Southern African City Studies Conference 2014
From 27 to 29 March 2014 CUBES hosted the third Southern Africa City Studies Conference.
The three-day conference included over 30 panels and lectures by scholars at CUBES, the African Centre for Cities (ACC) at the University of Cape Town, and presenters from beyond the Southern African academic community, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Egypt and the United States. Download the Southern Africa City Studies Conference 2014 programme.
As a partnership between CUBES and the ACC, the conference offered a platform for Southern African scholarship on cities and a forum for interdisciplinary discussion across scales, fields, and practices. The major themes of the conference were Urban Encounters; Interventions; Experiences; Evolutions; Depictions and Analyses. 170 people attended the conference, including almost 80 students.
The opening panel discussion chaired by Prof Edgar Pieterse (ACC) included stimulating reflections from Prof Noor Nieftagodien (NRF Chair in Local Histories, Present Realities and Head of History Workshop, Wits), Dr Mpho Matsipa (School of Architecture and Planning, Wits) and Prof Sophie Oldfield (Department of Environmental and Geographical Science, UCT). Speakers drew on their disciplinary orientations to reflect on their work, the approach they take to urban studies, and some of the key concerns they see confronting city studies in Southern Africa.
The conference included a CUBES panel discussion on practices of the state in the governance of Southern African cities (see PSUG panel SACSC 2014), which considered a number of issues, including the state as simultaneously benevolent and violent, state power as both fragmented and consistent, and the false dichotomy between working within or outside of the state and implications for academics and practitioners. The panel included Noor Nieftagodien from the South African Research Chair in Local Histories and Present Realities and Ivor Chipkin of the Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI) as discussants.
The presentations and panel discussions that followed over the course of the next two days were both exhilirating and exciting, leading to much heated discussion and debate. The conference came to a close with closing statements from CUBES director Dr Sarah Charlton and Dr Zarina Patel from the ACC, where the best student presentations were also awarded. Three books were officially launched at the conference:
Funding and Support
The 2014 conference was financially supported by the School of Architecture and Planning Research Committee, SARChI Spatial Analysis and City Planning, the Wits City Institute, the African Centre for Cities, Wits University Press and Juta. The conference was organised and executed by the following people:
- The conference organising team: Marie Huchzermeyer, Alan Mabin, Chloé Buire, Ngaka Mosiane, Gordon Pirie, and Dylan Weakley;
- Sarah Charlton (Director of CUBES);
- Paul Jenkins (Head of School of Architecture and Planning);
- Anisa Desai (SARChI, CUBES);
- Gordon Pirie, Sophie Oldfield and Edgar Pieterse (ACC);
- Miriam Maina and Dylan Weakley (SARChI) for technical support;
- Quarisha Moosa, Siphokazi Makhaye, Vasentha Naidu, Valerie Kilian (School of Architecture and Planning) for admin support;
- Student volunteers from the School of Architecture and Plannin: Nyiko Baloyi, Innocent Motaung, Tjaka Segooa, Siphelele, Thabi Mndawe, Michael Flanagan, Angela Vougiouklis, Lesego Lestsile, Dineo Lekgothoane, Mikhaela Sack, Adrie Fourie, Valentine Khasenye and Merry Luzolo.
Download the Southern Africa City Studies Conference 2014 programme.