Professor Suren Pillay

Head of African Studies and Linguistics and Director for the Centre of African Studies

Suren Pillay is the  A C Jordan Chair and Director of the Centre for African Studies at the University of Cape Town. His research focusses on political violence, citizenship and justice claims; and the politics of knowledge production, and intellectual history. His publications have been concerned with the political and intellectual legacies of colonialism in the present. He is the principal investigator of the Mellon-funded project, Other Universals: Thinking About Politics and Aesthetics from Postcolonial Locations. Before joining UCT in 2023 he was Senior Researcher at the Centre for Humanities Research, a DST-NRF flagship on Critical Thought in African Humanities at the University of the Western Cape.  Pillay’s most recent edited volume is  On the Subject of Citizenship, Late Colonialism in the World Today (Bloomsbury Press: New York 2023). With Chandra Sriram he is co-editor of the book,  Truth vs Justice? The Dilemmas of Transitional Justice in Africa (London: James Currey and Natal: UKZN Press 2011) He holds an  MPhil, and a  PhD in Anthropology from Columbia University in New York. He is a previous editor of the journal Social Dynamics, and a current editor of the journals Transformation, and Postcolonial Studies.  He is a board member of the Program for African Social Research (PASR) and has held visiting fellowships and professorships at Columbia University, The Graduate Centre of the City University of New York, Makerere University, Uganda, and Jawaharlal Nehru University, India.