Transregional Center for Democratic Studies

Democracy & Diversity Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa, January 5-21, 2012




Check out the article “THE FABRIC OF A LOCATION: DEMOCRACY AND DIVERSITY IN JOHANNESBURG” featuring TCDS’s January 2012 experience in Johannesburg on The New School University’s NEW_S blog.

Johannesburg 2012 PHOTO GALLERY


The New School’s Democracy & Diversity Institute in South Africa completes its 11th session at new site in Johannesburg


Participants of the 11th Democracy & Diversity Institute in Johannesburg

Organized by the Transregional Center for Democratic Studies (TCDS) in partnership with the University of Johannesburg (UJ), this intensive program of study used the perspectives and experiences of Sub-Saharan Africa to understand more fully the realities of the world’s economies, cultures, and politics. The Institute is a mobile extension of the New School campus, located at the University of Johannesburg, with seminars, study tours, and evening events that explored the issues of modernity, migration and diversity in an urbanized Africa, its economic development, violent struggles, and the promise of democratic transformations.

The encounter between African and American students and faculty was , by all accounts, both intellectually and personally transformative. As UJ Vice-Chancellor Ihron Resburg movingly said at our closing reception, the Democracy & Diversity Institute has shown that it can have a catalytic effect upon his university’s efforts to help advance the transformation of his country and continent ‘ a transformation both very necessary but inevitably gradual. D&D participants included junior scholars from South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Korea, as well as New Schoolers from NSSR, Milano, NSPE, and Lang College. For more information visit the TCDS website and our very new Democracy & Diversity Joburg 2012 page on Facebook!


The 21st Democracy & Diversity Institute in Wroclaw, Poland has been announced. Please view the complete program information.



The 2012 Democracy & Diversity Institute in Johannesburg Announcement

The Transregional Center for Democratic Studies of The New School for Social Research in New York is pleased to announce the eleventh Democracy & Diversity Graduate Summer Institute organized by TCDS and the University of Johannesburg (UJ), to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa from January 5-21, 2012.

TCDS will again welcome up to forty junior scholars from the US, sub-Saharan Africa, and other regions of the world for this intensive three week program of study in society, culture and politics.

Building on the achievements of our Cape Town Institute (1997-2009), our new location in Johannesburg will offer a semester’s worth of graduate study centered on the theme The World in Crisis: A Critical Reading. The program is designed to facilitate intellectual, experiential, and practical insights into our increasingly globalized world, all while fostering new relationships between scholars usually separated by geographical circumstances.

Known as an intimate international forum for lively and rigorous debate on critical issues of democratic life, the institute brings an interdisciplinary, comparative, and highly interactive approach to the social, political, and cultural changes facing today’s world. Core faculty from the New School for Social Research will co-teach seminars with distinguished South African scholars and will be joined by numerous guest speakers. Upon completion of the institute, New School participants receive full course credits and non-New School participants receive certificates of completion.

Johannesburg, the intellectual, economic and cultural center of South Africa and the gateway to the rest of Africa, provides the perfect setting for the eleventh Democracy & Diversity Institute. Drawing on Johannesburg’s cultural and political significance, and TCDS’s network of collaborators, the eleventh Democracy & Diversity Institute promises a strong and innovative program on the state of our global society that reflects our ongoing commitment to critical inquiry and dialogue.

Courses offered at the 2012 D&D Institute

“New Democracies, Old Questions,

Laurence Piper (University of Western Cape Town, Political Studies) & Lawrence Hamilton (UJ, Politics)

“Shifting Power in the Global Economy: Rethinking Development Strategies”

Teresa Ghilarducci (NSSR, Economics) & Richard McGahey (The New School for Public Engagement, Public Policy and Economics) & Stephen Gelb (UJ, Economics and Econometrics)

Romancing Violence: Theories and Practices of Political Violence,

Elzbieta Matynia (NSSR, Sociology and Liberal Studies) & Shireen Hassim (University of the Witwatersrand, Political Studies)

Race & Modernity in Africa: Constellations of Identity and Place”

Jacob Dlamini (Yale University, History) & Melissa Steyn (University of the Witwatersrand, Sociology)

Please see the Complete Course Descriptions

Extracurricular Activities

The seminars and lectures at the Johannesburg Institute will be complemented by study tours in and around the city that will highlight the history of apartheid and resistance, the transition to democracy, the challenges facing democratic South Africa, and the problems of urbanized Africa. Sites and institutions to be visited include the Apartheid Museum, Constitution Hill, Freedom Square, the Hector Pietersen Museum and other sites in Soweto, the Johannesburg inner city, Yeoville and Sophiatown, and informal settlements such as Orange Farm.

Additionally, a series of evening lectures will complement the curriculum and confront the significant issues of the day in a specifically South African context. Past speaker have included: Van Zyl Slabbert (former MP and co-founder of IDASA), Zackie Achmat (Director, Treatment Action Campaign), Amina Mama (Director, African Gender Institute), and Zoe Wicomb (Author).


Participants will be housed in modest, single rooms with shared bathrooms in the UJ Sophiatown student residence, named for the emblematic African neighborhood in Johannesburg. The dormitory is located in the heart of Melville, just steps from the Auckland Park Kingsway Campus and in close proximity to the University of the Witwatersrand.


The New School for Social Research
6 East 16th St., Rm 921, NY, NY 10003
212-229-5100 ext. 3136

Elzbieta Matynia, Director
212-229-5580 ext. 3137

Lala Pop, Program Manager,
PhD Student, Politics
212-229-5100 ext. 3136

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