The Anthropology Department centres part of its research and teaching praxis on what it means to engage, think, talk, and write about South African archives. These conversations consider the precarious entanglement especially of official archives, with slavery, colonialism and apartheid. We want to equip students with theoretical and analytical skills that enable them to interrogate dominant archival discourses in South Africa and beyond. We also want to give students the opportunity to grapple with archival data in their research projects, to engage intellectually with multiple encounters of various archives, and to explore the archives in and of their everyday lives.
The Anthropology Museum is an ideal space for students to explore ideas about archives both theoretically and practically by for example, staging exhibitions, screenings, soundscapes, and installations as part of their coursework and research. It is also an ideal space to showcase students’ work.
We are committed to ensuring that the Anthropology Museum is not insular in its approach. Thus, we are open to partnering with multiple disciplines and organisations invested in scholarly thought and practice that interrogate power, injustice, violence, and that prioritise social issues such as health, identity, intimacy, the city, and the body.
Through our regular seminar series that is hosted in our Museum, we aim to be at the heart of collaborative and interdisciplinary academic discourse. Moreover, our Museum is a space that also illustrates field research by staff, and aspects of South African contemporary life.