The Institute for Creative Arts (ICA, formerly GIPCA), the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER), and the University of California Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI) present a public seminar entitled, Knowledge Futures and the Twenty First Century University.

The Seminar will focus on the contemporary challenges to the university from two interrelated sets of forces: from technological innovations, political contestations, epistemological challenges and new knowledge assemblages; and from the increasing incapacity of traditional knowledge institutions to respond effectively to new learning environments and publics.

The Seminar will reflect on the nature of these shifts and their multiple and contradictory consequences for the future of academic and public institutions. It will ask again: What is the University for? What types of institutional formats are currently best positioned not simply to respond to these political, technological and epistemic shifts, but to innovate in the wake of them? Which kinds of ideas and forms of reasoning underpin such “new thinking”? What are the different modes of critique and circulation of knowledge made possible by the advent of new technologies? What conception of the university would constitute the most effective response to the set of challenges it is being confronted with, in contexts both national and global?

The Seminar will feature presentations by, amongst others: Director of WiSER, Sarah Nuttall; UCHRI Director, David Theo Goldberg; Wits Research Professor Achille Mbembe; Antioch University Professor, Philomena Essed; Director of UCT’s African Centre for Cities, Edgar Pieterse; Director of UCT’s Creative Writing Programme and award-winning novelist, Imraan Coovadia; Associate Professor at WiSER, Hlonipha Mokoena; acclaimed musician, Neo Muyanga and Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Avery Gordon.

Knowledge Futures programme.

The Seminar is open to the public, and will take place from 09:45 – 17:00 on Thursday 18 August 2016 at Hiddingh Hall, UCT Hiddingh Campus, 31 – 37 Orange Street, Cape Town.

All are welcome, and entry is free but due to limited space booking is essential.

For more information, contact the ICA office: +27 21 650 7156 or

Start: 18 Aug ’16 9:45 am

End: 18 Aug ’16 5:00 pm

Cost: Free


Organizer: ICA

Phone: +27 21 650 7156


Venue: Hiddingh Hall

Phone: +27 21 650 7156

Address: UCT Hiddingh Campus, 31 Orange Street, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa