All the big winners at the 2017 HSS: Book, Creative and Digital Awards

The Humanities and Social Sciences: Book, Creative and Digital Awards (2017) hosted by the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) in a ceremony held last night (29 March 2017) announced its winners.

From the respective categories, the winners are:

Book: Non-Fiction Monograph: (joint-winners) “Declassified – Moving beyond the dead-end of race in South Africa” by Maré, Gerhard (Jacana Media), and “Regarding Muslims: From slavery to post-apartheid” by Baderoon, Gabeba (Wits University Press);
Book: Non-Fiction Edited Volume: “Changing Space, Changing City: Johannesburg after Apartheid” by Harrison, Philip; Gotz, Graeme; Todes, Alison and Wray, Chris (Wits University Press);
Book: Fiction Single Authored (Novel): “What Will People Say” by Rossouw, Rehana (Jacana Media);
Book: Fiction Single Authored (Poetry): A Half Century Thing by Rampolokeng, Lesego (Black Ghost Books); Creative Collections: Best Pubic Performance: BodyTech – The Ar(t)chive: co-founded by Denyschen, Jessica and Sichel, Adrienne;
Best Musical Composition: Explorations: South African flute music by Stoltz, Liesl;
Best Visual Art: Penny Siopis Time and Again, edited and co-edited by  Olivier, Gerrit and Siopis, Penny; and Digital Humanities Contributions: South African History Online Website by Badsha, Omar.

“Second year in their instalment, the Humanities and Social Sciences: Book, Creative and Digital Awards 2017 celebrate outstanding HSS scholars who are stimulating and contributing to serious critical work, while authentically telling South African stories that are shaping our new ways of knowing,” says NIHSS CEO, Prof Sarah Mosoetsa.

“Indeed, much work needs to be done to identify, support and promote new South African voices, authors and stories in the humanities and social sciences (HSS). New partnerships also need to be developed to prioritise books and creative collections that promote African languages.”

The NIHSS, in partnership with individual scholars, publishers and universities; is undertaking the necessary work of transforming the HSS landscape and contribute towards building a truly post-apartheid South Africa.

The HSS Awards breathe life to the ideas expressed in the Humanities Charter to increase the recognition afforded to book and creative outputs; reposition these scholarly contributions as having public-value; and increase their appreciation and the role they play in building sustainable social cohesion and the re-imagining of the humanities and social sciences.  “They are a catalyst designed to provide a necessary platform for the celebration, recognition and honour of outstanding, innovative and socially responsible scholarship that enhance and advance the fields of HSS,” explains Prof Mosoetsa.

Noting that “the 2017 HSS Awards entries expressed a diverse wealth of passionate, at times poignant, South African stories in all their varied artistic forms.”

She thanked all the entrants, citing that the 2017 HSS Awards would not be possible without such submissions.  “We are grateful that you continue to toil, helping to shape the new HSS landscape and casting a shining light on our very own South African stories. This is especially so during challenging times in higher education and the publishing world – as the HSS is also facing a decline in funding.”

“As the NIHSS, we remain committed to the cause of advancing the transformation of the HSS community, universities and greater society. The institute is enthused to be part of the collective HSS, from the tip of Southern Africa, to play a meaningful role that will see the humanities claiming its rightful space here at home, within the continent and the world at large.”

The Call for the HSS Awards 2017 opened in November 2016, covering works for the period of January 2014 to December 2015. The submissions received include 21 Books: Non- Fiction; 14 Books: Fiction; 14 Creative Collections and three (3) Digital Contribution.

Prof Mosoetsa pointed out that much more still needed to be done to encourage significant creative HSS outputs within the Creative Collections and Digital Contribution space, citing that the HSS Awards presents an opportunity for the entire HSS community, to learn and grow.”

The 2017 HSS Awards are here with just 4 days left!


The inaugural Humanities and Social Sciences Awards winners with Higher Education and Training Minister Dr Bonginkosi Nzimande and NIHSS CEO Prof Sarah Mosoetsa.


The National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) is gearing up for its second installment of the Annual Book, Creative Collection and Digital Distribution Awards (HSS Awards) aimed at recognising innovative and socially responsive work at universities.

The awards are open to all academics, curators, playwrights, poets, publishers and artists who are based at participating South African universities working to advance the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS).

According to organisers the awards provide an opportunity to cast a deserving limelight to those intellectual-creative workers whose contributions often goes unnoticed both in the academy and society at large.

The winners will be selected according to the following categories:

Non-fiction: Non-fiction monograph and non-fiction edited volume

Fiction: Fiction-single authorized book and fiction-single authorized poetry

Creative Collections: Best Public Performance and Visual Art

Digital Contributors: Digital Humanities Contributions

The HSS Awards 2017 are expected to be held on March 29 (Wednesday) at the NIHSS headquarters in Johannesburg.


In conversation with the NIHSS’ Prof. Sarah Mosoetsa

BRICS Journal is proud to announce its partnership with the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS), the custodian of the South African BRICS Think Tank (SABTT). We caught up with Prof. Sarah Mosoetsa, the Institute’s CEO.

How did the SABTT come about?
The South African cabinet approved the establishment of a dedicated SABTT, which would serve as a national focal point for the country on BRICS-related matters. Initially, the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) took overall responsibility for the co-ordination of the BRICS Think Tank Council (BTTC) and Academic Forum activities.

Following that, the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) was appointed – on an interim basis – to serve as the SABTT host from 2013 to 2015, with the mandate of incubating the BRICS Think Tank on behalf of South Africa. After a ministerial committee report had identified the frameworks for the SABTT and the location of the SABTT, the DHET concluded that the SABTT should be located at the NIHSS.

Tell us more about the mandate and objectives of the NIHSS
The NIHSS is a statutory body distinctly set up with a purpose of building and dynamising the humanities and social sciences (HSS). Our mandate is to develop and structure the institutional and logistical framework for the envisioned higher education institution for the HSS.

Our strategic objectives include fostering international research collaborations between South Africa, Africa, countries of the Global South, including Brazil, India and China; to act as a dynamic broker between the worlds of knowledge and policy action on behalf of South Africa as the South African BRICS Think Tank; as well as manage all BRICS Think Tank-related activities on behalf of South Africa.

On 8 March 2016 NIHSS hosted its first SABTT Academic Forum. What came out of that initiative?
This event is one of the many BRICS-related initiatives outlined in the SABTT business plan. The hosting of the academic forum cluster workshops pay special attention to the five pillars of the Long-Term Strategy of BRICS (2030), thereby ensuring that SABTT implements the ideals of the BRICS Long Term Strategy.
The SABTT’s thematic areas of focus are in line with that of the BTTC which are: promoting co-operation for economic growth and development; peace and security; social justice, sustainable development and quality of life; political and economic governance; and progress through knowledge and innovation sharing.

The Academic Forum is about building a network of academics and researchers around the country who are working on areas aligned to the BRICS agenda.

Share your thoughts on the significance of the Institute’s partnership with BRICS Journal.
Shaping a particular agenda requires positive story-telling that is compelling, so it was absolutely a no-brainer for us to form this partnership with the BRICS Journal team, which prides itself on offering clearly focused content on economics, politics, arts and culture across the BRICS countries.