Part 1, released today are Rosalind Morris (Columbia University), who introduces the theme, Isabel Hofmeyr(Wits/WISER), Yvette Christianse (Barnard College) and Mpho Matsipa (Wits/WISER).
Today we also launch The WISER Transcripts, compiled and curated by Tinashe Mushakavanhu (WISER). Here, we make available all editions of The WISER Podcast in textual form, for ease of access, reference and citation. Please see our first four releases at this link: https://wiser.wits.ac.za/thewisertranscripts.
The members of the WISER Podcast team are Sarah Nuttall, Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh, Tinashe Mushakavanhu, Bronwyn Kotzen, Isabel Hofmeyr, Achille Mbembe and Mpho Matsipa.
Charne Lavery: Southern Oceanicity
Charne Lavery discusses how theory from the south can be taken further south, towards the currents and creatures of the Southern Ocean.
Charne Lavery is a Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Pretoria and a Research Fellow in the Oceanic Humanities for the Global South project (www.oceanichumanities.com) based at WISER. Her work explores literary and cultural representations of the deep ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Southern Ocean and Antarctic seas, researching oceanic underworlds of the global South in a time of climate change.
Keith Breckenridge: Biometric Capitalism
Keith Breckenridge discusses Biometric Capitalism and African economics in the 21st Century.
The WISER Podcast is also available on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
Keith Breckenridge is a Professor of History, and Deputy Director of WISER.
For more WISER research, visit: https://wiser.wits.ac.za/publications